FA Cup: What is at stake for each team participating in the Fifth Round?


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The FA Cup returns as the Fifth Round gets underway with 16 teams left aiming to try and edge closer to a historic triumph at Wembley in May.

The matches will be covered by BBC and ITV in their entirety, which has arguably boosted the profile of the world’s oldest cup competition and has given it more exposure than ever.

With games coming thick and fast and plenty still to play for, it is time to look at where the cup lies in the list of priorities for clubs and who could do with extending their run.

Peterborough United

Grant McCann is back at London Road for a second stint as Posh manager and it could scarcely be a more daunting cup tie as they host Manchester City.

It has not been a good week for Peterborough with defeats to Derby County and Fulham and two wins for Reading dealing a hammer blow to their survival hopes.

Avoiding relegation is still within reach but it is going to take a serious effort in the next few weeks. Extra games by virtue of a cup run may not be at the top of McCann’s wishlist as playing catch-up in midweek only adds to the pressure.

A victory over the Premier League champions would be memorable, but survival is most likely a bigger priority at this stage.

Peterborough would match their best ever FA Cup run should they emerge record a victory and reach the quarter-finals.

Manchester City

With the squad and resources that Pep Guardiola has available to him, the idea of prioritising certain competitions does bear relevance. However, now that the title race has become more than just a procession, a cup run may be third when it comes to the Spanish manager’s thinking.

That being said, passage to the quarter-finals of the Champions League is all but certainly secure, so that is the opportunity for City to give minutes to other squad members as they can afford to go full-strength and continue their march towards Wembley.

City have won the cup six times, with the latest win coming in 2019 after a 6-0 demolition of Watford in the final. Guardiola would certainly love to add a second winner’s medal to his reign.

Crystal Palace

Palace are a side in a pretty ideal position for a cup run and it is something that supporters are really holding out for as the season heads towards the business end.

It has been a campaign for progress as the Eagles have transitioned from the more defensive nature of Roy Hodgson to the more progressive philosophy of Patrick Vieira.

Vieira’s side look like they will avoid relegation comfortably but a European place via the league looks beyond them therefore a cup run is always welcome for supporters of a side wavering in mid-table. A home tie against Championship side Stoke City is just what the doctor ordered.

Palace have twice reached the final of the showpiece event, the latest coming in the 2016 extra-time defeat to Manchester United. A first triumph in the competition would be the club’s greatest achievement.

Stoke City

Stoke’s form has been inconsistent of late and they now find themselves well adrift of the play-off positions in the Championship.

Michael O’Neill’s men are in a similar spot to their opponents in that they will not be relegated but any progress further up the table does not look a realistic prospect at this particular moment in time.

A cup run could bring some much-needed cheer to what might otherwise be an inconsequential end to the season for the Potters.

City have reached the cup final once before, losing 1-0 to Manchester City in 2011 thanks to Yaya Toure’s goal.


Not too many Boro fans would have been expecting to take their place in the Fifth Round having drawn Manchester United in Round Four, however, a brilliant penalty shootout victory ensured Chris Wilder’s men took the place of their more illustrious opponents.

Wilder has done a brilliant job since coming in to replace Neil Warnock during the season and the club find themselves firmly in the hunt for a play-off place.

However, the cup run does not get any easier with Tottenham Hotspur the reward for knocking out the Red Devils but Wilder will be quietly confident of claiming another scalp.

There are undoubtedly bigger priorities in this campaign for Middlesbrough but a win here may just have them dreaming of even greater glory.

Boro have reached the final once previously, losing out to Chelsea in 1997.

Tottenham Hotspur

It has been a long time since Tottenham’s League Cup triumph in 2008 and fans will be desperate to see their side get their hands on some silverware this season.

The aforementioned League Cup and the Europa Conference League have bitten the dust already leaving the FA Cup as the sole chance to end the long drought without a trophy.

A battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League is still on the cards but a cup win would go a long way to satisfying supporters and perhaps even securing the futures of Antonio Conte and Harry Kane.

Spurs have great cup heritage, winning the trophy eight times but they have failed to claim it since 1991.

Luton Town

Luton have had an excellent season in the Championship under Nathan Jones and find themselves with a real chance of a play-off position. The Hatters will welcome European champions, Chelsea, to Kenilworth Road hoping to claim a shock win to further showcase their credentials.

It seems unlikely though that Jones or supporters would be too devastated should Luton get knocked out. A return to the top division would be a remarkable achievement for a club that was playing non-league football as recently as 2014.

The Hatters have reached the FA Cup final just once before, losing to Nottingham Forest in 1959.


Chelsea find themselves still fighting on four fronts this season although a Premier League title win looks like a very remote possibility. Defending their European crown is also on the cards following the 2-0 first-leg victory over Lille in the Round of 16 in the Champions League.

The Blues have an excellent recent history in the cup however and would love to go one better after losing last season’s final. Thomas Tuchel has so far reached the final in every competition he has entered as Chelsea manager and will look to continue that run.

