Everton should have far too many guns for a porous Carlisle defence on Sunday afternoon.
Carlisle are the lowest placed team left in the competition after scraping past Yeovil via penalties in the previous round but they’ve lost just one of their last 11 matches so will no doubt be feeling confident of causing Everton a few problems. For the Toffees part they will have to pick themselves up after the disappointment of throwing away an advantage in the League Cup semis in midweek.
League Two teams don’t have a great record against Premier League sides at this stage of the FA Cup, with only one side out of 16 advancing to the fifth round since 1992/93 including a W0-D2-L10 record from 12 home ties. Only two of those 12 Premier League teams failed to score at least twice – one of which was Louis van Gaal’s Man Utd who had a 0-0 at Cambridge last season – while just two of the League Two sides managed to find the net themselves.
Despite all of Everton’s excellence going forward this season they’ve struggled to keep clean sheets and since 2010/11 they’ve only managed one in their five trips to lower league teams in the FA Cup. However, they’ve scored 18 goals in those games, recording three wins by four clear goals in that run and the only places they’ve lost on the road this season have been Arsenal and Man City so they certainly don’t struggle when travelling. However, with a game against Stoke on Wednesday and having played a full strength side in midweek they will surely run the changes for this one. They’re not short of options though and should have more than enough quality to win this game.
Carlisle’s good form has largely been down to their attack, which is the fourth best in terms of goals per game in League Two this season but no side in the top half has conceded more and five of their last nine home matches have had at least four goals. We should see plenty of attacking action but Everton’s quality is likely to tell and we’d expect the Toffees to win by a few here.
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