FA Cup 2016-17 4th Round Preview

Overview

Two Non-League clubs are into the Fourth Round for the first time since Macclesfield Town and Luton Town appeared in it in 2013. Sutton United and Lincoln City both now have the chance of equalling the best ever FA Cup run by a Nonleague club since the current Cup format was put in place in 1925/26 season. Only seven clubs have achieved the feat, the last being the aforementioned Luton Town.

Both Sutton and Lincoln face Championship clubs, a three league gap, a gap matched by Wycombe Wanderers and Accrington Stanley who both travel to Premier League sides.

Accrington Stanley and Sutton United are both equalling their best ever FA Cup runs by appearing in the Fourth Round, whilst Lincoln City and Rochdale are both just one win away from equalling their best runs.

There are only two all-Premier League clashes in this year’s Fourth Round, Southampton versus Arsenal and Crystal Palace versus Manchester City, and these are the only two of the 16 ties that pit clubs together who will meet in League matches this season.

Ten ties involve clubs who’ve met in the FA Cup before (with Southampton versus Arsenal the only ‘repeat’ FA Cup Final of the round) and the most common match-up being Liverpool versus Wolverhampton Wanderers, who’ve met five times before with Wolves winning three out of the five. However, the not such good news for Wolves is that they hold the record for most FA Cup 4th Round exits with Thirty. (Coincidentally, Liverpool hosted the club with the most 3rd Round exits, Plymouth Argyle, in the previous round.)

Half of the clubs in the Fourth Round are former FA Cup winners with a further nine clubs counting being beaten Finalists as their best ever FA Cup performance.

Arsenal are into the Fourth Round for a record 21st successive time with Chelsea just behind them with 19 consecutive Fourth Round appearances.

 

Tie-by-Tie Previews

  1. Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League) v Wycombe Wanderers (EFL Two)

Level 1 v Level 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Wycombe Wanderers are in to the Fourth Round for only the second time in 112 FA Cup campaigns. The last time was 16 years ago when the Chairboys went all the way to the Semi-Finals. Tottenham Hotspur are currently trending to reach the Sixth Round (Quarter Finals) this season after being eliminated in the Third Round three years ago, the Fourth Round two years ago and the Fifth Round last season.

 

  1. Derby County (EFL Championship) v Leicester City (Premier League)

Level 2 v Level 1

Two previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, both won by Derby County without conceding a goal. These previous meetings took place so long ago, 1893/94 and 1908/09, the Foxes were still known as Leicester Fosse!

Both clubs were formed in 1884, but Derby County have six more campaigns and one more FA Cup win (1946). Leicester City, famously, hold the record of most FA Cup final appearances without lifting the trophy with four.

 

  1. Oxford United (EFL One) v Newcastle United (EFL Championship)

Level 3 v Level 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Newcastle United are into the Fourth Round for the first time in five years, and it is 11 years since the club appeared in the Fifth Round. Oxford United are into the Fourth Round for the second successive season, but it is 23 years since they last appeared in the Fifth Round. One of these clubs will end their long wait this season.

 

  1. Sutton United (National League) v Leeds United (EFL Championship)

Level 5 v Level 2

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 6-0 4th Round victory for Leeds United 47 years ago when the perceived difference between the two clubs was much greater than it is today.

Sutton United are equalling their best ever FA Cup run for the third time, achieved first in 1970 when facing Leeds United, and then again in 1989 after memorably defeating Division One side, and recent FA Cup winners, Coventry City in the Third Round. Leeds United last lost to Non-League opposition eight years ago when as a third tier side they were beaten 1-0 by Conference Premier club, Histon. A similar result would mean Sutton United would equal the best FA Cup of any Non-League club sine the current structure was put in place for the 1925/26 season.

 

  1. Liverpool (Premier League) v Wolverhampton Wanderers (EFL Championship)

Level 1 v Level 2

Five previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with the lower league side Wolverhampton Wanderers having the upper hand with three victories as opposed to just two for Liverpool. However, this is the first FA Cup meeting between the two clubs for 65 years.

It is six years since Wolves last appeared in the Fourth Round and a further three years since making the Fifth Round. Liverpool never failed to be in the Fourth Round over those same six years, but will be wary of their opponents who have already knocked out one Premier League side at their ground this season.

 

  1. Southampton (Premier League) v Arsenal (Premier League)

Level 1v Level 1

Three previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, all won by Arsenal including an FA Cup Final in 2003. In fact this is the earliest in the competition the two clubs have ever met with the three previous meetings occurring in the Quarter Finals (1979), Semi Finals (1927) and Final (2003).

