West Ham United’s FA Cup run may have ended just as it was starting, but that still doesn’t mean Hammer fans can’t pay attention to the FA Cup matches this weekend. With all eight Premier League teams that are still involved all drawn away from each other, there is a good chance that a non-PL team will be able to go through to the next round. Of course, the whole round could also be no fun and the Premier League teams could all win and have a boring quarterfinals.
As for West Ham fans, Oxford United’s match at Middlesbrough will have some interest, as loanee Toni Martinez had a wonder goal in Oxford’s victory over Newcastle in the last round of the FA Cup. With Middlesbrough staring the bottom of the table in the face, and an inability to score goals, this match is one of the better chances for a upset this round.
Championship promotion chasers Huddersfield Town are home to Manchester City. Hard to see a way that Manchester City loses this match, especially since Huddersfield will want to concentrate on getting the Premier League payday instead of a Cup run, but who knows.
Burnley are home to non-League Lincoln City in the early game on Saturday. Will Lincoln continue their fairy tale run? With Theo Robinson off to Southend and Lincoln City also chasing automatic promotion back to the Football League, it would be excused for Lincoln to end their run here, and Burnley is in safe enough position in the Premier League to focus a bit on a Cup run, so maybe Lincoln’s magic stops this weekend.
Millwall hosts Leicester City in a game that Leicester probably would rather just go away. With some of the drama involving Millwall’s continued existence seeming to be resolved in the team’s favor, West Ham cans go back to hating them and not feeling sorry for them, if anyone did in the first place. The defending Premier League champions will trot out a team that likely will feature almost no regulars, so expect to see Millwall be a plague on the next round on the FA Cup.
Wolverhampton Wanderers host Chelsea in the late game on Saturday. With Chelsea cruising on top of the Premier League and Wolves looking to solidify their position in the Championship, Chelsea should easily get a result in the West Midlands. Of course, Liverpool thought they could easily defeat Wolves at home, only to lose 2-1. While it would be great to see Wolves pull off an upset, Chelsea will likely go through.
A London derby is on tap for Sunday, with Tottenham making the short journey to West London to take on Fulham. With a bad taste in their mouths from a loss to Gent in the Europa League on Thursday, look for Spurs to come out flying against the Cottagers and progress to the next round.
Blackburn Rovers, fully stuck in a relegation battle in the Championship, will likely be way more concerned about their league form to provide a challenge to trophy hunting Mourinho and Manchester United. It seems like a lifetime ago that Alan Shearer lofted the Premier League trophy for Blackburn, and while the fans may be excited to see Man United pay a visit, the team would probably rather be looking forward to league matches next week.
Finally, on Monday another non-League minnow Sutton United host mighty Arsenal. Given the state of the team and the manager after the destruction that Arsenal faced at the hands of Bayern Munich Tuesday in the Champions League, this could be a good time to face the Gunners. Of course, the players and manager might have something to prove and will likely see off the challenge from Sutton United as most of them will be pinching themselves just to be on the pitch with some of the famous players.
So, Hammer fans, who would you like to see go through? Like to see a few Premier League teams get knocked off at this stage? Want to see teams below West Ham in the table get involved in a few more matches, hoping to see their attention diverted elsewhere? Love the idea of Lincoln City or Sutton United going to Wembley? Want to see Millwall lose? Let us know in the comments.