The oldest football competition in the world took centre stage this past weekend as teams tried to make their way past the fourth round into the fifth round of the competition.
This competition is still very much in its early days. And that is made obvious with the number of teams still involved in the competition. As it stands, 16 teams will be battling it out against each other when the fifth round kicks off.
The draws for the fifth round was made yesterday and here are the fixtures:
- Sheffield Wednesday vs Notts County/Swansea
- West Brom vs. Southampton
- Chelsea vs. Hull City
- Leicester vs. Sheffield United
- Huddersfield/Birmingham vs. Man. Utd
- Millwall/Rochadale vs. Newport/Spurs
- Brighton vs. Coventry
- Wigan vs. Manchester City
It may be too early to ask which of these teams will win the FA Cup but it’s a question worth asking. And here are a couple of factors that may play a part in determining who wins the trophy this year.
Busy schedule versus not-so-busy schedule
It’s that time of the football season where the games come in thick and fast. And it’s not only for the Premier League clubs. Promotion from the Championship to the Premier League is at stake for some of these clubs too.
Manchester City is still competing on all four fronts. Manchester United will be looking at this as one trophy to add to their cabinet the end of the season. Swansea, while battling to survive relegation, will also be looking to continue their journey in this competition.
Championship sides like Sheffield United still have an eye on finishing in the Premier League play-off spot.
Some other teams who do not have this much to deal with may just have an unfair advantage in the competition.
In the just-concluded 4th round, it was glaring that teams playing at home in this competition ensured that they make good use of playing in front of their home fans. Of all the 16 games played in the round, only six away wins were registered.
As the competition progresses, many other teams will be looking to make their 12th man count.
Games that end in draws in this competition are played again. That’s the rule. Games that have to be replayed add more to the already jam-packed fixture lists of some clubs. Tottenham, for instance, will have to play Newport again since they couldn’t defeat them during the weekend.
This is one more game added to a fixture schedule that already features games against Manchester United, Liverpool and Juventus. Do you see the point?
For all that’s been said, there are teams who will still defy all these factors, find their way into the final and win the FA Cup. The question now is, which team do you think will go all the way?
Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.