We have reached the fourth round of this season’s FA Cup competition and there are some great games to look forward to. All the action gets underway with Manchester United hosting Championship side, Middlesbrough, at Old Trafford on Friday, February 4.
There are 16 games in total across the weekend and here is a preview of some of the standout fixtures.
Manchester United v Middlesbrough
Manchester United progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup thanks to a 1-0 success over Aston Villa. The Red Devils continue to uninspired in the Premier League recently, with some performances not being that convincing at all.
Middlesbrough had to rely on an injury-time own goal to defeat League Two Mansfield Town in the previous round and will fancy their chances of causing an upset at Old Trafford. Boro have been in excellent form in the Championship and have given themselves a great chance of reaching the play-offs since the arrival of Chris Wilder as new manager.
- United will go into the game as the 1/3 favourites to win in 90 minutes with 888sport, with the draw priced at 41/10. However, there is fair value at 31/4 for Middlesbrough to record a famous victory.
Kidderminster Harriers v West Ham United
There is a fascinating game on Saturday lunchtime which sums up the spirit of the FA Cup. Premier League West Ham travel to face Kidderminster Harriers, a club that are five levels below them in the football pyramid.
The Harriers were rewarded with the visit of the Hammers thanks to an impressive 2-1 win over Championship club Reading in round three. Goals from Sam Austin and Amari Morgan-Smith helped the National League North side to a famous victory, and they will go into this game with nothing to lose.
West Ham enjoyed to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Leeds United in the previous round, thanks to goals from Manuel Lanzini and Jarrod Bowen. With the Hammer’s challenging for a spot in the top four of the Premier League, David Moyes might decide to rest some players. But he will also see it as a great chance for West Ham to progress in the competition and is expected to field a strong team.
- West Ham are 1/4 favourites with 888sport to win in 90 minutes, with Kidderminster priced at 41/4. However, better value might be found in both teams scoring which is 11/10, and in over 3.5 goals at 6/4.
Nottingham Forest v Leicester City
There is a big East Midlands derby at the City Ground on Sunday afternoon, as Championship promotion hopefuls, Nottingham Forest, host Premier League side, Leicester City.
Forest produced an excellent display in round three to defeat current FA Cup holders, Arsenal, 1-0. Lewis Grabban’s late goal was enough to decide the tie and continue the Reds’ impressive form in recent weeks, which has seen them become real play-off contenders.
Leicester are experiencing an inconsistent season in league and cup competitions. However, they beat Watford 4-1 in the previous FA Cup round to set up this game against Forest.
This will be the first meeting between these clubs since 2014 when they met in the Championship and played out a 2-2 draw at the City Ground.
- 888sport have priced another draw at 5/2, which are the same odds as for Forest to win in 90 minutes. Whilst Leicester are the 21/20 favourites.
Other FA Cup Fourth Round ties to note
There are several all-Premier League ties during fourth round weekend, whilst other top flight clubs have been given seemingly kind draws. Here’s a list of some of the other fixtures that could spring a surprise:
- Chelsea (PL) v Plymouth Argyle (L1)
- Crystal Palace (PL) v Hartlepool United (L2)
- Wolves (PL) v Norwich City (PL)
- Man City (PL) v Fulham (C)
- Tottenham Hotspur (PL) v Brighton (PL)
- Liverpool (PL) v Cardiff City (C)
- AFC Bournemouth (C) v Boreham Wood (NL)