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The Magic of the FA Cup: Live Action from the Fifth Round

We're getting to the point where the Cup fixtures become really interesting, as the remaining teams have to decide whether to prioritize the chance to win silverware or their league campaign.

Will it be glory for the Blues again in 2014? If not, who will take them out?
Will it be glory for the Blues again in 2014? If not, who will take them out?
Shaun Botterill

Throw European involvement into the mix for many of the teams and there's a lot of interesting rotation going on that could allow some of the underdogs a chance to come through with an upset and move into the final rounds.

The English weather is continuing to wreak havoc on the fixtures with the Sheffield Wednesday - Charlton Athletic match postponed, so we'll get the weekend underway with three fixtures today:

Sunderland v. Southampton

Cardiff City v. Wigan Athletic

Manchester City v. Chelsea

Each of these matches holds a lot of promise for entertainment. Gus Poyet's Sunderland side have been much improved lately, and there's an opportunity for some of his January signings to prove themselves against a Saints squad that has struggled mightily since taking the league by storm at the beginning of the season. With Victor Wanyama back in action, the visitors should be more defensively sound, and can cause problems going forward as well.

Defending champions Wigan have been impressive in the cup campaign yet again, and will be eager to take down another Premier League opponent as they travel to Wales to take on a Cardiff City side still trying to find themselves after the departure of Malky Mackay. If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can get a result in this match, it may be the spark his team need to claw their way out of the relegation places in the league.

Today's biggest match is by far the Man City - Chelsea game. Will Jose Mourinho park the bus yet again in an attempt to stifle the potent City attack, or will he alter his strategy this time around? Will Pellegrini's charges have what it takes to break down the experienced Blues defense? Whichever team makes it through to the next round may hold a psychological advantage as the league campaign comes to a head.

The rest of the fixtures for this round also provide some interest, as Everton take on Swansea, Liverpool look to repeat their demolition of Arsenal, Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest continue their impressive runs and Hull City has the chance to make it through to the sixth round with a fixture away to Brighton.

Which teams do you think should make the FA Cup their priority? Who would you rest from these teams? Do you have any score predictions? Let's chat!