FA Cup 2022-23 6th Round preview

This season’s FA Cup Quarter Finals contains the fewest number of top-flight clubs in the last eight for 15 years with just four Premier League sides remaining. The octet also includes Grimsby Town, the first side from tier four to make it this far since Cambridge United did so in 1990, and just the fifth club ever from that level of the pyramid to achieve this feat (not counting Lincoln City who made the Quarter Finals in 2017 as a non-league side).

Grimsby Town have set a couple of FA Cup records by reaching the Quarter Finals this season. The club has set a new record of defeating five clubs from a higher level in the pyramid during the ‘Proper’ Rounds in the same season seeing off Plymouth Argyle, Cambridge United and Burton Albion from League One, Luton Town from the Championship, and Premier League strugglers Southampton.

The Mariners have also set a new record of longest gap between FA Cup Quarter Final appearances. Reading set the benchmark at 83 years when making the last eight in 2010, but Grimsby Town have had to wait 84 years to reach this level of the competition again.

At the opposite end of the scale, Manchester United have equalled the record for most Quarter Final appearances joining Everton who set the record of 47 just last season. In all, the eight remaining clubs have 178 Quarter Final appearances between them (including this season), the lowest tally for four years.

Special mention to Sheffield United who have now made the last eight of the FA Cup 27 times, the exact same number as their city rivals Sheffield Wednesday who achieved that feat in 1997 when at the time the Blades had only 20 appearances at this stage.

The Blades are involved in the only Quarter Final tie to involve two sides from outside the Premier League. Back in 2008 just one top-flight club made it through to the semi-finals and with Manchester United hosting Fulham in the last eight there will be at least one in this year’s final four. But will it just be the one?

Brighton and Hove Albion versus Grimsby Town is the only tie to involve clubs who are yet to lift the famous trophy. The Seagulls famously made the Final in 1983 (“and Smith must score”) and Brighton versus Manchester United is the only potential repeat Final that could occur again this season. Grimsby Town are the only one of the eight clubs yet to experience a Cup Final and victory this weekend would set another competition record as the club would become the first club from the fourth tier to reach the Semi-Finals.


Manchester City (Premier League) vs Burnley FC (EFL Championship)

Saturday 5.45pm ‘live’ on BBC One

The return of Vincent Kompany to the club where he twice won the FA Cup, lifting the trophy as captain in 2019, adds extra spice to this tie between Premier League Champions and title challengers Man City, and Championship runaway leaders Burnley.

The clubs have been drawn together for the sixth time with Burnley winning the first encounter back in 1931, but City being victorious in all the other four, including a 5-0 demolition the last time the two sides met four years ago.

Burnley are appearing in their first Quarter Final for 20 years and you have to go back a further 29 years for the last time they reached the last four of the competition. Manchester City, on the other hand, are looking to reach the Semi-Finals for the fifth successive season which would equal the record set by Oxford University in 1877 and matched by Manchester United (in 1966) and Arsenal (in 2005).


Sheffield United (EFL Championship) vs Blackburn Rovers (EFL Championship)

Sunday 12.0 noon ‘live’ on ITV1

These two Championship clubs have lifted the FA Cup 10 times between them being ranked 9th (Blackburn Rovers) and 15th (Sheffield United) best teams in the competition’s history. However, they both last tasted ultimate victory way back in the 1920s, almost 100 years ago, with Rovers last lifting the Trophy in 1928 and the Blades last doing so in 1925. If either side went on to lift the Trophy in June this year it would set a new competition record for longest gap between FA Cup triumphs.

The two clubs have at least appeared in the Semi-Finals in the 21st Century, Rovers last doing so for the 18th time in 2007, with United making the last four for the 14th time just nine years ago (becoming the 9th club from the third tier to make the Semi-Finals in doing so).

This is the fourth time the two clubs have been drawn together in the FA Cup with the Blades ahead by two wins to one in past Cup meetings. They last met 30 years ago in another Quarter Final encounter that was settled in favour of Sheffield United on penalties after two tightly contested games. With no replays at this stage of the competition this season, it could well be penalties again that separate these two promotion hopefuls.


Brighton and Hove Albion (Premier League) vs Grimsby Town (EFL Two)

Sunday 2.15pm ‘live’ on BBC One

Of the eight Quarter Finalists these two club have the least experience of reaching this stage of the competition with this season being just their 9th cumulative appearances in the last eight between them. All of Brighton’s Quarter Final appearances have occurred in the last 40 years whilst Grimsby are in the last eight for the first time since before WWII broke out.

The two clubs have faced each other in the FA Cup before playing two matches in the 3rd Round of the 1929/30 season. Then it was the Mariners who were the top-flight side with the Seagulls competing in the 3rd Division South. But it was the lower level Southern coast based side that won through 1-0 in a replay. A mirror image Cupset this season would be seismic and set FA Cup records galore for the fourth tier side.


Manchester United (Premier League) vs Fulham FC (Premier League)

Sunday 4.30pm ‘live’ on ITV1

Manchester United not only jointly hold the record for number of FA Cup Quarter Final appearances, but the club also jointly holds the record for most Semi-Final appearances, too, and victory over Fulham would take them clear of Arsenal for that particular record.

For Fulham, this is their first appearance in the last eight of the FA Cup for 13 years and it’s a further eight years since the Cottagers last made the Semi-Finals losing 1-0 to local rivals Chelsea.

This is the most common tie of the FA Cup Quarter Finals with the two clubs being drawn together in the competition for the 11th time. Fulham won through on the first two occasions whilst Manchester United have been successful in all the following eight. When the two clubs met for the first time in the competition it was actually in the Qualifying Rounds in the 1904/05 season in what was known as the Intermediate Round, a short-lived extra qualifying round that lasted for just five seasons at the start of the 20th Century.

The two clubs last met in the FA Cup 10 years ago in the 4th Round and the Red Devils have also three times knocked their opponents out of the competition at this stage (in 1926. 2004 and 2009). The two clubs also played out an entertaining FA Cup Semi-Final replay in 1958 with Manchester United running out 5-3 winners.


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The FA Cup Factfile is THE most comprehensive resource for FA Cup facts & stats. Spanning almost 150 years of FA Cup history, covering over 3,200 clubs playing more than 71,500 FA Cup matches, the FA Cup Factfile contains facts and stats for Arlesey Town to Arsenal, from Liversedge to Liverpool, and from Mangotsfield United to Manchester United. Visit my website https://facupfactfile.co.uk/ for more details on how you can access my vast FA Cup database

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