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Could Lincoln City Cause One of The Biggest Upsets in English Football?

Friday 10th March 2017
This weekend we will see the mighty brutes of Arsenal take on little old Lincoln City in the FA Cup quarter-final. Lincoln became the first Non-League club to reach the quarter-finals since 1914. An impressive feat alone. Arsenal have experience and they've won the FA Cup 12 times in their history.

Arsenal currently sit 5th in the Premier League while Lincoln are top of the National League (5th tier). 88 places differ between the two sides. You would think they will not want to waste such a good opportunity against the Gunners this Saturday at 5:30 P.M.

Arsenal's FA Cup Journey

Arsenal managed to knockout Preston North End in the third round with a 2-1 win at Deepdale. Arsenal struggled but finally, a late goal from Olivier Giroud gave them the victory to advance through. In the fourth round, Arsenal played at St Mary's Stadium against Southampton. Arsenal stole the show with two goals from Danny Welbeck and a hat-trick from Theo Walcott against his former side in a 5-0 victory.
In the fifth round, Arsenal was drawn away against Non-League side Sutton United. An interesting fixture for the neutral. Although giant killers in their past (we are looking at you Coventry City circa 1988) Sutton put up a good fight they couldn't cope with Arsenal's quality and Arsene Wenger's side defeated them 2-0 to go through to the quarter-finals.

Lincoln City's FA Cup Journey

Lincoln City have had a rollercoaster of a season flying high in the league, six points ahead of 2nd place and getting through to the quarter-finals of the prestigious FA Cup. Their journey so far is what you would describe as a fairy tale.

The Imps entered the competition in the fourth qualifying round and were up against Guiseley. The match ended in a 0-0 draw and had to be replayed. The returning fixture ended in a 2-1 victory for Lincoln. They then advanced to the first round proper.
In the first round, Lincoln defeated Altrincham 2-1 at home. The second round saw them come up against League One side Oldham Athletic. With the game being played at Sincil Bank, Lincoln won in a 3-2 thriller to advance through yet again.

Round three was one of Lincoln's biggest tests of the season coming up against Ipswich at Portman Road. They somehow managed to draw 2-2 with the Championship side and forced a replay to take back to Sincil Bank. In the replay, Lincoln managed to grab themselves a 1-0 victory with a goal from Nathan Arnold in added time.

The fourth round saw Lincoln take on another Championship side, Brighton & Hove Albion. A 3-1 victory at home was more than enough to advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Lincoln was drawn to Burnley in the fifth round and they were optimistic about a result at Turf Moor. They deemed themselves victors after a late goal by Sean Raggett in a 1-0 win to stun the footballing world. It was a surprise to many and is one of the biggest upsets in the FA Cup. Lincoln get the chance to make an even bigger upset this Saturday against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

This weekend could be a great time for Lincoln to play Arsenal due to a 5-1 thrashing against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. However, Arsenal will have something to prove against the non-league side. If Arsenal do not succeed against Lincoln it could leave Arsene Wenger and his side red-faced.

Arsenal will be desperate to win this but so will Lincoln. From their current run, Lincoln will have made so much revenue from broadcasting rights. Their game against Arsenal will be the fourth game televised this season meaning that a lot of funding for the club will be very useful.
One other aspect of profit for Lincoln is gate receipts. Every FA Cup game splits ticket sales 45% to each side and 10% goes back to the FA.  Lincoln's quarter-final game at the Emirates will be played in front of roughly 60,000 people. This will generate a great deal of profit for Lincoln and in addition, will be a great financial aid for the club.

This fixture will be interesting nonetheless from a neutral perspective. Hopefully, it will be an entertaining match up and we will see plenty of chances. In conclusion, I would say that Arsenal will probably win but you can never say never and this is football after all. Anything can happen.

Some bookies have Lincoln winning at 25/1. With chances like that it wouldn't hurt for some of us to put a few quid on them to win. We hope to see a thriller of a match and maybe another upset from Lincoln City.
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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