After Arsenal's shock exit at the hands of Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup, prominent English Premier League clubs will be on "Upset Alert" when they face unfancied opposition in the fourth round.
Manchester United are the first of the big sides in action when they travel to League 2 Yeovil Town. The Red Devils are unbeaten in their past eight EPL matches (five wins and three draws), and they are second on the EPL ladder despite the criticism of Jose Mourinho's managerial style. United have been strong away from Old Trafford this season with seven wins and three draws from 12 clashes, and given that record they should overwhelm the Glovers, currently 21st in League 2.
Tottenham also venture to play League 2 opposition, Newport County. Spurs, like United, are in form as they haven't tasted defeat in their past six EPL matches (four wins and two draws); they will also be wary of complacency as the FA Cup shapes as their best chance of claiming silverware this season. Spurs have been solid away from Wembley Stadium this season (six wins and two draws from 12 matches), and they should have too much firepower for rivals who are eighth on the League 2 ladder.
Chelsea will be desperate to avenge their midweek League Cup semi-final exit to Arsenal when they host Newcastle United. Not only are Chelsea undefeated in their past eight EPL matches (five wins and three draws), Newcastle United have only recorded one win (and two draws) in their last five EPL encounters. Chelsea are also unbeaten in the nine previous EPL fixtures between these sides, with the Magpies losing five straight at Stamford Bridge.
The fourth round is not necessarily as simple as loading up on the big guns. Liverpool and Manchester City are surely expected to progress, but we're happy to avoid them at the short odds.
Liverpool are coming off a surprise loss away to Swansea City in their latest EPL fixture to face West Bromwich Albion, a team they have only beaten twice in their past six EPL clashes (other four results were draws). Liverpool have struggled at times against teams who have "parked the bus", and West Brom are likely to turn up at Anfield with a defensive mindset and thoughts of securing a draw and subsequent replay.
Manchester City, meanwhile, battled against Bristol City in the Carabao Cup semifinals midweek and manager Pep Guardiola will be aiming to give his stars a breather with the UEFA Champions League on the horizon. Their opponents, Cardiff City, are sitting third on the Championship ladder having lost only twice in 14 matches at home this season; the Bluebirds will be determined to at least enforce a replay.