FA Cup fourth round: 10 things to look out for this weekend

1) Will Rangnick get more out of Pogba?

A hugely difficult week for Manchester United ends with them facing one of the form teams in the Championship. Chris Wilder, the Boro manager, has banned his players from swapping shirts with Cristiano Ronaldo, remarking they are not on a “sight-seeing tour”. His last visit to Old Trafford came with Sheffield United, their 2-1 win a rare highlight in a doomed final season, and Wilder has always had a taste for tweaking the nose of the gilded elite. Talking of which, Paul Pogba is fit enough for selection by Ralf Rangnick. Can Rangnick find Pogba a settled role in the team where José Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjær failed? Or, with the Frenchman’s contract ticking down towards a free transfer, will the interim manager even try? “He might even be in the starting XI,” Rangnick said on Thursday, though Pogba would not seem an ideal fit for Rangnick’s prescribed style. JB

2) Pilgrims bid to storm Stamford Bridge

It was after last season’s fourth-round tie that Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard, despite beating Luton 3-1 with a Tammy Abraham hat-trick. Mason Mount was handed the armband that day, a pointed gesture from a manager knowing his likely fate. Now for the visit of Plymouth Argyle. On Thursday, Pilgrims manager Steven Schumacher, a one-time Everton youth-team colleague of Wayne Rooney, said: “I’m sure the lads will find the energy from somewhere to go away to Stamford Bridge.” His team have endured long recent trips to Fleetwood and Doncaster, while many Chelsea players have enjoyed a rest in the international window; Schumacher called that a “winter break”. Plymouth, seventh in League One, hope to emulate Bradford in 2015 and pull-off a famous FA Cup shock at Stamford Bridge. Perhaps Jordan Houghton, a former Chelsea youngster, can repeat the role of Filipe Morais, a goalscorer that day against his old club. JB

Jordan Houghton (centre, No 4) could return to haunt his former club, Chelsea, on Saturday.
Jordan Houghton (centre, No 4) could return to haunt his former club, Chelsea, on Saturday. Photograph: Dave Rowntree/PPAUK/Shutterstock

3) Ghosts of upsets past for Hammers trio

There’s a scene in the 1994 documentary, “Inside Story – the Manageress” where a 24-year-old Karren Brady, then managing director of Birmingham City, jokes down the phone with club owner David Sullivan at the prospect of facing Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup third round: “If they beat us, we will pack it in.” Naturally, the non-league Harriers famously ran out 2-1 winners over second-tier City. Kidderminster beat a Preston side containing David Moyes in the fourth round, only to controversially lose to West Ham in the fifth round. Brady and Sullivan stayed on at Birmingham, of course, despite the third-round embarrassment. Now vice-chairman and joint chairman of West Ham respectively, they will surely have winced at the draw this time around, even if Kidderminster are the lowest-ranked side left in the draw. The National League North side put Reading out in the last round at…

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