FA Cup 4th Round Preview: Potential Giant Killings And A Non-League Fairytale Continues

It's set to be another cracking cup weekend
Football Whispers  |  25th January 2019

After a third round filled with upsets, giant-killings and cup drama, the FA Cup reconvenes this weekend as the 32 remaining teams vie to keep their dreams of Wembley alive.

The round begins with a blockbuster at the Emirates as Arsenal host Manchester United in a battle between the competition’s two most decorated teams, having lifted the trophy a combined 25 times.

There are plenty of mouthwatering ties on Saturday and Sunday, too, before Barnet and Brentford bring the curtain down on Monday night.

Here, we preview what we think will be the best of the action in the FA Cup fourth round.

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Accrington Stanley v Derby County

In the first-ever meeting between these two sides, Accrington Stanley hope to reach the fifth round for the first time.

However, the League One side will have the odds firmly stacked against them when they welcome Frank Lampard’s Rams to the brilliantly named Wham Stadium.

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Having eliminated Manchester United from the Carabao Cup earlier this season, Derby overcame Southampton on penalties in their third-round replay and will be favourites to progress as Lampard eyes a trophy – one he lifted four times as a player – in his first year in management.

Accrington’s danger man is, of course, Billy Kee, who struck the winner against Ipswich Town last time out. However, in Mason Mount and Harry Wilson, Lampard has some special talent and it will be a tall order if the hosts are to go one better than they did in 2010 and 2017.

FA Cup: Arsenal v Manchester United Preview, Betting Tips And Enhanced Odds – 4th Round

Middlesbrough v Newport County

The ‘Tony Pulis derby’. The Middlesbrough manager is hoping to get one over on his hometown club, with whom he also spent two years as a player.

Of course, Pulis’ side will be expected to come out on top. Boro, pushing for promotion to the Premier League, are aiming to extend their unbeaten run to six games against a side currently 13th in League Two.

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And while the South Wales club sprung one of the surprises of the year by dumping Leicester City out of the third round, getting a result at the Riverside Stadium will be a tough ask.

They will also have to contend with Britt Assombalonga, who has seven goals in five FA cup starts including a brace in the 5-0 win over Peterborough in the previous round.

Shrewsbury Town v Wolves

FA Cup games are always that bit more special when they’re a local derby – and they don’t come much more special for Shrewsbury manager Sam Ricketts.

The 37-year-old, who was appointed at New Meadow in December, captained Wolves to the League One title in 2014 and is plotting the downfall of his former side, having overseen Shrewsbury’s remarkable comeback over Stoke in the third round. Trailing 2-0 with 20 minutes to go, Shrewsbury scored three times in 11 minutes to reach the fourth round.

Home advantage will certainly count for something – especially as it will be a sell-out crowd – but Wolves boast a strong away form and are one of the Premier League’s most efficient counter-attacking sides.

And, let’s not forget, they knocked Liverpool out of the third round.

FA Cup 4th Round Enhanced Acca Betting Preview, Tips And Odds

Millwall v Everton

When Marco Silva was appointed Everton boss last summer, he was charged with restoring former glories to the Toffees.

Inconsistency in the league has put the onus on a cup run, however, but the Merseyside club face a daunting trip to The Den, where Premier League sides have fallen in recent years.

In fact, the Lions have prevailed in their last four home FA Cup ties against top-tier opposition, including fourth-round triumphs over Watford in 2017 and Aston Villa in 2013.

A couple of Shane Ferguson wonder goals helped Neil Harris’ side past Hull City in the last round. Can the Northern Irishman do it again and send Everton packing?

AFC Wimbledon v West Ham

Another game brimming with potential for a major upset, League One strugglers Wimbledon are hoping to continue their impressive run, having reached the FA Cup fourth round for the first time since their reformation in 2002.

Coincidentally, this is the second time Wimbledon have hosted the Hammers in cup competitions this season, having met in the Carabao Cup second round in August.

On that occasion, the East Londoners ran out 3-1 winners and Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping for a similar outcome, with the Chilean targeting a first FA Cup triumph, having led Manchester City to two League Cups during his time there.

FA Cup: AFC Wimbledon v West Ham Preview, Betting Tips And Enhanced Odds – 4th Round

Crystal Palace v Tottenham

One of four all-Premier League ties, this tie has suddenly taken on greater significance for Spurs after losing their Carabao Cup semi-final to Chelsea on penalties on Thursday night.

With that defeat undoubtedly raw, Mauricio Pochettino will want to avoid further cup misery as he tries to deliver Tottenham’s first trophy since the 2008 League Cup.

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This fixture has a habit of producing reasonably unspectacular games, with Spurs winning the last five meetings 1-0. Their previous encounter in the FA Cup – the fifth round in 2016 – also ended with just one goal, only it was the Eagles who prevailed.

Having lost Harry Kane and Dele Alli to injury, elimination from a second cup in the space of three days would deal a devastating blow to Pochettino.

Barnet v Brentford

Rounding off the fourth-round programme, Barnet are looking to become only the fifth non-league side to reach the fifth round in the last 25 years (after Crawley Town, Luton Town, Lincoln City and Sutton United) as they host Brentford at The Hive.

The home side, currently 16th in the National League, don’t have the best of records against Brentford, though, having failed to win in their last 13 meetings.

The visitors, unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions, are clear favourites and certainly have an advantage in attack with Neal Maupay, who has 16 Championship goals already this term.

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Full fixture list

Friday

Bristol City v Bolton Wanderers
Arsenal v Manchester United

Saturday

Accrington Stanley v Derby County
Brighton v West Brom
Doncaster Rovers v Oldham Athletic
Manchester City v Burnley
Middlesbrough v Newport County
Newcastle v Watford
Portsmouth v QPR
Shrewsbury Town v Wolves
Swansea City v Gillingham
Millwall v Everton
AFC Wimbledon v West Ham

Sunday

Crystal Palace v Tottenham
Chelsea v Sheffield Wednesday

Monday

Barnet v Brentford

 

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