Beware menace of FA Cup minnows
LONDON: Minnows Lincoln City and Sutton United each hope to take down another whale in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend.
The duo, who play in the fifth-tier National League, are the lowest-ranked sides left in the competition after both shocked teams from higher divisions in the previous two rounds.
They face stern tests once again when they play host to clubs pushing hard for promotion to the Premier League.
Lincoln take on Brighton, who top the Championship, and Sutton face Leeds United, third in the second tier.
Sutton manager Paul Doswell feels his side have one advantage in this David v Goliath battle – the artificial pitch at their Gander Green Lane ground.
“We have a chance because it is on our pitch,” he said.
Both sides have reached the last 32 before, but it’s been some time.
Lincoln were last there in the 1975/76 season, while Sutton’s shining moment came in 1988/89, when they defeated Coventry City of the then First Division along the way.
Two all-Premier League match-ups are on the table with Arsenal visiting Southampton and Crystal Palace hosting Manchester City.
Southampton hope to continue their fine Cup form after beating Liverpool on Wednesday to reach the League Cup final. The Saints will be looking to do a double over Arsenal after beating the Gunners in the League Cup in November.
Liverpool look to rebound from their League Cup defeat by hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Reds have hit a bit of a rough patch with one win in seven since the new year and have dropped two straight at home. “We’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Wolves manager Paul Lambert said.
Holders Manchester United take on Wigan and Latics manager Warren Joyce is taking a simple approach to facing a team loaded with superstars.“They’ve got two arms and two legs like everyone else. We’ve got to approach it like that.”
Burnley host Bristol City, Chelsea take on west London rivals Brentford, Leicester visit Derby, Hull are away to Fulham, Middlesbrough play Accrington Stanley, Tottenham host Wycombe Wanderers, and Watford are at Millwall in other games involving Premier League sides. – dpa