Once you get to the fifth round of the FA Cup, many teams begin to see Wembley looming into view. With just 16 sides remaining, the field has been whittled down enough to envisage a dream journey to the final, and you can bet that fans of every club left in the competition will be tentatively clearing their schedules for Saturday 14th May 2022.
Some teams’ paths to the fifth round have drawn lots of coverage, but there are a few teams who have quietly gone about their business and will be hoping to stay under the radar ahead of the fifth round. Here, we’ve had a look at three teams who have drawn little fanfare for their FA Cup exploits, but are dangerous opponents nonetheless.
Crystal Palace are one of the teams remaining who have never had the pleasure of lifting the FA Cup. Having twice been runners up in the competition, there is a yearning among the Eagles’ fanbase to see their team go that one step further and celebrate victory at Wembley.
A tricky third-round tie against Millwall was navigated despite going behind in the first half. Michael Olise played a starring role as Palace silenced their south-London rivals. Then, a favourable home draw against Hartlepool United was dealt with in a more convincing fashion— running out 2-0 winners.
They now face a fifth-round tie against Stoke City at Selhurst Park, another game that won’t attract a huge amount of attention. Make no mistake though, Patrick Vieira’s side are on a mission to end all those years of hurt for Crystal Palace’s supporters.
One of five Championship teams still remaining in the fifth round of the FA Cup, Huddersfield Town have gone about their business with a minimum of fuss. Having beaten Premier League opposition in the shape of Burnley in round three, the Terriers followed it up by knocking out Barnsley in the fourth round.
Huddersfield have not reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup since 1972, so that gives you a sense of just how much it would mean to their fans to make it to the last eight of the competition.
Their next test is a trip to the City Ground to take on Nottingham Forest, who are riding the crest of a wave after knocking out Arsenal and Leicester City so far. Could Carlos Corberán spoil Forest’s party?
It seems strange to say that a club of Everton’s stature are going under the radar, but they have navigated a couple of tricky ties with real style so far. They required extra time to defeat Hull City in the third round, but then produced a stunning display to beat Brentford 4-1 in round four, despite things looking shaky looking at the live football betting with SkyBet at one point.
With Frank Lampard newly installed in the manager’s hotseat, there is now a greater sense of optimism at Goodison Park. Their priority this season will be to avoid getting dragged into a relegation dogfight, but a deep run in the FA Cup would be a welcome tonic to their Premier League blues.
Everton haven’t won the FA Cup since 1995, and Lampard would instantly write his name into Toffee’s folklore if he were to lead the team to Wembley glory.