Published on 26 Jan 2013 Sections ,

Would-be giant killers dream of FA Cup glory

Footballing minnows prepare for their day in the limelight in the FA Cup fourth round against the biggest clubs in the Premier League.

Footballing minnows prepare for their day in the limelight in the FA Cup fourth round against the biggest clubs in the Premier League (Reuters)

Among the sides hoping to claim Premier League scalps this weekend are Brentford, who take on Chelsea; Oldham, who play Liverpool; and Brighton, who host Arsenal.

The other fixtures are Macclesfield v Wigan; Norwich v Luton; Bolton v Everton; QPR v MK Dons; Reading v Sheffield Utd; and Leeds v Tottenham.

Brentford v Chelsea

FA Cup holders Chelsea have a point to prove against their west London neighbours after being knocked out of the Capital One Cup, at the semi-final stage, by Swansea this week.

One person who will not be playing for the Blues on Sunday is Eden Hazard, who is suspended after kicking a ball boy during the Swansea game.

Brentford remain firm underdogs, but will be buoyed by their victory over Capital One Cup finalists Bradford.

Manager Uwe Rosler said: “We’re always dreaming that we can cause a cup upset. I know our chances are not very high, but with a little bit of luck and an extremely good day, you never know what can happen.”

Brighton v Arsenal

Arsenal crashed out of the Capital One Cup at Bradford’s hands and are hoping to end their eight-year trophy drought in today’s game against Brighton.

Manager Arsene Wenger said: “It is a possibility, of course, for a trophy and we do not want to neglect that.”

Macclesfield v Wigan

Non-league side Macclesfield, who in 139 years have never made it beyond the third round, assume the mantle of David against Goliath against north-west neighbours Wigan.

“It is surreal. I have followed the FA Cup all my life. To be part of the last 32, with the opportunity to create an upset, is unreal,” said manager Steve King.

Norwich v Luton

Blue Square Premier side Luton knocked out Championship team Wolves in the last round and Norwich manager Chris Hughton is not under-estimating them.

“Although Luton are a conference team, they are a big name and a team with a very good history. They still get a very good support and at their level have very good players,” he said.

Bolton v Everton

Championship side Bolton beat Premier League team Sunderland in the third round and today take on another top club – Everton, who are fifth in the table and lost to Merseyside rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final last year.

It will be manager David Moyes’ 500th game in charge of the Toffees, while for Bolton it will be a welcome return to top-flight football after dropping out of the Premier League on the final day of last season.

Oldham v Liverpool

On Sunday, it is re-match time for Oldham, who were beaten 5-1 by Liverpool in the third round of the competition last season.

It is a dream game for Oldham forward Jose Baxter, a life-long Reds fan who became Everton’s youngest ever player before leaving Goodison Park in search of regular first-team football.

“Steven Gerrard is my idol. He has been for many years and he’s someone I look up to. I’d love to be half the player he is,” he said.

Other matches

Leeds, who are 11th in the Championship, host Spurs, who are fourth in the Premier League.

Premier League champions Manchester City travel to Stoke. Encounters between the two teams at the Britannia stadium tend to end in draws, but Man City beat them 1-0 in the FA Cup final in 2011.

QPR and Reading, who are struggling in the Premier League relegation zone, play MK Dons and Sheffield United, who are both in Division One.

Premier League leaders Manchester United host Fulham, whose striker Dimitar Berbatov has another chance to shine at Old Trafford, where he spent four years.