So far this season, the Emirates FA Cup has served up some incredible ties and memorable moments which is the norm in England’s main domestic competition. Non-league sides have progressed to face teams much higher above them in the football pyramid which has seen teams like Wrexham excel against higher opposition.
The competition is now at a stage where the majority of the lower league sides have been knocked out with Fleetwood of League One being the lowest-ranked team left in the competition. But which ties should you be looking out for in the fifth round and where could the upsets take place?
The previous round was one of spectacular viewing. It kicked off with the top two of the Premier League, Manchester City and Arsenal, facing off for a spot in the next round. It was a close encounter throughout but Pep Guardiola’s side prevailed following Nathan Aké’s goal on the 64-minute mark.
There was no upset to be had at the Bescot Stadium as League Two outfit Walsall, despite an encouraging performance, lost to 2020/21 winners Leicester City as the Foxes won 1-0. Jesse Marsch was recently shown the door at Leeds United but his last win in charge was a 3-1 away win over Accrington Stanley.
Elsewhere, struggling Southampton secured a narrow win over Blackpool and high-flying Burnley were held to a 0-0 draw at League One side Ipswich Town. One of the shocks of the round came at Kenilworth Road as Luton Town were held to a 2-2 draw against Grimsby Town. Harry Clifton’s goal with just over 20 minutes remaining meant the tie went to a replay where the Mariners convincingly swept aside the team two divisions higher than them in a 3-0 win.
There wasn’t to be a shock though at Preston North End as Tottenham progressed after a Son Heung-min brace and a debut goal from Arnaut Danjuma. Brighton & Hove Albion continued their excellent campaign as they knocked out holders Liverpool at the Amex Stadium. A stupendous goal from Kaoru Mitoma in the dying embers ensured the Seagulls secured their spot in the hat for the next round.
It has to be said though the game of the round was at the Racecourse Ground when Vanarama National League side Wrexham hosted Sheffield United. It was a thrilling game and it looked as if the Welsh-side were going to progress but a late John Egan header sent the tie to a replay. Two late goals from Billy Sharp and Sander Berge meant there was no Hollywood ending for Wrexham in a 3-1 defeat.
Now looking ahead into the fifth round, there are some intriguing games that are set to take place. Stoke City will be hosting Premier League high-flyers Brighton, with the latter hoping to reach the quarter-finals stage for the first time since the 2018/19 season. Blackburn Rovers are in the promotion picture in the Championship this season and they will be playing Leicester.
Fulham and Leeds United will face off in west London after the Cottagers narrowly got past Sunderland in a replay in the previous round. Burnley have a good chance of reaching the next round as they play Fleetwood, while Sheffield United, after beating Wrexham in the previous round, will be facing Tottenham.
Manchester United will be looking to progress and potentially lift their 13th FA Cup trophy, but West Ham United will be standing in their way. Following a comfortable 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion, Bristol City have earned themselves a home tie to Premier League champions Manchester City. A potential upset could be seen at St. Mary’s Stadium as Southampton host Grimsby with the Saints rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.
These ties are set to be played from 28th February to 1st March.