As we get into the deep-end of the season, the FA Cup is in full force. The 3rd round saw some major upsets including a hugely impressive win for Nottingham Forest against Arsenal and victories for Wigan and Newport against Bournemouth and Leeds respectively. With the 4th round getting underway tomorrow evening, you can expect some more underdog stories as lower league teams look to perform against the big boys. Here’s your reason to get down to the pub this weekend.
Yeovil Town v Manchester United
United will be keen to continue their winning start to 2018 when they visit the lowest-ranked team left in the competition against League Two strugglers Yeovil Town. The Glovers currently find themselves 22nd in the fourth tier of English football and have not won a game since boxing day. Darren Sale’s team, meanwhile, have already knocked out Southen United, Port Vale and Bradford City on the way to the fourth round and remain unbeaten in their previous 10 FA Cup games. Man United, meanwhile, are looking to make it five wins in a row and progress to the fifth round for the fifth time in six seasons. The matchup marks a second successive Friday night FA Cup fixture for United. The match could see Alexis Sanchez make his eagerly anticipated debut after he completed his move from Arsenal on Monday.
Kick off: 7:55pm
Peterborough United v Leicester City
Peterborough will no doubt have their sights set on a giant-killing as they take on Leicester in fascinating FA Cup tie at the ABAX Stadium. Posh stunned Aston Villa with a 3-1 victory at the beginning of the month to cruise through the 3rd round. Leicester, meanwhile, had a tougher fixture as it took them a replay to see off League One side Fleetwood. The Premier League side were eventually able to advance following a brace from Kelechi Iheanacho at the King Power stadium.
Leicester’s form sees them with two draws and two losses from their previous four away trips in all competitions, while Peterborough have lost just twice since November at home. Peterborough have lost only one of their last fourteen FA Cup matches. However, they have failed to win in their three meetings with Premier League sides in this run.
Kick off: 12:30pm
Newport County v Tottenham Hotspur
Giant killers Newport County are rewarded for their third-round exploits with the visit of Premier League giants Tottenham. Newport downed Leeds United after Shawn McCoulsky’s 89th minute winner as the Welsh club reached the fourth round for the first time in 41 years.
Tottenham are a pretty massive step up and Pochettino will still likely field a number of Premier League regulars as they look for silverware this season. Newport head into the tie off the back of four wins and a draw in the last five games in all competitions.
This will be the first ever head to head encounter between the two sides. A win for Newport would go down as one of the largest upsets in FA Cup history.
Kick off: 5:30pm
Liverpool v West Brom
Alan Pardew’s wait for his first West Brom win finally came to an end against Brighton two weeks ago followed by a respectable 1-1 draw at Everton. Jurgen Klopp is expected to make changes to the side that suffered a miserable 1-0 Premier League defeat at Swansea on Monday, which ended Liverpool’s 18-game unbeaten run across all competitions. Liverpool fans will be hoping this is simply one of those blips that happen and last January’s free-fall is not replicated. However, West Brom will be bound to set up a similar way to Swansea after seeing the success it brought them. Expect the Baggies to set back and soak up the Liverpool pressure.
Kick off: 7:45pm
Chelsea v Newcastle
Chelsea will be eager to repeat the 3-1 victory over Newcastle in the league when they host them in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge. Confidence will no doubt be low, however, following last night’s loss to Arsenal despite Eden Hazard’s early opening goal. Despite this untimely preparation, Conte’s men should have enough in their tank to see of Newcastle with the Magpies sitting just a point outside the bottom three in the Premier League. Michy Batshuayi netted in the previous round against Norwich City and, with Morata still out through injury, the Belgian could be a popular play in terms of a potential goalscorer.
Kick off: 1:30pm
Cardiff City v Man City
The quadruple is still most certainly on the cards for Man City (if not a little unlikely) and they should have more than enough to get past Championship promotion hopefuls Cardiff. Pep Guardiola has a wealth of talent to choose from and, despite a busy schedule, they’ve managed their run of games well.
Kick off: 4:00pm