We have reached the fourth round of this season’s FA Cup and there are some interesting games to look forward to this weekend. The action gets underway on Friday 4 February as Manchester United host Championship side, Middlesbrough, at Old Trafford.
There are sixteen games in total across the weekend and here is a preview of some of the standout fixtures.
Manchester United v Middlesbrough
Manchester United made it to the fourth round of the FA Cup thanks to a 1-0 success over Aston Villa. The Red Devils have enjoyed success in the Premier League recently, even if the performances haven’t been that convincing.
Middlesbrough had to rely on an injury-time own goal to defeat League Two, Mansfield Town, in the previous round but 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.
Kidderminster Harriers v West Ham United
The romance of the FA Cup is summed up on Saturday lunchtime as Premier League club, West Ham, travel to face Kidderminster Harriers, a club that are five levels below them in the football league pyramid.
The Harriers have been rewarded with the visit of the Hammers thanks to an impressive 2-1 win over Championship club, Reading, in the previous round. Goals from Sam Austin and Amari Morgan-Smith helped the National League North side to that 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 round three, 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 player’s; 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.
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. A late Lewis Grabban goal was enough to decide the tie and continue the Reds’ impressive form of recent weeks, which has seen them become real play-off contenders.
Leicester are experiencing an inconsistent season in their 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 and a similar score could be on the cards.
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