The two FA Cup fixtures on Sunday involve three Premier League teams but two clubs hoping for an upset. Since giant-killing is what the FA Cup is all about, these games are sure to be worth watching.
|FA Cup Fourth Round Fixtures: Sunday, January 26|
|Time (GMT)||Home Side||Away Side||TV Coverage||Live Stream|
|13:30||Sheffield United||Fulham||BT Sport 1/Fox Sports 2||BT Sport Online Player/FoxSoccer2Go|
|15:30||Chelsea||Stoke City||ITV/Fox Sports 2||ITV Online/FoxSoccer2Go|
Chelsea vs. Stoke City
With Fernando Torres suffering an injury to his lateral cruciate ligament in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Manchester United, "it's time for Demba," according to Jose Mourinho.
The Daily Star reported the Chelsea boss's comments and indicated that Ba will remain a Chelsea player in order to cover for Torres.
With the departure of Juan Mata to Manchester United, Chelsea wasted no time in pushing through a deal for Basel's Mohamed Salah. Much to the chagrin of Liverpool, one must assume.
Those hoping for a glimpse of the latest player to carry the burden of association with Lionel Messi will likely be disappointed, however. The Independent stated that Salah is not expected to feature at Stamford Bridge as the Blues look to put away Stoke.
The Potters themselves could bring back Kenwyne Jones to the lineup after the striker was dropped following his refusal to play against Liverpool.
Stoke have played Chelsea four times in the FA Cup, losing three of them. After racking up a 3-2 victory at the Britannia in December, Stoke know they can beat Mourinho's side. Coming to Stamford Bridge is a different matter, however, and it's difficult to see them pulling off the upset.
Prediction Chelsea 3-0 Stoke
Sheffield United vs. Fulham
If there's going to be an upset from these fixtures, it's likely to be here. Even then, it would be a huge shock.
Sheffield United currently languish 20th in League One, but Nigel Clough's side will be holding nothing back. After reaching the FA Cup final with Nottingham Forest in 1991, Clough knows the value of this competition lies in more than just money.
Speaking to The Star, Clough wasn't getting carried away with his team's recent fame:
We’re still conscious that the league is our priority. I don’t want to sound like a Premier League manager too much but it is.
However, the FA Cup run and the confidence it brings can only help in that department. There’s no conflict at all.
Having defeated Aston Villa, another Premier League team isn't going to phase the Blades. Progression here would constitute a genuine giant-killing cup run and these things can turn an entire season around.
Fulham put out a toothless Norwich side in the last round and will be confident of victory here. United must use the home support to spur them on and make life difficult for the London club. Of the two Cup games on this Sunday, this is the one to keep a close eye on.
Prediction Sheffield United 1-1 Fulham