Here’s a quick look at the FA Cup Fourth Round Draw — and the FA Cup Fifth Round Draw, while we’re at it.
As with so many other things these days, the FA Cup Fourth Round draw wasn’t like it normally is — because it was followed immediately by the FA Cup Fifth Round Draw. I assume this was because of Covid, but I can’t see how it would have saved time or anything.
Anyway, for the first time anyone can remember, we now know, sort of, who awaits the winner of each tie. So let’s take a look at some of the interesting matchups as the FA Cup moves forward.
First, as always, a little background: For those who don’t know, What is the FA Cup? Well, read that linked post or check out this video:
FA Cup Fourth Round: January 23-24, 2021
Peter Crouch was doing the honors on the BT Sports broadcast, and he provided his usual level of entertainment…
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 11, 2021
Here is the whole Fourth Round draw, with home teams listed first:
The big game for most people will be Liverpool away to Manchester United, just a week after they play in the league at Liverpool. United fans, and many others, are meanwhile up in arms about Manchester City playing away to Cheltenham Town; conspiracy theorists love to allege that City’s good luck in recent cup draws is actually because the fix is in, the balls are frozen, or something.
Personally, I am thrilled that Chorley get Wolverhampton at home, although of course it sucks there won’t be fans there. Premier League vs non-league is what people love about the FA Cup.
One of the strange things about the Cup is how it throws up repeat fixtures. Man U playing Liverpool in consecutive weeks is one thing, but Arsenal will probably play at Southampton twice in four days!
I was also hoping for derbies, so when Sheffield United came out first, and Sheffield Wednesday were still out there, I was out of my seat, anticipating a Steel City Derby. Alas, the Blades get Plymouth Argyle at home, and Wednesday go to Everton. Other derbies-that-could-have-been included any combination of Chelsea-West Ham-Millwall, Fulham-Brentford, Barnsley–Doncaster, and Liverpool-Everton.
For neutrals, at least the reality that either Man U or Liverpool won’t make the Fifth Round is some consolation.
And speaking of that Fifth Round…
FA Cup Fifth Round Draw
These games, the round of 16, will be played February 9 to 11, midweek rather than the usual weekend, because of all the Covid fixture congestion.
For me, there’s nothing of terrible interest here at the moment. It’s also weird not knowing who is really in each tie.
Crawley Town will be licking their chops: get past a Bournemouth side who just might play reserves to prioritize promotion back to the Premier League, then you get a Fulham or Burnley team who might do the same to avoid relegation, and who knows…
Man U and Liverpool will figure that winning their tie means an easy path through the next one, while both Chelsea and Man City are probably already wondering who they’ll get in the quarterfinals.