Can a lower league team reach the FA Cup final?
Following Blackburn’s shock victory over Arsenalin the fifth round of the FA Cup could a lower league team possibly reach the final of this year’s competition?
This Saturday alone three lower league teams (Barnsley, Blackburn and Millwall) advanced to the quarter finals and another three get a shot at it on Sunday. It may be a little more difficult for the teams on Sunday to advance as Reading have a trip to Manchester United, Leeds are away to Man Cityand Brentford try to pull off a shock against Chelsea.
Reading and Leeds will probably be eliminated but I believe Brentford have the best chance at pulling off an upset in the fourth round replay at Stamford Bridge. In the game at Griffin Park, Brentford had Chelsea on the ropes and had it not been for a collector’s item goal late in the game from Fernando Torres, Rafael Benitez’s men would have been knocked out there and then.
Chelsea are the most likely team to self implode, too, so if Brentford give it a go they may just be in with a shout.
As for the matter of one of those teams reaching the final then that is a different matter altogether. If the draw is kind, though, then to lower league teams will play against each other which will guarantee that at least one will reach the semi-finals. From there anything could happen what with the ‘magic of the cup’ and so on.
Bradford are going to be playing in the Capital One Cup next weekend so why not another lower league team reaching a cup final?
Wouldn’t it be great for football if Oldham, a team who have pulled together throuh mid-season manegerial changes and possible relegation, could reach the final and play City or United? I think so and their win against Liverpool and gutsy draw against Everton showed that they are hard to keep down.