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FA Cup Fourth Round: Top Five Potential Upsets

The FA Cup and shock results go together like fish and chips, bananas and custard or Cam Newton and “dabbing”. And with the fourth round (round of 32) taking place this weekend, it’s only fitting to select which ties have the biggest “shock value” if they were to happen. In the third round three weeks ago, none of the potential upsets came off, even though one of them, Exeter City vs Liverpool, went to a replay. This time around there may actually be a big upset.

West Brom vs Peterborough 

The Baggies needed a replay to overcome Championship side Bristol City in the last round while Peterborough saw off higher league opposition in Preston North End. The Posh are eighth in League One at the time of writing and just two points off the play-offs. A cup run might become a distraction as the business end of the season approaches but on the other hand, but that will not be in the team’s mind as they prepare to face Premier League opposition.

Arsenal vs Burnley

The holders getting knocked out is usually a significant moment in any cup competition and it will hold even more weight if Arsenal lose to lower-league opposition. That’s not a slight on Burnley, who thrashed promotion rivals Derby County 4-1 on Monday to go third in the Championship. The Gunners’ last FA Cup loss came three years ago at home to another Championship side from Lancashire: Blackburn Rovers.

Portsmouth vs Bournemouth

Six years ago, this tie would still have been high on potential “shock value”. The only difference being that Pompey were at the wrong end of the Premier League table while Bournemouth were (successfully) chasing promotion from League Two. With the roles dramatically reversed in such a short space of time, can the 2008 FA Cup winners —backed by a boisterous home support — get one over their South Coast rivals or will the Cherries maintain the status quo?

Colchester vs Tottenham

Rock bottom of League One and seven points from safety, the Us could do with any sort of positivity right now. A couple of things going in their favour are that they’ve already beaten higher-league opposition in the FA Cup this year, Charlton Athletic in the third round, and Spurs’ top four ambitions could lead to them fielding a much weakened side. Despite that, one would still think Mauricio Pochettino’s men would have too much for Colchester, but this is the FA Cup.

Carlisle vs Everton

The Cumbrians played their first match at Brunton Park in two months last Saturday following flooding caused by Storm Desmond. Before that, they drew at “home” to Yeovil Town at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road in the third round before beating them on penalties in the replay at Huish Park. Carlisle will fancy their chances against an unpredictable Everton team which could see many changes from the side which suffered a gut-wrenching loss to Manchester City in the League Cup semi-final on Wednesday.


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