Chelsea have won the cup eight times, with a staggering seven of those triumphs coming in the last 25 years. An Eden Hazard penalty saw the Blues claim their most recent cup win in 2018.


Southampton look like a side that are primed for a cup run. The Saints have been excellent since the turn of the year and have climbed into the top half of the Premier League table, distancing themselves from any potential relegation issues.

Like Palace, a European position looks a step beyond Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men but cup glory at Wembley does not.

A clash with West Ham offers the chance of a quarter-final place and the opportunity to knock out a direct rival. The fans at St Mary’s will be up for this encounter and they will be hoping the players follow suit.

The Saints have won the cup once before with a 1976 triumph over Manchester United.

West Ham United

It has been a tricky few weeks for West Ham, with the league form tailing off slightly and some off-field controversy surrounding defender Kurt Zouma.

Strength-in-depth is a real issue for David Moyes as is the lack of an alternative to Michail Antonio upfront who is struggling to hit the back of the net.

Champions League qualification is still well within their grasp but their form is going to need a bit of a turnaround. With a Europa League last 16 fixture to come, it would be no surprise if Moyes viewed this cup tie as an unwelcome distraction.

The Irons supporters are a proud bunch though and are unlikely to accept any slackening off from their players. A trophy would certainly cement the legacy of this current crop being one of the great West Ham United teams.

The Hammers have claimed the cup three times, with their last victory coming thanks to Trevor Brooking’s winner over Arsenal in 1980.


Liverpool, like Chelsea, find themselves still fighting on all fronts this season although their title prospects look a lot brighter.

A Carabao Cup final victory on Sunday would go a long way to propel Jurgen Klopp’s men onto greater things and he will be keen to ensure they maintain their momentum when they welcome Norwich City to Anfield.

Winning is the best habit a team can have in football and Klopp may sense that this could be the year for his first FA Cup winner’s medal. Liverpool now have the squad depth to ensure that there should not be a significant drop in quality should they look to rest one or two players.

It has been a long time since the Reds got their hands on the old trophy, with a Steven Gerrard-inspired fightback in 2006 against West Ham the last time Kopites saw their team’s name on the cup.

Norwich City

After a bright spell in which they actually climbed out of the relegation zone, Norwich find themselves once more needing a lot of work to do if they are to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Dean Smith’s men are currently bottom of the league and are five points adrift of safety, but it is all very tight and just one win would change things dramatically. It would be no surprise if Norwich fans felt the trip to Liverpool was an unwanted distraction, even if they would relish an unlikely victory.

A good performance first and foremost would help, with anything else likely to be considered a bonus.

The Canaries’ best cup run saw them bow out at the semi-final stage, something they have not achieved since 1992.


1995 is a year that Everton fans will remember fondly due to the FA Cup victory but it is also a taunt used by their Merseyside rivals to remind them they have not lifted a trophy since.

The draw could not have been kinder to Frank Lampard. A home tie against the only non-league team left in the competition in Boreham Wood represents a real chance to make it into the latter stages, albeit it comes with added pressure to avoid humiliation.

It has been a sticky season for the Toffees with relegation a very distinct possibility, but for now, they will take progressing in the cup as a distraction from the awkward league form.

Will anyone step up and emulate Paul Rideout to add a sixth cup triumph to the list of club honours.

Boreham Wood

The Wood are in the middle of the best FA Cup run in their history and have been rewarded with a trip to a Premier League ground having previously beaten the likes of AFC Wimbledon and AFC Bournemouth.

The London-based side are still heavily in the mix for promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history. They currently sit third in the National League, and due to their cup adventures, they have three games in hand on their rivals.

Thursday will be a historic night for Luke Garrard’s side, with the hope of becoming only the second non-league club after Lincoln City to reach the quarter-finals.

Nottingham Forest

Steve Cooper has done a magnificent job having found Forest bottom of the table when he took over and a cup run coupled with a play-off place is well within their sights.

A game against fellow promotion chasers Huddersfield Town presents a chance for both clubs to get within one win of what they will hope is a first of three visits to Wembley.

With this match coming on the Monday following a weekend of Championship action, priorities may have changed by the time it comes around.

Forest are two-time cup winners, with the most recent coming in 1959.

Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield have so far had a season that has exceeded even the most optimistic fan’s expectations with the Terriers currently fourth in the Championship and eyeing a return to the Premier League.

Manager Carlos Corberan is a Marcelo Bielsa disciple and has done an excellent job this term after a tricky first season managing out on his own.

The Yorkshire side will be keen not to take their eye off the ball now and will be hoping to at least take part in the play-offs come May.

The cup presents an opportunity but it is hard to imagine too many Huddersfield fans not being able to shrug off a defeat to Forest should it come.

The Terriers have won the cup once in their history and 2022 marks the centenary of that victory. A win this year would be very special indeed.

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