The third round of the oldest cup competition in world football commences this weekend which offers punters another opportunity to seek value in some of the so-called big teams, while the prospect of an upset will be much more likely. Here, we take a look at 10 FA Cup matches to form what should turn out to be a winning bet slip.
Aston Villa v Liverpool (Friday)
Liverpool will have a shot at revenge over Aston Villa when the Reds square up to face Dean Smith’s side after the Villans humiliated Jurgen Klopp’s men earlier this season by beating them 7-2. Funny enough, the last time these sides met in a cup competition, Villa got another one over Liverpool, winning 5-0 in the Carabao Cup in 2019, however, that was the Reds’ Under 23 squad as the first team was in Qatar, competing in the FIFA Club World Cup. Klopp is likely to rotate a few of his key players and considering this fixture has already produced goals in the past, we could be in for another entertaining affair.
Everton v Rotherham United (Saturday)
Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping to go one step closer of adding another piece of silverware to his impressive CV when his Everton side host Rotherham at Goodison Park. The Toffees come off the back of a disappointing 1-0 defeat to West Ham, although, before that, Everton were on a five-game unbeaten run, winning four in a row in the Premier League. Rotherham are 23rd in the English Championship and have lost seven of their 10 away games in England’s second tier.
Oldham Athletic v Bournemouth (Saturday)
This tie should be easy pickings for Bournemouth who face League Two side, Oldham Athletic. The hosts have been disappointing, especially on home soil where they have won just two of their 11 matches played, while they’ve also lost eight times in that run. Bournemouth have looked like a side who are not ready to get used to life in the Championship again as the Cherries have started the campaign off brightly, fighting for top spot in the league, while they also push for promotion back into the top flight. Bournemouth have scored 37 goals in the Championship which is the second most in the division.
Burnley v MK Dons (Saturday)
Burnley have the opportunity to put their poor start to the season behind them and continue their superb home form when they welcome MK Dons to Turf Moor. The Clarets have turned the corner in recent matches and are now unbeaten in four home games, winning three times. MK Dons have been underwhelming this term and are 16th in the English League One. Considering the fact that Burnley should pitch up with their strongest team, the visitors will have the slimmest of chances to cause an upset.
Arsenal v Newcastle United (Saturday)
Arsenal’s FA Cup defence will begin at the Emirates Stadium as Mikel Arteta’s side welcome Newcastle United to North London. The Gunners recently went through one of their worst periods ever, but have since turned the corner, winning three games in a row for the first time this season. Arsenal will also have the luxury of welcoming back Thomas Partey and Gabriel Magalhaes who have been ruled out due to injury and illness. Newcastle are currently winless in five matches, losing three times in that run.
Huddersfield v Plymouth Argyle (Saturday)
It’s not going to be very often that Huddersfield will be strong favourites this season, but in this fixture, they’ll surely be fancying their chances against Plymouth Argyle. The hosts haven’t had the best of starts to their season, but have done fairly well at home, winning seven of their 12 ties at the John Smith’s Stadium. Plymouth Argyle are one of three teams across England’s four professional leagues who are yet to win away from home. The other two teams being Sheffield United and Stevenage.
Manchester United v Watford (Saturday)
Manchester United’s FA Cup campaign begins with a tricky test at home to Watford. The Red Devils have been outstanding this season and have punched above their weight to the point of being one of the frontrunners for the title as we approach the halfway mark in the Premier League. In the top flight, no team has won more games than Manchester United, who also have a game in hand which could also potentially take them on top of England’s top flight. Watford have won one of their last four matches in the Championship, while the Hornets also have just two wins under their belt from 11 away encounters.
Barnsley v Tranmere Rovers (Sunday)
Once more, a team in the Championship will be firm favourites to deliver in the third round of the FA Cup as Barnsley are unfamiliar favourites in this matchup as they host Tranmere Rovers. The visitors are 13th in League Two, winning just one of their last five league games. Barnsley have won five of their last seven league outings and are currently three points off the promotion spots.
Crawley Town v Leeds United (Sunday)
The team everybody has grown a soft spot for under Marcelo Bielsa is in action once more as Leeds United face Crawley Town. Playing a League Two side will be a completely different ball game and much less tactical for Leeds to deal with, but the Peacocks have shown their ability to adapt on many occasions already this campaign. They score goals for fun and you get the feeling that Crawley Town will have to score a couple of goals in this tie if they are to have any chance of even holding Leeds to a draw.
Stockport County v West Ham (Monday)
Non-League opponents always prove to be tricky in cup competitions and Stockport County will be hoping for another case of this when they host West Ham United. The hosts beat Yeovil Town 3-2 in the second round to book their spot in this weekend’s showdown. West Ham are currently in the top half of the Premier League table and come off the back of an impressive 1-0 victory at Everton. With all their experience and quality, West Ham should round off all our winning bets on Monday night.