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FA Cup 4th Round: Predicting the Winner of Every Tie

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIJanuary 25, 2013

FA Cup 4th Round: Predicting the Winner of Every Tie

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    The FA Cup is the premier knockout competition in England, with the winner able to boast the ultimate supremacy over their fellow domestic teams.

    It's a great chance for the lower-ranked teams to pit themselves against the best in the Premier League and make a name for themselves with a huge upset result—meaning that drama and high-action football are never far away from the Cup.

    We're into the fourth round of the competition, with some great matchups set to take place in the knockout tournament this week.

    Read on to see who'll be moving through to the fifth round of competition and whose campaign will come screeching to a halt this weekend.

Millwall vs. Aston Villa

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    Friday, January 25, at 2:45 p.m. ET

    Aston Villa will be needing to rebound after their heartbreaking loss to Bradford City in the Capital One Cup and reinstall some confidence in the club.

    Millwall are certainly no slouches and typically perform well in the FA Cup, but the Villans simply have too much to play for in this one and will triumph here.

    Aston Villa win 2-1.

Stoke vs. Manchester City

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    Saturday, January 26, at 7:45 a.m. ET

    The Britannia Stadium is a tough place to play and Manchester City do struggle away from home, but there only looks like being one winner here, and that's the defending Premier League champions.

    The Potters have allowed a stack of goals of late this year and don't look at all as sound defensively as they once did. City, by comparison, are slowly whittling away at United's lead in the competition and will look to continue their English success here.

    Manchester City win 4-1.

Bolton Wanderers vs. Everton

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    Saturday, January 26, at 10 a.m. ET

    Bolton Wanderers really aren't playing that great right now and are in a real transition period at the moment, despite a big result against Sunderland in the last round.

    Everton, by comparison, were arguably the worst they'd been all season against Southampton last week and yet they still managed to walk away with a scoreless draw.

    The gulf in class might not seem like much between these two sides, but there is one, and Everton will walk away comfortable winners from this clash.

    Everton win 2-0.

Brighton Hove and Albion vs. Arsenal

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    Saturday, January 26, at 10 a.m. ET

    Brighton are in a great chance to earn promotion in the Championship, and that is where their focus will be. Arsenal, on the other hand, are in real trouble to stay alive in the top-four race in the Premier League, face Bayern Munich next in the Champions League and are out of the Capital One Cup.

    They just came off a big win against West Ham, and I wouldn't be at all surprised here to see Arsene Wenger's men take this one a little bit more seriously than they might have otherwise. Expect a strong performance from the Gunners to keep their confidence flowing.

    Arsenal win 3-1.

Derby County vs. Blackburn Rovers

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    Saturday, January 26, at 10 a.m. ET

    One of the more evenly matched ties in the fourth round of the FA Cup sees Blackburn Rovers make the trip to league rivals Derby County.

    Derby sit just one spots ahead of Rovers in the Championship at the moment and, having drawn together last time these two teams met, will be looking to go one better than the visitors here.

    However, I can't see this one opening up that much—perhaps Rovers playing tight and looking for the replay to come back to their home ground. And if that happens, then I think they'll be tough to beat and will win through to the fifth round of the Cup.

    Draw 0-0 (Blackburn win 1-0 on replay)

Huddersfield Town vs. Leicester City

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    Saturday, January 26, at 10 a.m. ET

    Simon Grayson lost his job at Hudderfield after losing a stack of games in the Championship, with the club winless through their past 12 matches coming into this one.

    They're simply not in a good way at the moment and their opponents, Leicester, come into this one on the back of a five-game winning streak that has seen them move up to second in the table and in line for a promotion at the end of the year.

    Expect the away side to come out big here and keep their confidence rolling with a strong win here—leaving Huddersfield with another loss to their name.

    Leicester City win 2-1.

Hull City vs. Barnsley

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    Saturday, January 26, at 10 a.m. ET

    Hull currently sit third in the Championship, but have won just one of their past five fixtures in the league. Fortunately they play a Barnsley side sitting near the bottom of the league and with just 29 goals to their name this season in the Championship.

    Expect Steve Bruce's side to be simply too good for their opponents here and restore some of the early-season confidence that they had at the club.

    Hull City win 3-0.

Macclesfield Town vs. Wigan Athletic

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    Saturday, January 26, at 10 a.m. ET

    Wigan Athletic have been poor this year in the Premier League, but not even they will manage to lose to Macclesfield Town here—despite playing away from home.

