The FA Cup fourth round Saturday has finally arrived with several big teams in action. Friday’s action saw Derby earn a replay at Leicester after a 2-2 draw at Pride Park so who will join them in the replays?
Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Jurgen Klopp will be looking for a reaction from his side after two consecutive home defeats in a week. He will however have to make decisions because on Tuesday, Liverpool host Chelsea in the Premier League title race. Should he stick or twist his squad?
Wolverhampton will be looking to claim a second top flight scalp after seeing off Stoke City at the Bet365 stadium in the previous round. With their chances of promotion from the Championship already dim, the visitors will want a cup run to keep fans happy and no better place to do that than at Anfield.
The match should be competitive given the Reds’ fragile defence and tired looking attack. Wolverhampton fans will be hoping that Helder Costa can keep up his impressive performances since signing in the Summer from Benfica on loan and he will be a real threat going forwards.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Result: Liverpool 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Blackburn Rovers vs Blackpool
Blackburn might be struggling at home in the league but should be able to comfortably to see off Blackpool. The Seasiders are currently in the League Two playoff chase so expect them to rest a few players.
Prediction: Blackburn 3-1 Blackpool
Result: Blackburn 2-0 Blackpool
Burnley vs Bristol City
Burnley should be full of confidence heading into this fixture after a narrow away defeat to Arsenal last weekend. With several goal scorers across the pitch, they should dispatch Bristol City with a flourish. City have Tammy Abraham but he shouldn’t be a problem for the top flight side, whose home record is one of the best outside the big names.
Prediction: Burnley 2-0 Bristol City
Result: Burnley 2-0 Bristol City
Chelsea vs Brentford
Chelsea will be the favourites coming into this tie but Brentford have been unpredictable this season. The last time that these teams met in the FA Cup at this stage, the original tie at Griffin Park ended 2-2 with the Blues winning the replay at Stamford Bridge 5-0.
The Brentford fans will get behind the team in the hope of stinging a cupset on Chelsea but it won’t be enough because Chelsea should have enough to see them off without needing a replay.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Brentford
Result: Chelsea 4-0 Brentford
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City
Crystal Palace have been poor at home this season in all competitions and Pep Guardiola will field a full first team in order to avoid any shocks. If City play like they did at West Ham a few weeks ago, the Eagles will better hope that their wings are strong enough to withhold a mauling.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-4 Manchester City
Result: Crystal Palace 0-3 Manchester City
Lincoln City vs Brighton
This trip is a potential banana skin for Brighton because Lincoln are quick on the ball and ripped Ipswich open down the flanks with ease in the last round.
The Seagulls will be the favourite but will need to be sharp when get chances on goal because Ipswich paid the price for not being clinical enough when had opportunities on target.
Don’t be surprised if this is settled late on or need a replay because both sides can score buckets full of goals. Lincoln should edge it because the home fans will make the stadium like a cauldron and daunting for the visitors but a replay wouldn’t come as a shock.
Prediction: Lincoln 3-2 Brighton
Result: Lincoln 3-1 Brighton
Middlesbrough vs Accrington Stanley
Middlesbrough will see this as an opportunity to get back on good terms with fans after last weekend’s performance against West Ham. Accrington Stanley will however be no pushovers given that they sent Boro crashing out of the 2013-14 League Cup at the Riverside Stadium.
After the comments made about fans in the past week, defeat here could be disastrous for Karanka‘s reign. Realistically, the Teeside team should cruise through this tie given that the squad is much stronger than when Accrington last visited during the Tony Mowbray years.
They will be without Calum Chambers and Gaston Ramirez but those two absentees shouldn’t affect their chances of progressing through to a competitive fifth round.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 2-0 Accrington Stanley
Result: Middlesbrough 1-0 Accrington Stanley
Oxford United vs Newcastle United
Oxford will confident of claiming another Championship scalp in the form of Newcastle. Rafa Benitez will want a cup run given his pedigree at winning trophies but the Us will prove a stern test at the Kassam Stadium.
After last round proved tricky, don’t be surprised if Benitez fields a full strength squad in order to avoid a replay in what is already a tight run in till May. Oxford however are used to beating teams higher up the football pyramid, after seeing off Swansea City in the 2015-16 FA Cup.
Prediction: Oxford United 2-3 Newcastle United
Result: Oxford United 3-0 Newcastle United
Rochdale vs Huddersfield
Huddersfield will head to Spotland as the favourite but Rochdale have been tough to beat this season in League One, once they hit their stride. The home side however have an injury crisis with Joe Bunney being the big name absentee.
There has been two previous FA Cup meetings between these sides with the Terriers winning both matches. Realistically, it should another win for Huddersfield given the Dale’s injury list.
Prediction: Rochdale 0-3 Huddersfield
Result: Rochdale 0-4 Huddersfield
Tottenham Hotspur vs Wycombe Wanderers
This tie should be a one sided affair in Tottenham’s favour but could Wycombe try and do what Plymouth did to Liverpool?
Spurs will be without Harry Kane but have proven that they can perform without him having already lost him to injury earlier this season. Wycombe will however try and attack on the counter in the hope of taking this back to Adams Park.
Unfortunately for the Chairboys, Mauricio Pochettino took his men to Barcelona for a mid season training camp rather than the Middle East or Russia. Given the distance involved, Spurs should ease through this tie and avoid a repeat of what Middlesbrough did to Manchester City, two years ago.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Wycombe
Result: Tottenham 4-3 Wycombe
Southampton vs Arsenal
Southampton will be on a high after seeing off Liverpool to reach the League Cup final in midweek. Arsenal will prove a stern test but St Marys will be rocking with the home fans pushing the Saints that bit further.
Claude Puel might of have lost Virgil van Dyke, James Ward Prowse and Jay Rodriguez to injuries but his team will be confident of sending another worldwide name out of a cup in quick succession.
Arsenal have Theo Walcott back in the line up but lose Granit Xhaka to suspension. Their form has however been unpredictable in January making this tough to call.
Southampton are yet to beat Arsenal in the FA Cup but this could be their time.
Prediction: Southampton 1-0 Arsenal
Result: Southampton 0-5 Arsenal