FA Cup Shock Ratings: Can Lincoln Stun Arsenal?

Simon Lillicrap by Simon Lillicrap / 10 March 2017, 16:18

The FA Cup is coming towards its climax as we steam into the quarter-finals this weekend. Below we analyse all four ties, the chances of the underdog in each tie and the impact a shock would have on the managers in charge.

Arsenal v Lincoln

A loss would spell disaster for the under pressure Arsene Wenger as his tenure at the helm of the Gunners seemingly comes to an end. Protests from fans are increasing and with other clubs such as PSG showing an interest in the Frenchman it is becoming increasingly unlikely that he will be at the North London club next season.

Anyway, enough about Wenger, I’m sure we have all heard enough about him over the last few weeks, let’s look at the possibility of Lincoln doing the unthinkable. You can currently get odds of 40/1 for the Imps to secure an away win at the Emirates. They have been the story of this seasons FA Cup, beating Guiseley, Altrincham, Oldham, Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley to reach this stage. They showed in the last round how to beat a Premier League side away from home but playing at the Emirates will be a different challenge altogether than the battle they had at Turf Moor.

They have conceded just nine goals in their last 14 games and if they can keep Arsenal out for the first half an hour the crowd will grow frustrated and they could find themselves with a chance to nick it. Remember there is no replays in this year’s FA Cup at this stage so they will force extra time and penalties if the Imps can hold on for a draw.

Likelihood of upset: 3/5 stars

Tottenham v Millwall

Neil Harris’ Millwall have been stunning in the FA Cup at The Den this season winning all five of their home ties, three of those against Premier League clubs. Only Braintree Town have breached their defence this season in the competition and their form in the FA Cup has transferred into the league as they are unbeaten in 2017.

They face a Tottenham side who will be desperate to get a major trophy on the board for the first time since 2008, when they won the League Cup. They face an ‘easier’ home test than they could have had and a real chance to make it to Wembley, something which the fans will be desperate for.

Neither of these managers are under pressure given their success in their respective divisions, however Pocchetino will want to deliver the Spurs’ fans a major trophy and have real definitive proof that the club is progressing. Millwall may be a tougher tie than people expect but I feel that Tottenham will be too strong for the League One outfit.

Likelihood of upset: 2/5 stars

Middlesbrough v Man City

Two Premier League sides clash at the Riverside as an out of form Middlesbrough take on Pep Guardiola’s reinvigorated Man City. Guardiola has just won Manager of the Month for his sides impressive performances throughout February, and Aitor Karanka is the favourite in the Premier League League Sack Race - odds-on at 4/6.

The FA Cup has been enjoyable for the players and fans of the north-east club as their side has played without the pressure of the Premier League and put in their most fluid performances in the competition. They have scored seven goals in three games in the FA Cup compared to four goals in their last ten Premier League games.

City are unbeaten in their last 10 games in all competitions and their quality should shine through in this clash against a misfiring Middlesbrough

Likelihood of upset: 1.5/5 stars

Chelsea v Man United

Okay, so this one is loosely using the term ‘underdogs’ but Manchester United will not be expected to win this game away against the on-fire Chelsea. Antonio Conte looks set to win PFA manager of the year having seemingly sealed the Premier League title in his debut season.

Jose Mourinho’s side come into this game of the back of a 1-1 draw at Rostov which should see them through to the next round of the Europa League. They play their second-leg three days after this tie so it will be interesting to see the team he puts out. A treble in all three of the cups they entered would be a remarkable debut season for Mourinho, but the reward of a Champions League place means the Europa League is a priority.

Without Ibrahimovic they could play a pacey counter attacking game which could trouble Chelsea, although not much has been troubling the Blues recently. Chelsea should win this game and be set for the double in Conte’s debut season.

Likelihood of ‘upset’: 3/5 stars

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Neil Harris
Neil Harris
(Cardiff City)
21st January
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