Football

Looking ahead to the FA Cup Fourth Round (2016/2017)

Crystal Palace v Stoke City - Barclays Premier League - Selhurst Park
The draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup was made last night and we’ve picked out five ties that could end as an upset.

What are the games?

  • Crystal Palace or Bolton vs. Manchester City
  • Middlesbrough vs. Accrington Stanley
  • Fulham vs. Hull City
  • Blackburn Rovers vs. Barnsley or Blackpool
  • Burnley or Sunderland vs. Fleetwood or Bristol City
  • Rochdale vs. Huddersfield Town
  • Millwall vs. Watford
  • Manchester United vs. Wigan Athletic
  • Chelsea vs. Brentford
  • Lincoln or Ipswich vs. Brighton
  • Southampton or Norwich vs. Arsenal
  • Plymouth or Liverpool vs. Wolves
  • AFC Wimbledon or Sutton United vs. Leeds
  • Oxford United vs. Newcastle or Birmingham
  • Derby vs. Leicester City
  • Tottenham vs. Wycombe

When are they being played?

Third round replays are being played on the 17th/18th January.

The fourth round will be played on the 27th/28th January.

Will there be any upsets in the replays or the fourth round?

Fulham vs. Hull

Had this tie been in the third round, this would have been an upset as Hull don’t need an FA Cup run this season. They’re in a position in the table where all their attention needs to be on the Premier League and a relegation battle. They beat Swansea in the third round and although they’re in the Championship, Fulham aren’t to be taken lightly. They’ve scored 41 goals this season, the third highest in the Championship and have a very good record at home.

Burnley or Sunderland vs. Fleetwood or Bristol City

Like Hull, Burnley and Sunderland don’t want a cup run either. Whoever wins the replay between the two will have to play two extra games this season and potentially more if they make it past the fourth round. Fleetwood are currently sixth in League One and are in good form, while on-loan Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham is scoring goals for fun at Bristol City. It depends on the strength of the sides that Burnley or Sunderland put out, but don’t be surprised to see either of them exit the competition.

Lincoln vs. Ipswich (Third Round Replay)

Non-league Lincoln travelled to Portman Road to face Ipswich in the third round and drew against Mick McCarthy’s woefully inconsistent team. Ipswich have failed to record successive results of any kind since August (their record since: WLWDLDLDWLDWLWLDLWLWLD). They’re not going anywhere in the Championship and a trip to Lincoln could end up with elimination.

Millwall vs. Watford

Millwall beat Bournemouth 3-0 in the third round and although Eddie Howe changed his entire team from the one that drew with Arsenal, there was still £42 million of talent on the pitch. Watford have been dropping further and further down the Premier League table, losing four of their last five games at the time of writing, and Walter Mazzarri is under increasing pressure. Millwall have off-field issues, but the fans will be behind the team on the field.

Derby vs. Leicester City

Derby are seventh in the Championship and results have improved since Steve McClaren took charge of the team. They’re dark horses for a play-off spot, but don’t score many goals. Leicester don’t score many either and their record away from home is terrible. They went out of the FA Cup early last season and it helped them with their run-in, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they went out at this stage and kicked on with their Champions League campaign.

Words by @dominictrant