    Macclesfield currently sit mid-table in the Conference Premier League (English fifth division) and have won just two games in their past seven matches.

    This one is pretty easy to call.

    Wigan Athletic win 3-0.

Middlesborough vs. Aldershot Town

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    Saturday, January 26, at 10 a.m. ET

    Here's the upset of the round prediction from me—Aldershot Town to seriously put up a fight against the Championship side Middlesborough.

    Middlesborough are currently in fifth in the Championship, but just three points off second-place Leicester City, and know that they will be in a real fight for a promotion bid at the end of the year—meaning that most of their attention will be focused on that.

    By comparison, Aldershot will be lining up their strongest team to see if they can stay alive in the Cup for another roun, and will certainly be no easy-beats.

    Middlesborough have lost their last three league matches, so perhaps the upset isn't as crazy as it seems here in this one. And even if it is, I'm still going with the League Two side.

    Aldershot Town win 2-1.

Norwich City vs. Luton Town

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    Saturday, January 26, at 10 a.m. ET

    Luton Town played incredibly well to shock Wolverhampton Wolves in the third round of the Cup and will carry a lot of confidence with them into their fixture this week.

    However, they're playing a good Norwich City side at Carrow Road this year—a venue where the Canaries have beaten the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal this season.

    Norwich will simply be too strong at home here and, with not much else to play for this season, will be taking this fourth-round clash very seriously.

    Norwich City win 2-0.

Queens Park Rangers vs. MK Dons

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    Saturday, January 26, at 10 a.m. ET

    Queens Park Rangers' focus is not with their FA Cup clash here—it's on next Tuesday when they take on Manchester City in the Premier League.

    Harry Redknapp is far less interested in the Cup than he is in staying alive in the league and, given the London club's strong run of form in the EPL lately, could rest a stack of players in this fixture so that they are fresh for Tuesday's match.

    And with that thinking alone, MK Dons have a real chance here, with Karl Robinson's side playing some good, attacking football that could get them the result.

    I don't think they get the job done here, but I do think they force a replay, which unfortunately for them will better coincide with the London club's schedule. They'll be able to field a stronger team and will win the following match on replay.

    Draw 1-1 (QPR win 3-1 on replay).

Reading vs. Sheffield United

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    Saturday, January 26, at 10 a.m. ET

    Sheffield United haven't won in their last four matches and now end up away to a Reading side that will be full of confidence after winning away from home in the Premier League for the first time in six years.

    Expect the Royals to continue their confidence-building run with a strong win here that sets them up for a big performance against Chelsea next Tuesday in the league.

    Reading win 2-0.

Manchester United vs. Fulham

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    Saturday, January 26, at 12:30 p.m. ET

    Manchester Untied are simply cruising at the moment and even if they run out their B-team this weekend (which they somewhat will), they'll still be far too strong for the Cottagers.

    Dare we say treble?

    Perhaps not yet, but it is still alive and will no doubt be in the back of the mind of Sir Alex Ferguson, who knows his side have a relatively easy match at home to Southampton on Tuesday.

    Manchester United win 3-1.

Brentford vs. Chelsea

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    Sunday, January 27, at 7 a.m. ET

    Rafa Benitez might not be the most liked man at Chelsea at the moment; imagine how he would go if they were to lose to Brentford in the FA Cup!

    The League One side are playing good football, in line for a promotion to the Championship and know that this one is pretty much a lost cause.

    Benitez's Blues will win this one simply because they have to—especially after failing to make it through to the final of the Capital One Cup.

    Chelsea win 4-0.

Leeds United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

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    Sunday, January 27, at 9 a.m. ET

    Leeds United are historically a pretty good team in the FA Cup, but they'll struggle to get through Tottenham Hotspur here—even with the home-ground advantage.

    Spurs have been very good under Villas-Boas this year, and with the former Chelsea manager technically part of the Blues' Cup-winning campaign last year, he'd love to see it through this year with his new London club—throwing it back in the face of Roman Abramovich.

    Tottenham are just too talented here.

    Tottenham Hotspur win 3-0.

Oldham Athletic vs. Liverpool

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    Sunday, January 27, at 11 a.m. ET

    Liverpool narrowly lost the Cup last year to Chelsea and will be out to achieve similar (if not better) results in the competition in 2013.

    Oldham are a significantly worse team than the Reds who, even without Luis Suarez, will still likely have Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini in attack to carry them through this one with relative ease.

    Liverpool win 2-0.

     

    Any predictions that you disagree with in the FA Cup this week?

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