Who is looking up for the Cup?
The line-up for the fifth round of the FA Cup has now been decided and there are some big guns in there looking to go all the way.
The debate over whether clubs take the competition seriously rages on every season, but there is no doubt the 16 clubs left in there all want to win it.
Some more than others yes, but with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs when the competition resumes next month, it is starting to get very interesting.
Out of the Premier League clubs remaining in the competition, you could argue that only Liverpool and possibly Manchester City are not that bothered about adding it to the trophy cabinet.
Liverpool’s attitude towards the fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury said it all, when the youth team was put out, and boss Jurgen Klopp didn’t even make it to the dug-out.
The argument was put forward about the winter break, maybe a fair one, but it still shows where the competition is on Liverpool’s priority list right now.
Manchester City’s focus is also likely to be elsewhere. The Premier League title may have gone already, but winning a first Champions League title is without doubt the number one goal of the season for Pep Guardiola.
— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) February 5, 2020
Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United, the other ‘big six’ clubs that have possibly shunned the FA Cup in the past, will be paying more attention to it this year.
Frank Lampard, Mikel Arteta, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will all be itching to win their first piece of silverware with their new clubs, it could even keep the latter in a job.
Then there is Leicester City, Newcastle United and Sheffield United, who all look set to give it a good go and are in a position to do so.
Leicester have a top four spot pretty much in the bag and would like to add silverware to it. The Foxes made their intentions clear when chasing the Carabao Cup before losing in the semi-finals to Aston Villa.
Newcastle are looking safe in the Premier League and Steve Bruce made it clear this week that he would love nothing more than to end Newcastle’s 51-year wait for a trophy.
Sheffield United also have no relegation fears after a fantastic season back in the Premier League and are free to have a good go.
It does not bode well for the Championship clubs and Portsmouth, but that is not to say they cannot pull off a couple of upsets and go further. However, the FA Cup looks set to have another familiar home come the end of the season.