FA Cup Fourth Round Saturday, Open Thread

The fourth round of the FA Cup today offers too very explosive matches for all of the wrong reasons. Let’s hope the off-the-field drama involving QPR and Chelsea plus Liverpool and Manchester United doesn’t spill over to the pitch. The sooner we get the handshake or no handshake behind us, as well as the whole Patrice Evra incident, the better. Today should be a day to concentrate our focus back on the football that’s played on the pitch.

For viewers in the United States, there’ll be three other FA Cup games televised in addition to QPR/Chelsea and Liverpool/Man United. Those are Leicester against Swindon (a battle between two up-and-coming teams), Derby against Stoke City (a chance for American-owned Derby to try to get a Premier League scalp) and then, last but not least, Brighton against Newcastle. Brighton manager Gus Poyet’s side started off the season very well, but may find it too tough to beat Newcastle at their brand-new stadium. However, if Newcastle’s defense plays anything like they did against Fulham last week, anything is possible.

Starting line-ups:

Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Park, Welbeck.

Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Carragher, Henderson, Gerrard, Downing, Maxi, Carroll.

Before, during and after today’s FA Cup matches, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.

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