Five FA Cup Ties to Look Out for This Weekend

The FA Cup returns this weekend with a whole host of Fourth Round ties to look out for. Here are some of the best picks.

Five FA Cup Fixtures to Keep Your Eye On This Weekend

Cheltenham Town vs Manchester City  

Notorious for its racecourse, Cheltenham Town will be hoping to pull off an upset as the FA Cup begins to enter its final furlongs on Saturday evening. Manchester City enter the fixture as the frontrunners, but on the muddy track of Cheltenham’s Whaddon Road, anything could happen.

League Two Robins go into the tie having won once in their last eight – a 2-1 victory over fellow fourth-tier side Mansfield in the previous round.

City’s form couldn’t be further apart, sitting pretty in second place in the Premier League and unbeaten in 16 across all competitions. However, City will travel to Gloucestershire without Kevin De Bruyne through injury and all-time top scorer Sergio Aguero after a positive COVID-19 test. Will it be a significant enough handicap?

Pep Guardiola and City will find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings on Saturday evening, having been given the stadium’s bar as a changing room.

Chelsea vs Luton Town

Once a fixture notorious for football hooliganism violence, the trajectories Chelsea and Luton Town have taken in the last two decades has seen the two sides’ paths rarely cross.

The two haven’t met at Stamford Bridge since 1991 when both Chelsea and Luton were playing in the second tier of English football. Since then the Blues have won three Premier League titles and a Champions League, whilst Luton have dropped down to the Conference, before climbing back up once more.

The Hatters have form for causing a shock in the cup – whilst playing as a non-league side in 2013, Luton became the first side from that level to knock-out a top-flight team since 1989. Their 1-0 victory against Norwich City is now seen as a watershed moment in the club’s rise back to the Football League.

Frank Lampard could do with a trophy and if he’s to be lifting the FA Cup as a manager on a sunny weekend in May, he’ll have to negotiate a tricky fixture on Sunday noon.

Brentford vs Leicester City

Lockdown may have got us all feeling like every day is the same, but fear not, you haven’t fallen back a year in time. Brentford and Leicester City really are round four opponents again.

Just three days short of a year since a Kelechi Iheanacho strike earnt Leicester a 1-0 win over Championship high-flyers Brentford, the two meet at exactly the same stage and in exactly the same form, but not in the same stadium.

Brendan Rodgers will take his side to the Brentford Community Stadium this time around, after the side from West London moved out of their iconic home of over 100-years, Griffin Park, at the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

Both sides head into the fixture in similar form to last season: Leicester are once again mounting an unlikely title challenge, whilst Brentford are pushing for promotion up to the Premier League. If Brentford are serious about making it to the big-time, auditions don’t come much bigger than Sunday’s tie.

Manchester United vs Liverpool

The less said about Manchester United against Liverpool in the league the better. With seven draws in their last seven meetings, fixtures between the two are often tepid, dull and low-scoring affairs. Last weekend’s latest edition is enough to turn even the most unadulterated football fans off from this tie. Manchester United against Liverpool in the FA Cup, however, a different story.

Whenever the two sides separated by a 35 mile stretch of motorway meet each other in the cup, the shackles are taken off. Without a need to play conservative, back-to-the-wall football, cup ties between the two are feisty and ferocious.

Football without fans is nothing, that’s a given. But this is a tie that could benefit from the lack of expecting onlooking eyes. Liverpool may be living through a golden-era but are experiencing their worse run of form in years, whilst United are loving life as Premier League leaders and are slowly but surely bringing the good times back to Old Trafford.

Wycombe Wanderers vs Tottenham Hotspur

José Mourinho’s crew of merry men sunk the valiant Marine battleship in the FA Third Round and they’ll continue their voyage in search of silverware against marooned Championship outfit Wycombe Wanderers.

Wycombe went into stoppage time at White Hart Lane one goal to the good with just a minute left of the 90 the last and only time the two sides met back in 2017 – a trademark Dele Alli goal was followed up by a Son Heung-min 97th minute winner.

The side from the South-East of England were playing their football in League Two at the time of their last meet, but now in the Championship, the Chairboys will be hoping to go one better and beat Spurs.

Without a trophy since 2007/08, Tottenham will be hoping to match their League Cup exploits by reaching Wembley and making it to the FA Cup final this season.

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