After defeating Birmingham City in the FA Cup’s Third Round, Manchester City will face Cheltenham Town in the competition’s Fourth Round. Cheltenham will host the match.
On paper, this is a very uneven matchup as Cheltenham play in the fourth-division of English football while Manchester City compete in the top flight of English football. The match should be straightforward, but the Sky Blues cannot afford to be complacent.
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Many will remember City’s FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Wigan Athletic during the 2017/18 season. The Sky Blues were heavily favored to win the match, but Wigan had other plans. City’s Fabian Delph was sent off at half-time, and City were down to ten men during the entire second half. Wigan would earn a surprising 1-0 victory after City’s defense were caught napping and Wigan scored against the run of play through Will Grigg late in the match to the shock of fans and media around the world.
Under manager Pep Guardiola, the Sky Blues also lost against Arsenal in the FA Cup’s Semi-finals in both 2016/17 and 2019/20. Man City, however, did win the competition with Guardiola during the memorable 2018/19 season. After defeating Watford 6-0, City became the first senior men’s team in English football to win all three (or four) of England’s domestic trophies: the English Premier League, Carabao Cup, FA Cup, and Community Shield.
Cheltenham Town will face the Citizens on Saturday, 23 January in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Should City defeat their opposition, they will travel to either Swansea or Nottingham Forest during the competition’s fifth round.