Arsenal are in to the Fourth Round for a record consecutive 21st season and only failed to progress to the Fifth Round in four of those years, the last time being in 2010. Southampton have progressed beyond the Fourth Round just seven times over that same time period.

 

  1. Lincoln City (National League) v Brighton and Hove Albion (EFL Championship)

Level 5 v Level 2

Two previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with one win apiece. The clubs first met in 1914/15 season when it was Brighton who were the Non-League club. However, it was the Seagulls who won on that occasion, but the Imps won in 2003/04 when they were the underdogs. A similar outcome this year will see Lincoln equal the best FA Cup run of any Non-League club since the current structure was put in place for the 1925/26 season.

Lincoln City are appearing in the Fourth Round for the first time in 41 years, but haven’t appeared in the Fifth Round for 130 years, two seasons before the Football League even started, when they were defeated 3-0 by Glasgow Rangers. Brighton and Hove Albion, on the other hand, have made the Fifth Round three times in their last six FA Cup campaigns.

 

  1. Chelsea (Premier League) v Brentford (EFL Championship)

Level 1 v Level 2

Two previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, both won by Chelsea, but in the last meeting four years ago it required a replay to separate them.

Chelsea are in to the Fourth Round for the 19th successive season, the second longest run ever, behind Arsenal currently on twenty-one. Chelsea have only failed to make the Fifth Round twice in that time. Brentford, however, haven’t reached the Fifth Round for 11 years.

 

  1. Manchester United (Premier League) v Wigan Athletic (EFL Championship)

Level 1 v Level 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

FA Cup holders Manchester United are now level with Arsenal in terms of FA Cup wins (12 times), Runners-Up (7 times), and losing Semi-Finalists (9 times). The two most successful clubs in FA Cup history are only separated by the fact Arsenal have one more Quarter Final appearance to their name. Wigan Athletic are the last club to add their name to the list of FA Cup winners, becoming the 43rd different club to lift the trophy in 2013.

  1. Millwall (EFL One) v Watford (Premier League)

Level 3 v Level 1

First ever FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Both clubs have one FA Cup runners-up set of medals between them and both have been beaten Semi-Finalists within the last four seasons.

  1. Rochdale (EFL One) v Huddersfield Town (EFL Championship)

Level 3 v Level 2

Two previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, both won by Huddersfield Town and both at Spotland, the first time after a replay.

A win for Rochdale would mean the club would equal their best ever FA Cup run, achieved just twice before in 1990 and 2003. Huddersfield Town are in Fourth Round for first time in three years having been knocked out by Reading in both the last two campaigns.

 

  1. Burnley (Premier League) v Bristol City (EFL Championship)

Level 1 v Level 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Burnley last progressed beyond the Fourth Round six years ago whilst Bristol City haven’t reached the Fifth Round for 16 years.

 

  1. Blackburn Rovers (EFL Championship) v Blackpool (EFL Two)

Level 2 v Level 4

Two previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, both won by Blackburn Rovers, both resulting in Blackburn making at least as far as the Semi-Finals (1925 and 1960).

Blackburn Rovers have made the Quarter Finals twice in the last four years whilst before this season Blackpool hadn’t won an FA Cup tie during that same period.

 

  1. Fulham (EFL Championship) v Hull City (Premier League)

Level 2 v Level 1

Three previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with Fulham winning twice and Hull City winning once. It took three games to separate them the last time they met in 1975.

Both clubs are FA Cup beaten finalists, Fulham in 1975 and Hull City in 2014. Fulham haven’t gone beyond the Fourth Round for six years.

 

  1. Middlesbrough (Premier League) v Accrington Stanley (EFL Two)

Level 1 v Level 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Accrington Stanley are equalling their best ever FA Cup run by appearing in the Fourth Round, achieved just once before in 2010. Even the original Accrington Stanley club only ever made it as far as the Fourth Round. Middlesbrough were beaten finalists 20 years ago and have made the Fifth Round twice in the last four seasons.

 

  1. Crystal Palace (Premier League) v Manchester City (Premier League)

Level 1 v Level 1

Three previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with Crystal Palace winning once and Manchester City winning twice, including an 11-4 win in 1926, which still represents the biggest ever FA Cup defeat for Palace.

Manchester City are in to the Fourth Round for the fifth successive season with the last of their five FA Cup Final wins six years ago. Palace lost their second of two Finals just last season, both times to Manchester United.

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