Round 4 is the last round before the 9 FA WSL 1 side enter the competition.Therefore 7 “lucky” teams are allowed by the FA to compete against the FA WSL 1 sides.
You really do wonder why the FA allows its elite team to come so late in the competition. It is extremely unfair to the lower division teams. It seems like all the lower divisions team are battling for the 7 seats available alongside the 9 FA WSL 1 sides.
A team like Notts County last season reached the FA Women’s Cup final at Wembley without even playing one WSL 1 side. For years and years, the competition was balanced enough but in the last few years, it has become extremely unbalanced against the FA WPL and below sides.
WSL 2 v WSL 2
Bristol City or v Yeovil Town
An interesting derby with many players that have played for both sides and a few moving this winter from one club to another. It wil also gives us a first indication on the promotion battle as both side will look to go to FA WSL 1
WSL 2 v FA WPL Northern or Southern
Sheffield FC v Sporting Club Albion
The FA WSL 2 side will be wary of Northern Division promotion contender SC Albion and this is defintely a potential banana skin for the WSL side.
Everton v Nottingham Forest
Everton have had a good pre-season playing many games and therefore should be sharp enough. Forest are riding high in the Northern Division and will give a tough game to the Toffees.
Loughborough Foxes v Millwall Lionesses
Millwall are in the middle of a rebuilding job with 10 new players signed and the Foxes who went through on penalties in the previous round will have to be at their ebst to cause an upset.
Durham v Charlton Athletic
Charlton are on fire at the moment and went far last season in the tournament. Their 2016 results ( 9-0,5-0,9-0, 0-0 !, 10-0,8-0, 5-0) says it all.Durham will need to be at full speed to avoid an upset as Charlton are another strong promotion contender witha lot of experienced players.
Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa
Spurs have been improving every season in the FA WPL and have recruited well, they are probably short of three players to compete for promotion but will give a game to a Villa side that only won 1-0 in the previous round against Portsmouth
FA WPL Northern/Southern v FA WPL Northern/Southern
Brighton & Hove Albion v Blackburn Rovers
We are guaranteed an FA WPL side in round 5 with Southern Division leaders Brighton at home to Northern Division promotion contender Blackburn who hammered West Ham in the previous round.
So these are my predictions : obviously we will have one FA WSL 2 side and one FA WPL side in Round 5. I can see up to three underdogs team upset the FA WSL 2 side.
I would say we will have either 4 FA WSL 2 and 3 FA WPL side in Round 5 or 3 FA WSL 2 and 4 FA WPL side in Round 5 in the hat with the 9 FA WSL 1 teams.