FA Cup 2013: Most Intriguing Fourth-Round Matches

Tim KeeneyContributor IJanuary 16, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:  Edin Dzeko of Manchester City competes with Geoff Cameron of Stoke City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Stoke City at the Etihad Stadium on January 1, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

After some thrilling Wednesday finishes (I'm looking at you, Arsenal and Fulham), the fourth round of the FA Cup is finally set, and it should be chalk full of even more must-see action. 

We still have a ways to go until the finals of this prestigious tournament, and there are still some squads who stand practically no chance to make a run at silverware, but plenty of the big boys are still around.

Let's take a look at the most intriguing matches. 


Macclesfield Town vs. Wigan Athletic

I know what you're thinking, and no, I'm not crazy. 

I'm just a sucker for upsets, and this matchup provides potential for a ginormous one. 

The Silkmen may currently be in 10th place in the English Conference, which is the fifth-best league in England, but that didn't stop them from knocking off Cardiff City, a squad that appears set to earn promotion to the EPL next season. 

So why can't they knock off another EPL club?

Especially one like Wigan Athletic, which is currently fighting relegation. 

I'll admit that it's a longshot, but with Matthew Barnes-Homer playing extremely well for the Silkmen, anything can happen. 


Stoke City vs. Manchester City

The Citizens have to be seen as one of the favorites to make it to the finals, but they weren't exactly given any breaks in the fourth-round draw, as they earned the unfortunate task of taking on Stoke City. 

While the Potters did fall to Manchester City, 3-0, earlier this month, they pulled out a draw at the beginning of the EPL season, are currently a very solid 10th on the table and have showed the ability to play some very impressive defense.

In fact, Stoke City has given up just 24 goals in Premier League play (third least), while Manchester City has found the back of the net 43 times.

Something has to give.


Manchester United vs. Fulham

You don't have to go far to find the only other fourth-round matchup boasting two Premier League clubs.

Much like their cross-town rival Blues, Manchester United, a heavy favorite to win this tournament, will have to take on a squad it already sees twice per season: Fulham. 

The Red Devils, the Premier League's top club this season, will undoubtedly be favored, but Fulham is no pushover. 

The Cottagers can put the ball in the back of the net in a hurry, while United has often struggled with inconsistency in the back.  The Cottagers are coming off an exciting, momentum-building win over Blackpool, and they battled Manchester United well in a 3-2 loss at the beginning of the season.