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A look ahead to the Fourth Round of The FA Cup

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The FA Cup takes centre stage this weekend as the remaining teams look to lay down a marker in this year's competition.

In the last round, the magic of the FA Cup was there to see as holders Arsenal were humbled by Nottingham Forrest. Meanwhile, League One leaders Wigan Athletic knocked out Eddie Howe's Bournemouth, Newport County continued their cup exploits by beating Championship side Leeds United and Coventry City dispatched Premier League side Stoke City, the last game in charge for Mark Hughes.

As the Fourth Round approaches let's look at the teams and games to look out for this weekend. 

Heavy Hitters

Despite Arsenal, Bournemouth and Stoke's exit in the last round,  Five of last season's top six still sides remain.

Manchester United made it through to the fourth round after beating Derby County and they may give new signing Alexis Sanchez his first start against Yeovil Town on Friday. Jose Mourinho's side will be looking to go far in the competion having last won the cup in 2016.

Manchester City eased past Burnley to set up an away tie against Cardiff City. The FA Cup presents City with an opportunity to win one of the four major trophies still available to them this season, an FA Cup success in 2017 would be the sides first victory since 2011, where they beat Stoke in the final.

Seven times winners Liverpool edged out local rivals Everton in the last round, being rewarded with another home tie against Premier League opposition in the form of West Brom, who last lifted the trophy in 1968

Chelsea only just scraped through against Norwich City and they will be looking to bounce back from their defeat against Arsenal in midweek as they host Newcastle United st Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham Hotspur dealt with AFC Wimbledon in the last round in comfortable fashion, and are set to face giant killers Newport County away from home. 

Potential Shocks

Peterborough United vs Leicester City

League One side Peterborough United have already caused a shock in this year's FA Cup, having knocked out promotion chasing Aston Villa at Villa Park. They face a bigger test in former Premier League Champions Leicester City who knocked out Fleetwood Town at the second time of asking. Posh striker Jack Marriott, who is reportedly linked with a £7million move to Crystal Palace, could be key for the League One side in causing a potential upset at The Abax Stadium.

Yeovil Town vs Manchester United

The Friday night game on BBC One sees Yeovil Town host Manchester United. With Alexis Sanchez confirmed in the squad for the game, fans are judging the result as a forgone conclusion, but this is the FA Cup. United have already experienced a shock in the Carabao Cup when they lost to Bristol City and in front of what could be a sell out crowd at Huish Park, Yeovil Town could make FA Cup folklore.

Newport County AFC vs Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham are entering a stage in their history where things seem promising, moving into a new stadium with a manager and a team capable of doing things. However, you feel that they need to start winning trophies in order to be recognised as a top side in English football. Newport County who are 8th in League Two, will fancy their chances against Spurs and the confidence from knocking out Leeds in the last round will add to that.

Wigan Athletic vs West Ham United

It took a replay for both sides to progress into this round. Wigan though made more headlines as they beat Bournemouth 3-0, whereas West Ham managed a 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town in their replay. Five points clear at the top of League One, Wigan are most certainly a side not be taken lightly especially having achieved FA Cup success in 2013. West Ham on the other hand have looked a more steady outfit under David Moyes as they now are on the fringes of the top 10 in the Premier League.

Image Credit - Wikipedia Commons, Geograph, Twitter.

 

Fixtures

Sheffield Wednesday vs Reading

Yeovil Town vs Manchester United

Peterborough United vs Leicester City

Huddersfield Town vs Birmingham City

Notts County vs Swansea City

Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City

Milwall vs Rochdale AFC

Southampton vs Watford

Middlesbrough VS Brighton & Hove Albion

Wigan Athletic VS West Ham United

Hull City VS Nottingham Forest

Sheffield United VS Preston North End

Newport County AFC VS Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool VS West Bromwich Albion

Chelsea VS Newcastle United

Cardiff City VS Manchester City

 

 

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