FA Cup 4th Round Preview

The aftermath of last week’s game of the week saw another managerial casualty.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Robbie Neilson might be the next boss for the chop and that’s exactly what happened following MK Dons’ defeat at Northampton last weekend:

Neilson was replaced by former England Under 16 coach Dan Micciche- an interesting and somewhat surprising choice.

There are only four teams left in the FA Cup, so they’ll take priority this week even though there are a number of decent league games too. I’ll cover those in a moment.

Millwall v Rochdale

Tomorrow’s game is the first meeting in the FA Cup and Dale won last season’s league game at the New Den by the odd goal in five. This should be a straightforward win for Millwall, especially as Rochdale need to concentrate on their relegation battle: the visitors haven’t lost an away cup tie since November 2011, but Keith Hill’s side have not won on the road in League One since April and have lost their last six league games. That’s not a good time to visit Millwall, who have won their last six FA Cup  games at the New Den and are on a six game undefeated streak at home in the Championship.

MK Dons v Coventry City

Only the fifth meeting in between the clubs at Stadium: MK and the first time they’ve played each other in the FA Cup. I mentioned the Dons’ current predicament earlier and it’s probably safe to say that the distraction of a cup run is probably less motivational than staying in League One: Coventry are currently in the playoff places in League Two and I’d imagine that’s their priority.

Wigan v West Ham

West Ham were fortunate to get past Shrewsbury in the last round and really won’t want to face Wigan. The league leading Latics (sorry, I couldn’t resist that) beat Bournemouth earlier this month, have kept eleven clean sheets in their last twelve games and haven’t lost a home FA Cup tie for almost four years. West Ham have won just two away FA Cup ties in the last five years and although they seem to have worked out how to pick up  league points on the road since David Moyes replaced Slaven Bilic, this is the last thing the Hammers need – although Wigan have lost both of their previous encounters with West Ham in the FA Cup.

Televised game: Peterborough v Leicester (12:30pm tomorrow, BT Sport 1) -a Posh victory would be an upset, but remember that Leicester have only won twice at London Road in nine games since 1964.

Back to League One and the matches to monitor are Bradford v AFC Wimbledon and Southend United v Scunthorpe. The Bantams’ poor form has more or less cost them automatic promotion whilst the Wombles have been on a decent run. Chris Powell was appointed Southend manager earlier this week and will be looking to reverse the decline at Roots Hall, although he might have wished for an easier game to begin with…