FA Cup Fourth Round Preview: Top Three Games To Watch

FA Cup Fourth Round Preview: Top Three Games To Watch

For EPL fans, football on TV resumes next week with the fourth round of the FA Cup on February 4, with 14 Premier League sides left in the competition, including reigning champions Leicester City.

While Brendan Rodgers’ side have an exciting match-up with ‘giant killers’ Nottingham Forest on their hands, we will take a look at the three most eye-catching ties to watch out for in the competition’s fourth round.

Manchester City vs Fulham

Runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City will be overwhelming favourites to reach FA Cup last-16 when they welcome second-tier Fulham to the Etihad.

Since a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in late October, Pep Guardiola’s men have gone unbeaten in their last 14 games across domestic competitions, including a 4-1 thrashing of Swindon Town in the previous FA Cup round.

The Cityzens have established complete control in the Premier League since the Spaniard arrived at the helm in 2016, but they have only won one FA Cup crown under Guardiola’s stewardship, courtesy of 2018/19 success.

Hence, Man City will aim to improve on last season’s semi-final exit at the hands of Chelsea, which is likely to spell disaster for Fulham’s chances of staging an upset here.

But led by the Championship top-scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Cottagers will at least hope to end their seven-game scoreless run at the Etihad.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton & Hove Albion 

One of only three all-Premier League ties in the FA Cup fourth round pits Tottenham against Brighton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Spurs have enjoyed a noticeable upturn in form under new manager Antonio Conte, but lifting the FA Cup title remains their only remaining chance for acquiring a piece of silverware this season.

Following underwhelming exits from the Europa Conference League and the League Cup, coupled with their Premier League wobble, the Londoners have nothing but the FA Cup to play for this term.

That is not good news for Brighton, who headed into January’s international break on a run of three identical 1-1 draws in England’s top-flight.

Graham Potter’s men have defied every expectation this season, and they will need another piece of magic if they are to prevail in this revenge-poised tie.

Indeed, Tottenham will have vengeance on their minds after falling to a narrow 1-0 league defeat at the Amex Stadium in their most recent competitive showdown back in January 2021.

Manchester United vs Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough’s visit to Old Trafford would ordinarily be a walk in the park for Manchester United (second on the list of all-time FA Cup winners), but the Red Devils’ unconvincing performances this season suggest otherwise.

The last time the Boro featured in the Premier League back in 2016/17, they lost both seasonal meetings with United by an aggregate score of 5-2.

However, despite boasting one of Europe’s most devastating attacking line-ups, Ralf Rangnick’s men have experienced a topsy-turvy season so far.

League Cup elimination at the hands of West Ham, accompanied by faint hopes of winning the Champions League, let alone the Premier League, leaves United with this competition as their best shot at glory.

Though this is not the kind of fixture where you would expect Rangnick to field his best players, the German could still decide to throw Cristiano Ronaldo and co into the fray.