Barstool’s FA Cup Preview – The “4th Round (aka ‘Time For Some Big Boys To Die Humiliating Deaths’)” Edition

Sam’s Fantastically Craptastic FA Cup Pick’em


Hello haters,

How is everybody doing today? I’m doing jolly well, thanks for asking. As it happens, we are in the midst of one of the many mini-midseason breaks from actual league play that have instead been set aside for “those other overlapping and frankly really confusing competitions” – as they are usually known by many part-time and/or would-be fans. (Note: If that description does indeed ring true for you feel free to reach out on twitter and I’m happy to explain to the best of my limited abilities how everything fits together, as well as the varying levels of importance assigned to different competitions.)

Traditionally, there are usually a number of massive upsets wherein some EPL big dicks get neutered by minnows (or at least get held to a draw and forced into playing a replay… which can sometimes end up being even better [ie, lucrative] than a win for the wee clubs). Last season these included City losing at home to Middlesbrough, Blackburn spanking Swansea and the mother of them all – at the time – champions-in-waiting Chelsea getting taken behind the woodshed at Stamford Bridge no less by something called Bradford City.

Rock bottom… Just kidding! Not even close!

Rock bottom… Just kidding! Not even close!

Point being, there are bound to be a few lottery tickets out there just dying to be cashed this weekend… so without further ado, let’s get to finding them.



I can barely remember what I ate for dinner last night, let alone what happened in the third round of FA Cup games, so here’s a quick refresher:


And then of course the more recent replays involving clubs that fought to a draw in their first effort:


Which brings us to this weekend’s slate of 16 games:



Since we missed today’s Derby/United game (congrats LVG! You get to coach another game, probably!), let’s start with the highest profile matchup of the weekend…

Liverpool (-105)
West Ham (+285)
Draw (+255)

Slavan Bilic’s boys have had Liverpool’s number this season, spanking the Reds 3-0 at Anfield in August during the bad-old Brendan Rodgers days, then winning again 2-0 at Upton Park earlier this month. Keen observers will notice that Liverpool has been having some difficulties putting the ball in the net against the Hammers so far this season. In fact, it has really been a season of feast or famine for Liverpool, particularly recently when they scored either three or four goals each against Arsenal, Exeter and Norwich, while being held scoreless in 0-1 losses to United and Stoke – all within the last month.

The XI that Klopp settles on will be interesting to take note of, as he is without a number of important players through injury (Skrtel and Clyne on defense, plus Coutinho and Henderson in midfield) and may decide to rest others (eg, Firmino, Lillana, Milner) knowing that he’s already in one cup final and with a heavy slate of regular season and Spursday Night soccer games lying directly ahead. As for West Ham, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho – who scored in the first and second games against Liverpool, respectively – will miss out, though Bilic has a relatively free hand to play otherwise.

In the end, I can’t help thinking this turns into a bit of a shootout, if only because there is a good chance Kolo Toure will be involved. Sorry to disappoint all the Liverpool fans out there who believe I hate them, but I think the Reds will muster enough offense to progress. Liverpool to win 3-2.

No Kolo, no party

No Kolo, no party


Aston Villa (+400)
City (-145)
Draw (+285)

Villa has been getting finger blasted more often than Kanye’s asshole lately, and it’s hard not to feel for fans of the once-proud club that looks headed inexorably towards its first-ever stint in the Championship. Anybody picking them to beat one of the league favorites this weekend is probably an idiot, and definitely a dickhead. Villa to win 2-1.



Other games:

• Is this the week that Tottenham [-255] comes out of nowhere and completely shits the bed? It very well could be. The loss of Jan Vertonghen to injury for the next 5-6 weeks is going to take some getting used to, and whatever the hell Colchester [+750] is just might be the beneficiary. It pains me to say it, and in the spirit of full disclosure there is zero-point-zero percent chance that I’d touch this game with somebody else’s money, but it would not surprise me at all if somehow, some way Colchester wins 2-1 and I get just a little more dead inside.

• MK Dons [+1000] captured a lot of hearts and minds when they beat the ever-living shit out of LVG’s Nascent Army last season. However, they are not playing with the same panache this season, having lost 16 out of 28 games so far thanks in large part to an important offense that has generated just 23 goals. That will be music to the ears of Chelsea [-295], where defensive ineptitude has been one of the club’s Achilles heels this season. As it is though, the Blues should have a lot more freedom than they are used to, and are likely to exploit it. Chelsea to win 3-1.

10/10 would not bang… or loan in

10/10 would not bang… or loan in



La Liga: don’t get much better than BARRRRRR-THELONA versus ATLETICO on Saturday (10am ET on beIN Sports). Not much else to say about that.

Serie A: My, my how the Derby della Madonnina has fallen on hard time. No matter, still should be an entertaining game and wtf else do you have to do this Sunday (2:45pm ET on beIN Sports)?? In this one, AC Milan has essentially been relegated to playing the role of spoiler for Inter’s hopes of hanging around the title race.

Bundesliga: Best game of the weekend likely already happened on Friday when Mainz hosted Monchenpenisgladbach, but the best of the rest is probably BVB welcoming Ingolstandt on Saturday (9:30am ET on FS2) – if only because the rest of the slate is even less appetizing.

USMNT: Not to be forgotten, we’ve got the first friendly of the year for Klinsmann & Co, who face Iceland on Sunday (3:45pm ET on ESPN2). Tough to get too excited about this type of game but it will be interesting to see who JK gives time to. I am personally excited to watch how Matt Miazga looks. He’s an exciting player and all sorts of rumors about him heading overseas soon. I seriously doubt it happens though, but guess you never know.



So there you go, the best (and worst) weekend soccer preview you are liable to find on Barstool this week. Unfortunately I’ll be back to bother you before you know it as we’ve got a FULL slate of regular season EPL action coming up on Tuesdays, so check yous then…


Okay, Neymar. Okay.

Okay, Neymar. Okay.

[Secret postscript for those of you who actually read before running down to the comments to call me an idiot: yes, I am kidding about Miazga… not a huge fan of the destination given Chelsea’s relatively poor track record of player development, but interested to see how it works out.]

Sam U. L. Army