We’re into February now and attention is already turning to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The competition started in August with the preliminary rounds, while League One and League Two sides enter around November. But for the biggest sides, the third round is where the FA Cup really begins.
Of course, in the third round we see the Championship and Premier League teams start their FA Cup campaigns, and over the past two rounds we’ve already seen a couple top-flight sides fall. The biggest were Arsenal, who lost the Premier League head-to-head against Liverpool, beaten 2-0 at the Emirates.
Also dropping from the Premier League in the third round were Burnley, Brentford, West Ham and Crystal Palace, the latter losing after a replay to Everton. In the fourth round, there were five all-Premier League ties, meaning at least five would be knocked out. Those were Aston Villa, Tottenham, Everton, Fulham and Sheffield United, with no upsets in the top flight. But there was a big upset at Championship high-flyers, with Maidstone winning 2-1 at Portman Road to continue their fairytale.
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FA Cup fifth-round draw
With the fourth round replays over, we now know the final 16 teams left in the FA Cup. The fifth round draw has brought another three all-Premier Leagues, with Nottingham Forest hosting Manchester United. Alongside that, holders Manchester City travel to Luton Town while Wolves host Brighton.
Sixth-tier Maidstone’s reward for their win was a trip to another Championship side Coventry City.
Monday 26 February
- Coventry vs Maidstone (7:45pm)
Tuesday 27 January
- Bournemouth vs Leicester (7:30pm)
- Blackburn vs Newcastle (7:45pm)
- Luton vs Man City (8pm)
Wednesday 27 January
- Chelsea vs Leeds (7:45pm)
- Nottingham Forest vs Man Utd (7:45pm)
- Wolves vs Brighton (7:45pm)
- Liverpool vs Southampton (8pm)
Who is the favourite to win the FA Cup?
As is the case at the start of every tournament, Man City were the early favourites for the FA Cup, which would see them be the first team to win the competition back-to-back since Arsenal in 2015. And they’re putting up a stern defence of it, knocking out Tottenham in the last round.
Liverpool are second favourites, having already reached the semi-finals of the EFL Cup alongside their place at the top of the Premier League table. And the Reds face Championship side Southampton next, having knocked out Arsenal.
Which teams will challenge for the FA Cup?
A slew of Premier League big-hitters are expected to compete with Man Utd, who now have the FA Cup as their one chance of winning a trophy this season, leading the pack. Newcastle last reached the FA Cup final in 1999 but they’ve become a credible knockout team under Eddie Howe’s leadership.
Brighton are one of the more exciting teams playing in England’s top division and will fancy a deep run with the former looking to become first-time winners. Chelsea will also look to the FA Cup as a second chance for European football, should their EFL Cup final end in defeat.