Trade Your Passion for Football with AllStars Trader
The English FA Cup is the oldest national football competition in the world. It was first played back in the 1871-1872 season. The tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The first six rounds are the qualifying competition, from which 32 (non-league) teams progress to the first round proper where they will meet sides from League 2 and League 1. The third round is when teams from the Championship and the Premier League enter the competition.
In the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. The FA Cup is so popular with fans as it is known for massive upsets and unlikely success stories. The winners receive the coveted FA Cup trophy and qualify for the UEFA Europa League as well as a place in the upcoming FA Community Shield.
Arsenal is the most successful club in the history of the competition with fourteen titles. Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is the most successful manager in the history of the FA Cup having won an incredible seven finals as The Gunners boss. In ‘98, ‘02,’03,’05,’14,’15, and ‘17.
He is the only manager to have won the FA Cup at the Old Wembley Stadium, The Millennium Stadium, and the new Wembley Stadium.
Shock Results and The Beauty of the FA Cup
Many refer to this fixture as the greatest FA Cup upset of all time, for good reason.
Wrexham vs. Arsenal was a third-round tie in 1992. Arsenal were the reigning champions of England having won the old English First Division in the 1990-91 season. They had George Graham as manager and had an exceptional team at their disposal, in fact, they only lost one league game on their way to winning the title.
Whereas their opponents Wrexham had finished rock bottom of the entire Football League the previous season. This usually meant relegation to the Football Conference, but due to the expansion plans, they were extremely fortunate that they got to maintain their football league status.
Before the game Wrexham manager Brian Flynn commented:
“On paper, they should murder us, but the match isn’t being played on paper.”
Wrexham miraculously came from one-nil down in the last ten minutes of the match to beat the mighty Arsenal 2-1, creating football history in the process. They had set a fire under every team in the football league and proved that nothing is impossible and that is the beauty of the FA Cup.
Other notable upsets:
- Oldham 3-2 Liverpool 2013
- Man City 0-1 Wigan Athletic 2013 (FA CupFinal)
- Chelsea 2-4 Bradford 2015
The FA Cup 4th kicks off next Friday night February 4th with Manchester United hosting Middlesbrough at Old Trafford, the game kicks off at 00.00 a.m UTC.
There will be extra eyes on a couple of the games as they feature non-league sides and have the potential for upsets.
Kidderminster Harriers have a massive home tie to high-flying West Ham United at 16:30pm UTC on Saturday, February 5th. Kidderminster is in the sixth tier of the English Football League System which means they would need two promotions to even reach League 2.
Boreham Wood who is in the fifth tier of the English Football League System travels to Championship high flyers Bournemouth on Sunday 6th February at 22:30pm UTC.
Hartlepool United of League 2 travels to Selhurst Park on Saturday, February 5th at 19:00 pm UTC to face Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.
Those will be the games the neutrals will keep an eye on for an underdog victory. Kidderminster Harriers, Boreham Wood two national league sides, and Hartlepool make up the three lowest-ranked sides left in the competition.
Scott Parker’s Fulham sits five points clear at the top of The Championship with a game in hand. The Londoners have already scored 73 league goals in just 27 league games.
In January they have won three games by scorelines of 7-0, 6-2, and 6-2. They will fancy their chances against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City when they meet at The Etihad on Saturday, February 5th at 19.00 pm UTC.
Nottingham Forest who dumped out Arsenal in the third round has been rewarded with another home tie, this time to the defending champions Leicester City. The game will kick off at 20.00 pm on Sunday, February 6th.
Check out our Resources section on our blog where we have created a series of videos to enhance your experience with AST. We walk you through our Match Centre, we guide you through every step on how you can pick your favourite players and how to trade them as a CFD.
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