FA Cup 5th round potential shocks and the managerial impact they could have

by Simon Lillicrap / 16 February 2017, 12:59

The FA Cup makes its eagerly anticipated return this weekend as the 16 remaining teams do battle in the fifth round, as they bid to book their place in the quarter-finals. Below we pluck out the potential upsets and the impact a shock defeat would have on a losing manager.

Sutton v Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has been begged to leave by many Arsenal fans following their 5-1 hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich. A much-changed team could head to Sutton in what should be a comfortable passage through to the quarter-finals for Arsenal.

But that’s not how the FA Cup works. Sutton will be feeling confident having got a home tie and be playing on their 3G surface. This and their hard-working side helped them overcome Leeds in the previous round, and they could be on for one another one here.

Arsenal have lacked desire in previous matches and if they are anything less than 100% focused here they could be on the end of the one of the biggest FA Cup shocks of all time.

Sutton haven’t won a game since beating Leeds in the last round with the players’ focus possibly on this game. But Paul Doswell will be hoping his side will not need to much motivating ahead of the tie - They are tempting at 18/1 to win.

Likelihood of upset: 3.5/5 stars.

Millwall v Leicester

Claudio Ranieri is the manager under the most pressure in the Premier League. He is the favourite to be the next manager to be sacked at 4/6. They face a tough test to the Den where they take on Millwall, possibly fielding a weakened team given the Champions League game against Sevilla on Tuesday.

This could leave the door open for Millwall to capitalise. They have already beaten four teams at home in the FA Cup this season, two of those coming from the top tier. Ranieri will be keen that his side do not suffer the same fate as Bournemouth and Watford this weekend as the FA Cup could be his saving grace as Leicester face a relegation battle.

Neil Harris and Millwall are 19/10 to win.

Likelihood of upset: 4/5 stars

Blackburn v Manchester United

Jose Mourinho’s men visit Blackburn this weekend as they look to keep fighting on four fronts. Expect a weakened side from Manchester United as this game is sandwiched between two Europa League ties with Saint-Etienne, before their League Cup final next Sunday.

This could open the door for a misfiring Blackburn side. Owen Coyle’s side will be looking to capitalise on a weakened team however they also face a relegation battle in the Championship. They currently lie 23rd and are in a rut of form with just two league wins in their last 13.

A defeat to Blackburn would undoubtedly be one of the most humiliating moments in Mourinho's career, however his opposite number, Owen Coyle, may not even make the game, with rumours rife that he's set to be axed.

Blackburn are 17/2 for the win.

Likelihood of upset: 2/5 stars

Burnley v Lincoln

Sean Dyche’s Burnley host non-league Lincoln who have been one of the surprise packages of the FA Cup this season. Having already knocked out two Championship sides in Ipswich and Brighton Danny Cowley will be hoping his side can take it a step further and knocked out Premier League Burnley.

Burnley’s home form is nothing short of outstanding this season, they are unbeaten in their last eight at Turf Moor having won seven of them. Dyche has moulded his side to play high intensity football and work hard for the whole game as we saw against Chelsea at the weekend.

Lincoln are on fire this season having lost just twice in the past 28 games in all competitions. The Cowley brothers will be hoping for an upset on the day but it will be a real struggle at the fortress which is Turf Moor.

You can get odds of 21/2 for the Imps to win.

Likelihood of upset: 2.5/5 stars

Huddersfield v Man City

David Wagner has exceeded all expectations in West Yorkshire this season and his side currently lie 3rd in the Championship, with a real chance of promotion. They have continued this form in the FA Cup winning both their previous games in the tournament 4-0, albeit against lower-league opposition.

Pep Guardiola’s Man City also come into the game in good form and neither manager is fearing for his job unlike others in this list. Both sides are yet to concede in the competition with Man City, like their hosts, have hit eight goals. Following City’s recent good form Guardiola has gone from 14/1 to be the next manager to be sacked in the Premier League out to 40/1.

As for this game, it has the potential to be a high scoring encounter and if Huddersfield catch City on a bad day they have a real chance of upsetting the odds.

They are 6/1 to win the game.

Likelihood of upset: 3/5 stars


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Paul Lambert
(Stoke City)
18th May


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