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FA Cup preview

The FA Cup fourth round gets underway with 13 Premier League clubs and two non-league sides among those still hopeful of reaching Wembley.

Last Updated: 25/01/13 at 11:38

Macclesfield: Hoping to pull off another upset when they host Wigan

Macclesfield: Hoping to pull off another upset when they host Wigan

City visit Stoke in 2011 final repeat; Macclesfield and Luton still in it

The FA Cup continues with a busy fourth-round fixture list this weekend with 13 Premier League clubs and two non-league sides still in with a chance of reaching Wembley.

Four top-flight sides have been pitted against each other, with Stoke and 2011 winners Manchester City set to go head-to-head, while 11-time winners Manchester United host Fulham.

Elsewhere, lower league sides will be looking to pull off giant-killings as Arsenal visit Brighton and holders Chelsea travel to Brentford.

Macclesfield and Luton are the two non-league sides who remain in the tournament and will be seeking major upsets against Wigan and Norwich respectively.

Repeat

Manchester City toppled Stoke at Wembley almost two years ago to lift the FA Cup, ending a 35-year wait for silverware, and the two sides will meet again on Saturday lunch-time at the Britannia Stadium as the Potters seek revenge for that defeat.

City's Premier League title rivals Manchester United also face top-flight opposition as they look to take a step closer to lifting the trophy for the first time since 2004. Sir Alex Ferguson's men host Fulham at Old Trafford, with the Cottagers struggling to find consistent form this season.

Reigning champions Chelsea were dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Swansea in midweek and will be keen to bounce back from that disappointment on Sunday when they make the trip to League One high-fliers Brentford, who have lost just one in 11 in all competitions.

Arsenal also visit lower league opposition when they travel to Championship Brighton looking to build on their midweek 5-1 thumping of West Ham, with Gus Poyet's men sitting just outside the second-tier play-off places and unbeaten in five in all competitions. The Gunners know the FA Cup is now their best chance of silverware this season and will hope to avoid another shock after being dumped out of the League Cup by League Two Bradford.

Blue Square Premier side Macclesfield, the lowest-ranked club left in the competition, will be eyeing a shock win when they host Wigan, having already pulled off one big upset by beating Championship leaders Cardiff 2-1 in the third round. The struggling Latics are second-bottom of the Premier League and will hope to avoid humiliation against their non-league hosts.

Also seeking a giant-killing are Conference Premier club Luton, who visit Norwich looking to take advantage of a side who have lost six of their last nine games. For the Canaries, though, it is a chance to inject some much-needed confidence into the side as they target a change in fortunes.

In-form Tottenham make the trip to Championship club Leeds on Sunday looking to build on an impressive run of one defeat from 14 games, but Andre Villas-Boas' men will be wary of a Whites side who have caused upsets by knocking Southampton and Everton out of the Capital One Cup earlier this season.

Sunday's other game sees last year's runners-up Liverpool visit League One Oldham, who are 19th in the third-tier table but upset Nottingham Forest in the previous round to advance. They will be out for revenge after being thumped 5-1 by the Reds in the third round at Anfield last season.

Struggling Aston Villa get the fourth-round action started on Friday evening when they travel to Championship Millwall. Villa have already suffered one cup upset this week when they exited the League Cup at the hands of League Two Bradford at the semi-final stage and will be desperate to avoid another against the Lions.

Sheffield United have seen their automatic League One promotion hopes stutter in recent weeks and will be targeting a shock cup win at Reading to lift spirits in the Blades camp, with the top-flight strugglers third-bottom in the table but buoyed by four wins from their last five games.

Unbeaten

QPR remain rock-bottom of the Premier League as manager Harry Redknapp continues to try and turn things around and they also host League One promotion hopefuls in MK Dons as they bid to stretch a five-game unbeaten run.

The final top-flight club still in the competition are Everton, who make the trip to Championship side Bolton looking to build on their 5-1 rout of Cheltenham last time out in the cup.

A Yorkshire derby sees Hull host second-tier rivals Barnsley, with the two clubs sitting at opposite ends of the Championship table.

Two other all-Championship encounters see Derby host midtable rivals Blackburn, while managerless strugglers Huddersfield welcome promotion hopefuls Leicester.

Finally, Middlesbrough will look to sidestep an upset when they entertain League Two side Aldershot.

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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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