Its the FA Cup 4th round weekend, with the 32 remaining teams all one step closer to Wembley and a chance of lifting the worlds most famous domestic Cup. Here, FantasySports.co.uk looks at the fourth round fixtures and predicts where the shocks will happen, with the underdogs prevailing over their more fancied opponents.
NOTTS COUNTY v SWANSEA CITY
English football’s oldest Club are currently riding high in Division Two, lying second behind leaders Luton Town, and will be full of confidence in taking on the Premier League’s bottom club, despite their morale boosting win over Liverpool last Monday. Swansea could just be suffering a hangover though, with boss Carlos Carvalhal likely to field a weakened team in the FA Cup as they look to focus on Premier League survival. Before two home successive losses, County had been superb at Meadow Lane, winning 9 of their 13 games – they also saw off Championship high flyers Brentford at Griffin Park in the third round. With experienced players such as Alan Smith, Jonathan Stead and Shola Ameobi in their ranks, we think they can spring a classic FA Cup surprise over their Premier League opponents.
MIDDLESBROUGH v BRIGHTON
It wouldn’t be the biggest shock in the world to see Middlesbrough prevail over Brighton – but its still a Championship club hosting a Premier League club and we take Boro to make the draw for the FA Cup fifth round. Unusually, Boro have been pretty poor at home, already with 5 losses at the Riverside – but Brighton have found life getting tougher in the top flight week by week after a reasonable start, and are in a poor run of form, with just one win in their last ten games, scoring only four goals in that time. The Seagulls will not fancy the long trip up north, and we feel it will be an even longer journey home on Saturday evening.
LIVERPOOL v WEST BROMWICH ALBION
The Reds will start warm favourites to dump the Baggies out of the FA Cup at Anfield on Saturday evening….but they notoriously struggle against the West Midlands outfit – beating them only twice in their last 6 Premier League meetings (4 draws) and both by a single goal. All eyes will be on the team that boss Jurgen Klopp fields, knowing that they have an awkward trip to Huddersfield just a few days later which is a game they cannot afford to lose after the shocker at Swansea. The Baggies are involved in a relegation dogfight but have a day extra to prepare for their own game at Manchester City, and are in decent enough form – just one loss in their last five. They will have noted how Swansea stalled the Liverpool steamroller and have the tenacity, and personnel, to do the same. We can just see another galling loss for the Anfield faithful to take.
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