It is Cup weekend again as the FA Cup enters the fourth round with many intriguing ties on the cards.
In the third round, League Two high-flyers Oxford United stunned English Premier League side Swansea in one of the few upsets of the round. Meanwhile, Liverpool, WBA and Aston Villa all needed replays after being held by lower league oppositions.
The draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup has pitted some big guns against lower ranked clubs and do not discount an upset or two happening again.
League One side Colchester have a home tie against in-form EPL outfit Tottenham.
Colchester are currently propping up the League One table and are in danger of being relegated to League Two.
Today’s early game against Mauricio Pochettino’s side will give the League Two strugglers a chance to add some much needed finances into the club with a sellout crowd and television cameras expected at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
It will certainly be a much changed Tottenham side today compared to the one that won comfortably last week at Crystal Palace. Expect the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli to be rested, with the manager’s one eye focused on the midweek EPL clash against Norwich. It will be tough for Colchester to bridge the gap in quality as the they look destined to be relegated, so I fully expect a much-changed Tottenham side to win comfortably and continue their treble pursuit of the EPL, Europa League and FA Cup.
EPL basement side Aston Villa, having improved in recent weeks, welcome free-scoring Man City in another exciting looking tie. Man City will be boosted after qualfying for the finals of the Capital One Cup after defeating Everton in midweek.
Sergio Aguero, whose season has been hampered by injuries, looks back to his blistering best and with the likes of David Silva, Yaya Toure and Raheem Sterling playing well, I see a routine win for the Citizens as Villa will be more focused on the league survival and the tie against West Ham this coming Tuesday.
The pick of the fourth round ties has to be at Anfield where Capital Cup finalists Liverpool welcome bogey team West Ham. Slaven Bilic’s Hammers have already beaten the Reds at Anfield in the league earlier this season and will be hoping his team can do the same again in the FA Cup.
The Reds are still in dreamland having booked their place at Wembley after seeing off Stoke on penalties in the Capital One Cup and will surely be up for this tie.
Their 5-4 win at Norwich last week was one of the games of the season but in Enner Valencia, Dimitri Payet and Michail Antonio, West Ham have the amunition to hurt a leaky Liverpool defence. This promises to be a cracking cup tie with goals in abundance. I am sitting on the fence and predicting a draw in tonight’s late game.
Chelsea, buoyed by their league win at London rivals Arsenal last week, face a tricky tie against Championship side MK Dons tomorrow.
The Blues will surely look at the FA Cup as their only hope of silverware this season and with a tough Champions League fixture against French giants PSG to come, will surely want to go all the way in the FA Cup.
The Dons are coming into this match after a dismal 3-1 to bottom side Bolton Wanderers and manager Karl Robinson’s side face an uphill task against a Chelsea side who are unbeaten in eight games in all competitions so I am tipping Guus Hiddink’s side to do enough o be in the hat for the fifth round draw.