Potential FA Cup fourth round shocks and the impact they could have

Simon Lillicrap by Simon Lillicrap / 27 January 2017, 15:14

The FA Cup returns this weekend and to mark the occasion we preview the fourth round ties that could provide a shock result, and in turn, what impact a cup upset would have on that club's manager.

Liverpool v Wolves

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp may be starting to feel the pressure after his side were knocked out of the EFL Cup in midweek to Southampton. His side have now won just one of their last seven games and remain without key man Sadio Mane. Klopp fielded a weakened team twice against Plymouth in the previous round but he is unlikely to do the same with Liverpool now competing on just two fronts.

Paul Lambert’s Wolves are 21/2 to cause an upset at Anfield and currently lie 18th in the Championship. An impressive 2-0 win away at Stoke in the last round could give them some inspiration as they look to take advantage of Liverpool’s lack of confidence. They have won three out of their last six away game and if they can have a good game, as they did at Stoke, they have every chance.

If Liverpool go out at this stage of the competition it could have serious implications for Jurgen Klopp.

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Likelihood of upset: 3/5 stars

Chelsea v Brentford

The Premier League's dominant force, Chelsea, host Championship side Brentford on Saturday as they look to extend their run of nine consecutive home wins since changing to their now favoured 3-4-3 formation. Antonio Conte will be taking this competition seriously as a double trophy win in his debut season would be an excellent start to his Chelsea career.

Dean Smith will take his side to Stamford Bridge hopeful of replicating Bradford two seasons ago. The then League One side beat Chelsea 4-2 away from home to shock the home side. The bookies don’t see this happening again this weekend however with the 15th placed Championship side priced at 18/1 to get a win. The absence of West Ham bound Scott Hogan will surely hurt the Bees.

Likelihood of upset: 2/5 stars

Lincoln v Brighton

One of the stories of the third round was the Cowley brothers leading Conference side Lincoln to a last minute 1-0 win against Ipswich, after holding the Championship side to a 2-2 draw at Portman Road. The Imps will be hoping to repeat the trick against Championship leaders Brighton who should provide a sterner test. Lincoln are leading the Conference so confidence will be high that they can claim another scalp on home turf.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton does have a record of being on the end of 4th FA Cup shocks, he oversaw Premier League Norwich as they lost to non-league Luton in 2013. Lincoln are 4/1 to dump him out of the famous competition again.

Likelihood of upset: 4/5 stars

Middlesbrough v Accrington

Aitor Karanka is under serious pressure at Middlesbrough and is currently favourite for the sack at 4/9. Anything but a win on Saturday afternoon could cost him his job. Luckily for him his side have what looks like a favourable draw at home to Accrington who are in a relegation battle in League Two.

Stanley have beaten Bradford, Woking and Luton to get this far and will be looking to take advantage of the precarious situation Karanka finds himself in. They are 11/1 to get the win.

Likelihood of upset: 2/5 stars

Tottenham v Wycombe

Wycombe are on an incredible run of form. They are 15 games unbeaten and sit 5th in the League two table. FA Cup ties don’t come much tougher than facing Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Spurs haven’t lost to a side outside the Premier League at home in over a decade, which is why Wycombe are out at 20/1 to continue their own winning form this weekend.

Likelihood of upset: 2.5/5 stars

Sutton v Leeds

Arguably the biggest tie of the round sees Sutton United take on Leeds. Garry Monk’s Leeds are in fantastic form in the Championship and lie third in the table. Meanwhile Sutton lie 15th in the Conference and overcame AFC Wimbledon in the 3rd round after a replay.

Sutton’s biggest advantage will no doubt be the 3G pitch they play on rather than grass. League sides such as Leeds are not use to playing on such surfaces and this could tip the tie in their favour. At 5/1 Sutton Utd could be a good bet.

Likelihood of upset: 4/5 stars

Man Utd v Wigan

Jose Mourinho’s Man United host Warren Joyce’s Wigan Athletic in United's 56th consecutive televised FA Cup game. Mourinho’s domestic cup record in England is very good and it would be a huge surprise if viewers tuning in saw an upset on Sunday.

Wigan are 21st in the Championship and will be unlikely to test a strong Red Devils squad. The club's odds of 22/1 are the highest of the weekend.

Likelihood of upset: 1/5 stars

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