DERBY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18:  A general view of iPro Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Pride Park Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Derby, England.  (Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images)

Top 5 potential road trips for the fourth round of the FA Cup

In a perfect world in which I had unlimited financial resources, or access to a Star Trek-inspired transporter, I’d be over in England at the end of the month trying to decide which FA Cup match I’d like to see.

The fourth round of the competition is set for the weekend of Jan. 29-31, and here’s a look at the draw:

Friday, Jan. 29

Derby County vs. Manchester United

Saturday, Jan. 30

Colchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

West Bromwich Albion vs. Peterborough United

Bolton Wanderers vs. Leeds United

Arsenal vs. Burnley

Reading vs. Walsall

Aston Villa vs. Manchester City

Shrewsbury Town vs. Sheffield Wednesday

Nottingham Forest vs. Watford

Crystal Palace vs. Stoke City

Oxford United vs. Blackburn Rovers

Portsmouth vs. Bournemouth

Bury vs. Hull City

Liverpool vs. West Ham United

Sunday, Jan. 31

Carlisle United vs. Everton

Milton Keynes Dons vs. Chelsea

Now, there are some fine options here. I could easily rattle off 10. But the headline suggests I can only choose five, so let’s get to it:

5. Liverpool vs. West Ham — Now, having never been to any of these grounds, I think Anfield is a fine place to start. You get an all-Premier League matchup with West Ham, a stadium steeped in tradition and passionate fans that do this before kickoff:

Looks like a good time to me.

4. Arsenal vs. Burnley — I think if you plan an imaginary trip to England to watch soccer, you have to include at least one stop in London on your agenda. I would like to see the Emirates, even if the matchup isn’t the most appealing. As an added bonus, this feels like the sort of match I could get my wife to agree to attend. Too bad I can’t watch one at Highbury. It sounded like so much fun in Nick Hornby’s “Fever Pitch.”

3. Milton Keynes Dons vs. Chelsea — Google tells me that Stadium mk is about 55 miles north of London. I don’t know a thing about the area or the ground, but the prospect of watching two clubs that many fans in England hate is appealing.

2. Portsmouth vs. Bournemouth — As a newbie soccer fan, I read Chuck Culpepper’s “Bloody Confused.” In it, he shared his journey towards becoming a Portsmouth fan. I’ve had a soft spot for Pompey ever since. And who doesn’t love scrappy little Bournemouth?

1. Derby County vs. Manchester United — With one of the most popular clubs in the world visiting a place steeped in history, this would be my first stop. I watched Derby play quite a bit during its disastrous EPL run in the 2007-2008, and it’s in my nature to root for underdogs. How else can you explain the fact that, with the pick of the whole country, I became a Fulham supporter?

About Randy Capps

South Carolina native, Fulham apologist, writer and sports fanatic.

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