Will There Be Giantkillings in This Weekend’s FA Cup Fourth Round?
Without doubt one of the most exciting things every year about the FA Cup, especially in these third and fourth rounds, is the chance of a giant killing, when a lower league team takes on a top division team and gets the better of them.
Over the years there have been some famous giant-killings, Wrexham beating Arsenal, Tranmere beating Everton at Goodison Park, Sutton United beating cup holders Coventry City and many more. Already this season we have seen Sheffield Wednesday beat Brighton away from home while Derby defeated Crystal Palace and Fulham got the better of Aston Villa.
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So are there any games coming up this weekend where we could see one of the ‘big boys’ toppled by a team from a lower division? Here’s our tips for the games where we think a giant slaying is most likely.
FA Cup 4th Round Potential Giant-Killings
Tranmere Rovers v Watford (3rd Round Replay) – 4/1 on a Tranmere win
The first of the potential giant killings this week comes in the 3rd Round replay on Thursday with Watford away to Tranmere having let go a 3-0 lead in the first game at Vicarage Road. Nigel Pearson has already indicated he will play a much weaker side in this game and that does give Tranmere hope, especially after how the first game finished. However Micky Mellon’s men have struggled in League One this season and their home form isn’t particularly great. I do feel this will be close but I just feel the extra quality Watford will have in midfield and attack will be the difference. However, that should have been the case in the first leg, so Tranmere do have a chances, especially when you consider their incredible giant-killing record over the years.
Giant Killing Rating – 4/10 – Watford should win, but don’t rule out another big Rovers upset.
Brentford v Leicester City – 16/5 on a Brentford victory
This is a tricky game for Leicester City. Brentford are doing very well in the Championship and have a potent attacking threat. Leicester have hit a run of sticky form of late and if they rest a number of players for this game, that hands another advantage to a talented home side. The question for me is if Brentford can keep Leicester out at the other end. If they can, then this could well be an upset, although I feel a draw is the most likely outcome.
Giant Killing Rating – 5/10 – I think this is a 50/50 game, with every player rested by Leicester handing more of an advantage to the home side.
Millwall v Sheffield United – 15/8 on a Millwall win
For me, of all the games this weekend where a giant could be slayed, this is the one. I can see Sheff Utd resting key men after two EPL games in the week and Millwall have, in contrast, had a good rest up to this game. The Lions are at home and taking on a Sheff Utd side that don’t score many even when their first teamers are playing. United will defend well, but even one goal may be enough to secure a win for the home side.
Giant Killing Rating – 7/10 – For me this is the game that has the biggest opportunity to see a Premier League side eliminated by a lower league opponent.
Hull v Chelsea – 11/2 on a Hull Win
Hull City have some of the most exciting attacking players in the Championship and the TV bosses have decided that the Tigers could cause a Chelsea side that is in a bit of a run of inconsistent form, a few problems here. I do agree with that to an extent, but it is worth noting that Chelsea’s form on the road has been markedly better than their home form for large parts of this season. I fancy Hull to score a goal, but I am not confident their back line can keep this inventive Chelsea team out.
Giant Killing Rating – 3/10 – I expect Hull to make it tricky but Chelsea should still go through.
Man City v Fulham – 14/1 on a Fulham win
Fulham are pushing hard in the Championship but even though Manchester City rest key players for the FA Cup, they still always pick extremely strong teams and as such, it is hard to see how Fulham can get a result here. With two games in a week before this game, Guardiola may opt to rest a few more big names here and that could be Fulham’s best chance of success. However, the injuries to the Cottagers key men is a big blow and as such, I don’t feel they stand much chance of success here.
Giant Killing Rating – 2/10 – City should prevail in this one very comfortably.
Shrewsbury Town v Liverpool – 6/1 on a Shrewsbury Town win
After a young Liverpool side defeated a strong Everton side at Anfield in the 3rd Round, I expect Jurgen Klopp to pick a very similar team here. Shrewsbury Town are a physically strong side and the Reds defenders will need to be up for a battle here but if Matip is getting back to fitness, he could come into defence which will help. Shrewsbury have beaten some top sides in previous years, but even a young Liverpool side looks dangerous and I just think the Reds will do enough to claim the win.
Giant Killing Rating – 3/10 – Shrewsbury have a chance against an under-strength Reds, but the visitors should still prevail.
Tranmere Rovers (or Watford) v Manchester United – Odds Not Yet Available
Should Tranmere make it past Watford, or the Hornets prevail at the second attempt, the winner’s reward is a home game against Manchester United. However, with United likely to play a very strong side for this game, I think it will be incredibly hard for Watford or Tranmere to get a result against them. United boss Solskjaer knows that his team need silverware to take off a bit of the pressure and the FA Cup is a good opportunity to do that. Watford have already said they are not interested in this competition and Tranmere’s home form is not great, although they did beat United’s U23 team 3-2 in the Leasing.Com Trophy this season.
Giant killing Rating – 1/10 if it is Tranmere who progress, 3/10 if it is Watford and Nigel Pearson keeps on picking an under-strength team.