City meet Stoke in the FA Cup for the first time since 1976 and only the second time in the fifth round. The two teams have been drawn together five times in the FA Cup, with the blues emerging triumphant on three occasions and knocked out twice by the Potters.
The first time the two were drawn together was in 1911, when City won their first round tie at the Victoria Ground 2-1. Their only fifth round meeting was 17 years later at Maine Road when Stoke ran out 1-0 winners. Six years later, Stoke again travelled to Maine Road and were beaten 1-0 in the 6th round. The game was watched by City’s record crowd of 84,569 which is still a record English attendance for a match played outside of London.
They would have to wait 39 years until being paired together again, this time in the third round at Maine Road when Bell, Summerbee and Marsh scored in a 3-2 win. But the last meeting took place in the fourth round at the Victoria Ground when The Potters won 1-0.
If City win on Saturday, it will be only the fifth time they have won an FA Cup fifth round game since 1970. The first occasion was on the road to Wembley in 1981, when the blues won 1-0 at Peterborough. Seven years later, City beat Plymouth Argyle 3-1 at Maine Road to set up a quarter final meeting with Liverpool while in 1993 Barnsley were beaten 2-0 at Maine Road.
In 2006 and 2007 City won their fifth round matches at home to Aston Villa (2-1 after a replay) and 3-1 away at Preston.
But the blues have also lost ten fifth round matches, starting at home to Arsenal in 1971 (2-1), away to Sunderland in 1973 (3-1) and at Leeds in 1977 (1-0). In 1991, City travelled to Notts County and the game was a giant-killing as County won 1-0 before three successive fifth round defeats at Newcastle in 1995 (3-1), United in 1996 (2-1) and at home to Middlesbrough in 1997 (1-0).
In 2001, City were beaten 4-2 at Liverpool, 1-0 at Newcastle and 4-2 at United again. Given the statistics, the omens are good for a City victory but in the cup, it’s anyone’s game.
Statistics courtesy of www.mcfcstats.co.uk
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