By News Team
22nd January 2021
The jam-packed January schedule shows no signs of letting down just yet with the next round of FA Cup fixtures starting on Friday.
We’ve taken a look at the standout fixtures from the fourth round…
Can Chorley conquer Wolves?
Chorley were the talk of the town in round three as they stunned Derby and their reward for that 2-0 win is a home tie against four-time FA Cup winners Wolves.
Wanderers who have struggled since losing talismanic striker Raúl Jiménez to injury but did enough to beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in the third round.
National League North side Chorley, the last non-league club left standing, are five divisions below Wolves in the football pyramid and, not surprisingly, are 16/1 to win.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have slipped down the Premier League table, losing four of their last six league games, and need a good cup run to keep their season alive. And this is also a perfect opportunity to banish the nightmarish memory of the darkest day in the club’s history. That came at Victory Park in 1986 when Chorley thrashed a penniless fourth division Wolves 3-0 in an FA Cup first round tie.
Wanderers are very short 3/20 to put that right, and you’d imagine they will.
Saints take on the Gunners
Southampton were the last team to book their place in the fourth round thanks to their third round win over Shrewsbury on Tuesday night.
That was a relatively straightforward affair for Ralph Hassenhutl’s much-changed team with players rested ahead of this one against the 14-time FA Cup winning Gunners.
This is the first of a double-header between the two teams as they also meet in the league next Tuesday and, for both clubs, this competition is the only chance of silverware this season although a tricky trip to Wolves awaits in the next round.
Surprisingly Southampton and Arsenal have only been drawn against each other four times in the FA Cup – and the Gunners have won all four, including 5-0 win at St Mary’s in a fourth round tie in 2017. It’s highly unlikely we’ll see a repeat of that scoreline on Saturday lunchtime but Mikel Arteta’s team are favoured at 13/10 to come through.
Battle of the seasiders
It’s the battle of the Seasiders at the Amex as the League One Blackpool take on Premier League Brighton.
And given the host’s dreadful record at home in the last year – just two Premier League wins – the Pool will be confident of pulling off a cup scalp.
Neil Critchley’s side play some nice stuff and are ticking along in mid table in the league but Brighton boss Graham Potter has the deepest and most talented squad in the club’s history. They fielded a strong team but still needed penalties to get past Newport, but you felt that might have galvanised the Seagulls, who have been excellent in their last two games at Manchester City and Leeds.
Man Utd and Liverpool take each other on again
It’s round two of Manchester United v Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday and given there was little between the teams in the Premier League at Anfield last time, you can expect another close encounter here. You would usually expect several changes for an FA Cup tie but neither manager will want to take a backward step, especially against the arch rivals.
Jurgen Klopp picked plenty of his stars against the Aston Villa kids’ side in the last round so expect to see the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane take the field.
It’s a similar story for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the Norwegian needs to keep United’s unbeaten run going. Defeat against their arch rivals — even in the Cup — could derail their Premier League title charge.
The Red Devils have beaten Liverpool just once in their past 11 meetings in all competitions and would love to improve that poor record.
That shows just how tight this will be, and we could easily see penalties here. It’s 11/1 for either team to progress via that method.