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Accrington Stanley / Blog / FA Cup / Football

5 talking points ahead of the FA Cup fourth round

5 talking points ahead of the FA Cup fourth round

The FA Cup fourth round takes centre stage this weekend, with plenty of potential for some more high drama.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some talking points going into what could prove another memorable set of fixtures.

Stanley set for Rams raid

Sky Bet League One outfit Accrington Stanley were rewarded for their scalp of Ipswich with a home tie against another Championship side as promotion-hopefuls Derby head to the Wham Stadium, which will kick off Saturday’s action. Owner Andy Holt knows just how vital an additional significant cash boost is to the third-tier club – where once the floodlights failed because a shower had been turned on. Another winning goal from Billy Kee to send the Rams home empty handed would give Holt the chance to finally get that drainage on the lower field sorted once and for all.

It’s a squad game

Given what is at stake for Premier League sides at both ends of the table, player rotation is likely to be high on the agenda again across the FA Cup fourth round weekend. Saturday will see relegation-battlers Newcastle host Watford, while on Sunday, Crystal Palace tackle high-flying Tottenham at Selhurst Park. Expect plenty of changes from all the managers, but being a team game, it also gives some fringe players a chance to lay down a marker – or indeed not depending on how the 90 minutes pan out.

Can City slickers double up?

After Manchester City just about edged past Burton to secure a place in the Carabao Cup final, Pep Guardiola’s men will look to stay on course for a potential knockout double when they host Burnley. With the Clarets most likely to have more than one eye on their own Premier League survival battle, you would expect City to have more than enough in reserve to book their safe passage into round five, whatever side is sent out at the Etihad Stadium. Then again, that is probably what Pep thought at Wigan last season…

Crazy Gang dream alive and kicking

Wimbledon manager Bobby Gould guided his team to a famous FA Cup final success over Liverpool in 1988

With former midfielder Wally Downes back in charge at the Dons, the old ‘Crazy Gang’ spirit could go a long way to helping the League One bottom club pull off a shock when West Ham head to Kingsmeadow for Saturday’s evening kick-off. The Irons are expected to follow several Premier League sides with plenty of changes, so the fixture has all the potential to provide another moment of FA Cup magic – just as Lawrie Sanchez’s header and Dave Beasant’s penalty save did at Wembley some 30 years ago.

It’s Roy of the Rovers stuff

Following several high-profile FA Cup third-round upsets, a new limited-edition version of the Roy of the Rovers comic was launched. The comic strip features Barnet, Gillingham, Oldham and Newport overcoming Championship and Premier League opposition. With the Gills, who knocked out Cardiff, set to travel to Swansea while Newport, victors over Leicester, will take on Middlesbrough, there could just be some new material ready for the next print run after Barnet have hosted Brentford on Monday night.

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