The fifth round of the FA Cup takes place this weekend with a number of teams hoping to cause upsets and some looking to avoid shocks.
One of the teams that caused a shock in the fourth round were League One Oldham.
The Latics knocked out Premier League Liverpool in the last round and now host the Reds neighbours Everton at Boundary Park.
One of the key players for the League One in that clash was former-Everton youngster Jose Baxter and he will be hoping to come back to haunt his old club in this clash.
Liverpool fielded a slightly weakened team at Boundary Park, but the Toffee’s are unlikely to make the same mistake.
Everton boss David Moyes has been at the club for a decade, but has yet to win silverware and will be hoping to put that right this season.
Elsewhere, the lowest ranked club still left in the competition Luton host Championship Millwall at Kenilworth Road. The Hatters have already knocked out Championship Wolves and more recently won 1-0 at Premier League Norwich in the last round.
However, Luton’s form since winning at the Canaries has been poor, as the non-league side have lost three out of their last four games in all competitions.
Championship Millwall caused a slight shock in the fourth round by knocking out Premier League strugglers Aston Villa. Millwall’s form since that victory has been awful; the Lions have lost their last three games in the Championship. Both sides will be confident of progressing into the last eight, where far tough games lie ahead.
Arsenal will be hoping to progress to the quarter-finals with a home clash against Championship Blackburn. The Gunners haven’t won a trophy for nearly eight years and the FA Cup remains their best possible hope of a trophy this season.
Arsene Wenger’s side defeated another Championship side Brighton in the last round and are heavy favourites to defeat second tier Blackburn in this clash.
Blackburn have already defeated Championship rivals Derby and Bristol City to make it into the fifth round. Rovers’ form has improved in recent weeks and they have suffered just one defeat in their last eight outings.
League One MK Dons host in-form Championship outfit Barnsley at the Stadium:MK. The Dons caused a shock in the fourth round by winning 4-2 at Premier League QPR. However, they have failed to win in their last four games, losing three of them.
In contrast Barnsley have won three consecutive Championship games, including victories away at promotion chasing Blackpool and Middlesbrough. The Yorkshire outfit won 1-0 at Hull to make it through to face the League One side.
The FA Cup games are spread over the whole weekend and tomorrow we will preview the other ties taking places in the fifth round.
English clubs enjoyed mixed fortunes in the Europa League last night in the first legs of their ties. Tottenham claimed a 2-1 victory against French giants Lyon. Welsh wing wizard Gareth Bale struck with free-kicks at the end of each half, Lyon’s goal coming from a fantastic effort from Samuel Umtiti.
Newcastle were held to a goalless draw with Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv. Senegal international striker Papiss Cisse had a goal disallowed in each half, as the Magpies were frustrated by the visitors.
Chelsea claimed a 1-0 victory at Sparta Prague. The only goal of the game came on 82 minutes. Substitute Oscar was on the pitch less than a minute, before slotting home after a lovely one-two with Belgium international Eden Hazard.
Elsewhere, Liverpool suffered a 2-0 defeat at Zenit St. Petersburg. The game was an even affair, but the first goal came out of nowhere on 70 minutes, Brazilian international Hulk rocketing a superb long-range effort past Pepe Reina.
The home side extended their lead two minutes later, veteran midfielder Sergei Semak scoring from close-range at the far post. The Reds now face an uphill struggle to qualify for the next round.
Will there be any more FA Cup shocks on Saturday?