Five lower league teams that could reach the FA Cup final
Following a weekend of FA Cup fourth round shocks, which witnessed a number of high profile teams knocked out, Coral have come up with five possible lower league outfits that could reach the FA Cup final.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all was League One side Bradford City, 100/1 with Coral to win the FA Cup, beating Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge, coming back from two goals down.
However, despite there being a number of lower league sides that stunned high profile teams, honourable mentions should go out to Crystal Palace, who knocked out Premier League rivals and favourites for the tie Southampton, and Brighton and hove Albion, who fought back from two goals down to come close against Arsenal.
Basement Premier League side Leicester City, meanwhile, followed up their third round victory against Newcastle United with a great win over Tottenham, while Bournemouth were valiant against Aston Villa despite losing 2-1 and Bristol City were 10 minutes away from taking West Ham to a replay, after a narrow 1-0 defeat.
As a result of the fourth round action, here are five lower league clubs who could reach the final.
Against Chelsea, they showed they have the desire and the fighting spirit to go as far as they want, and having reached the final of the Capital One Cup in 2013. In Jon Stead, they have a striker who will put himself about and isn’t afraid to put his boot through it, as demonstrated against the Blues to start their comeback.
There is no reason why they can’t reach the final. Aitor Karanka has completely rejuvenated the Teesside team’s style of play, and fans will remember their last FA Cup final appearance in 1997 against Chelsea when they lost 2-0.
However, they have win silverware more recently, when in 2004 they defeated Bolton Wanderers to lift the Capital One Cup. They are 40/1 to add the FA Cup to their honour roll this season, and they have as good a side that Wigan Athletic had when they defeated Manchester City in 2013.
Under Neil Lennon, the Lancashire side have been impressive. Having ground out a goalless draw at Anfield, they have a fantastic chance in a replay at the Reebok Stadium, where the crowd will be right behind them. Liverpool will find it hard there and, should Bolton progress, they have a great chance of going on a cup run and are 150/1 to be crowned winners.
What a valiant display against Manchester United, to take them back to Old Trafford for a replay. They showed in the first match why they should be taken seriously, and if they can sneak an early goal in Manchester, anything can happen.
What Cambridge have and their opponents don’t at the minute is team spirit, and they can use this to their advantage. They are rank outsiders at 1500/1 to win the FA Cup. Stranger things have happened.
It was a superb performance from Gary Bowyer’s boys to beat a good footballing side in Swansea City, and resoundingly as well. Despite going behind in the first half, they levelled almost immediately and then looked on top from then on.
If they can keep hold of their best players, Rovers are certainly one team who can cause problems, and a final appearance is definitely possible, with 40/1 odds to lift the trophy.