Fourth round draw proves FA Cup is still silverware worth collecting

English football fans are in for a treat this weekend with the fourth round of the FA Cup delivering promising fixtures, including five all premier league ties.

Top of the bill is Saturday’s clash between cup holders Chelsea and Everton at Goodison Park. A good result could lift the Toffee’s spirits after drawing their last two games and loosing key player Steven Pienaar to Tottenham. Meanwhile Chelsea are on the way up after three victories in which they scored 15 goals and conceded none.

Aston Villa aim to continue their four game unbeaten run. Houllier’s star signing Darren Bent, is eying his first goal of the campaign. Opponents Blackburn are eager to continue their excellent league form resulting in a place in the top half of the table.

Two sides struggling in the league meet at the Reebok Stadium with Wigan trying to avoid relegation and Bolton trying to regain their early season form after securing only one point in the last six games.

On Sunday, Wolves host Stoke and a full house at Craven Cottage will see last year’s quarterfinalist Fulham take on neighbours Tottenham. With the FA Cup being the best chance for silverware, after dropping to fifth in the league table, Harry Redknapp hopes Spurs’ revelation Gareth Bale will be able to play.

The remaining top-flight teams face lower league sides with Birmingham and West Ham United preparing for a tough draw against Championship clubs. Coventry visit Alex McLeish’s struggling squad while Championship title contenders Nottingham Forest travel to Upton Park.

Manchester United’s goalie Edwin van der Sar announced his retirement and hopes to get his hands on the FA cup, the only English trophy he has not yet won. His side travel to Stadium of Light to play Southampton, who shocked Blackpool with a 2-0 defeat in the third round.

The Saint’s League One rivals Huddersfield, visit the Emirates on Sunday to deny Arsenal’s hunt for four trophies and a second trip to Wembley after the Gunners secured a place in the Carling Cup final beating Ipswich.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Everton v Chelsea, R4, 12:30
Swansea v Leyton Orient, R4, 12:50
Aston Villa v Blackburn, R4, 13:00
Birmingham v Coventry, R4, 15:00
Bolton v Wigan, R4, 15:00
Burnley v Burton Albion, R4, 15:00
Sheff Wed v Hereford, R4, 15:00
Stevenage v Reading, R4, 15:00
Torquay v Crawley Town, R4, 15:00
Watford v Brighton, R4, 15:00
Southampton v Man Utd, R4, 17:15

Sunday, 30 January 2011
Arsenal v Huddersfield, R4, 12:00
Wolverhampton v Stoke, R4, 13:00
Notts County v Man City, R4, 14:00
West Ham v Nott’m Forest, R4, 14:00
Fulham v Tottenham, R4, 16:30

Stef Meens

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