It’s another weekend of FA Cup action ahead and the Fifth round will be the last time the whole league takes a break for the cup as the competition gets to the business end. Ten Premier League sides are still in the draw and each fixture features at least one side from the league but could we see eight progress to fill the Quarter Final spots, or can some lower league sides progress?
Chelsea stopped a run of league defeats with a 3-0 win over West Brom on Monday and head into tonight’s game at home to Hull as favourites to progress. Having comfortably beaten Newcastle in the previous round, fans will be hoping for little to concern them ahead of an important period in the season. Championship side Hull City have picked up just one win in there last 10 league games and have a relegation fight on their hands unless form can turn. Having overcome Nottingham Forest in the last round they will be hoping to spring an upset here to progress to the Quarter Final.
The second game under the Friday night lights sees another Premier League vs Championship clash. Leicester City have overcome lower league opponents in the previous two rounds and host Sheffield United this time. With one win in their last five league games, Leicester are out of form but still sit 8th in the table. Sheffield United are also 8th, just outside the playoffs. They have two wins, two draws and two defeats from their last six.
One of the more notable games between Wigan and Manchester City was the 2013 FA Cup Final with the now League One side lifting the trophy. The two sides meet again on Monday with the hosts aiming for a similar upset. Both teams are performing well in their respective leagues, Man City’s results this season are difficult to ignore but similarly, Wigan could top their division if they win a game in hand. City were 2-0 winners away to Cardiff in the last round and Wigan progressed with the same scoreline against West Ham.
Two all Premier League ties are taking place during the Fifth Round. Huddersfield Town have already beaten Manchester United at home in the league this season and will be aiming for a repeat this weekend. After needing extra time in the replay to overcome Championship strugglers Birmingham in the previous round, Huddersfield will need to up their game to progress here. Manchester United ran out comfortable winners over Yeovil in the same round but have struggled in their last two away league games. Huddersfield are just outside the relegation zone having won their last game.
West Brom’s game against Southampton is the second all Premier League tie as both sides try to put their relegation battle on hold to continue the cup run. West Brom are bottom of the league, seven points from safety and haven’t won in four games. They did knock out cup hopefuls Liverpool in the last round though so know they have it in them to raise their game. Southampton’s one win in five hasn’t been enough to keep them out of the relegation zone either but they are closer to safety than their opponents. They knocked out Watford in the previous round and fans will be hoping the journey doesn’t end here.
After struggling against lower league opponents in the previous round, Tottenham will be aiming for safe passage to the Quarter Final in this round. They travel to Rochdale who are currently bottom of League One and are without a win in the last six league games. A 1-0 win over Millwall in the fourth round replay got them this far and they will aim to use Newport Country as a model of how to play Tottenham. After coming from behind to draw 1-1 at Newport, Tottenham then progressed with ease through the replay. That being the only disappointing result from their last month which has seen Spurs take points off three of their top six rivals.
The lowest ranked side still remaining in the competition have perhaps the best chance of pulling off an upset as they travel to a Premier League side. Coventry City, having already eliminated top league opposition in Stoke, now travel to Brighton looking to put their name in the draw for the next round. Picking up points in their last three league games has helped Brighton move away from relegation danger but the bottom half is still tightly packed. They will likely value Premier League points higher but may not face a better opportunity to extend their cup run. They had a narrow win over Middlesbrough in the previous round.
The final fixture sees Carlos Carvalhal returning to his former club with his rejuvenated Swansea side. Since taking over he has taken them from bottom of the table to out of the relegation zone, winning four league games in the process. It took a replay to get past Notts County in the last round and they are now drawn away at Sheffield Wednesday. Wednesday are 15th in the Championship table and beat Reading in the last round.