·26 January 2023
·26 January 2023
After a thrilling set of third round ties, the FA Cup is back in action this weekend. In a few days’ time, we will know our line-up for the last 16.
It could be an entertaining round of games. There are big sides facing each other, one non-league club looking for a miracle, and plenty of potential giant killings.
Here are five games to watch from the competition.
Manchester City vs Arsenal (Friday, January 27, 20:00 GMT)
The most attention-grabbing tie of the fourth round comes at the Etihad Stadium. Having seen off Chelsea earlier this month, Manchester City host league leaders Arsenal.
It’s an exciting fixture for a multitude of reasons. Not only will we see one of the favourites drop early, but it is also the first time that these two have met this season. The result could give us an indicator as to how the Premier League title race will pan out.
Both clubs have a proud history in this competition. Arsenal have won the FA Cup a record 14 times, while Man City’s have lifted it on six occasions. Additionally, the Cityzens’ modern era of success began with this trophy in 2011.
Fulham vs Sunderland (Saturday, January 28, 15:00 GMT)
On the surface, this ought to be a fairly easy one to call. Fulham are fighting for European spots, while Sunderland sit in ninth in the Championship.
However, the FA Cup is never that straightforward. The hosts have lost their last two league games without scoring a goal. And with a tough trip to Stamford Bridge coming up, they may have other priorities.
This could pave the way for Sunderland to pull off a shock. The Black Cats have lost just one of their last seven in all competitions, scoring 13 goals.
Preston North End vs Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday, January 28, 18:00 GMT)
As you probably already know, Tottenham Hotspur haven’t won a trophy since 2008. Since then, the likes of Birmingham City, Swansea City, and Wigan Athletic have all scooped major honours.
Unless you fancy Antonio Conte’s men to go all the way in the Champions League, the FA Cup seems like their best chance of ending that drought. Winning this competition could be the difference between Conte and star striker Harry Kane staying or going.
Standing in their way is Preston North End. They currently sit in 11th place in the Championship, having won four and lost four in their last eight matches.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Liverpool (Sunday, January 29, 13:30 GMT)
As one of only two all-Premier League ties, this is certainly one to keep an eye on. For both clubs, this trophy could be huge for different reasons.
For Brighton, this could be the first major piece of silverware in their history. The closest they have come was in 1983, when they lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United on a replay.
And for Liverpool, this could be what saves their season. Having come close to an unprecedented quadruple last year, they currently sit in ninth place in the Premier League.
These two have already met twice in the league this year. The clash at Anfield finished 3-3, while the reverse fixture ended 3-0 to the Seagulls. We could be in for a cracker.
Wrexham vs Sheffield United (Sunday, January 29, 16:30 GMT)
As the only non-league representative in the fourth round, Wrexham have an opportunity to do something really special. In the previous round, they travelled to second-tier Coventry City and defeated them 4-3.
This time, they’ve got an even more daunting prospect ahead of them. Sheffield United are one of the Championship’s best sides, currently sitting in second place in the league. The Blades are also unbeaten in nine games, winning eight.
But Wrexham are also in the midst of a fine run of form. They have not lost since the beginning of October, winning 17 and drawing five in that time frame.
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