This weekend will be a busy one for bookmakers such as bet365 Sport and that is because from Friday through to Monday we will have 64 teams battling it out to reach Round 4 of the FA Cup.

The oldest and most famous knockout competition in club football is back and now the big boys are in the competition, with the 20 Premier League and 24 Championship teams alongside 20 teams that qualified from the second round, set to do battle to move on to the next round.

In this article, we’ll learn a bit more about the FA Cup competition, why it is so popular with fans, the long history of the tournament and some of its most successful teams.

Then we will finish off with a look at the Third Round of games coming up this weekend, with odds provided, as you guessed, by bet365 Sport.

Last season saw Chelsea in their third successive FA Cup Final and their fifth in six years, but once again they fell short, losing to Liverpool on penalties.

So let’s begin with a look back at the tournament’s long and interesting history.

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The History Of The FA Cup

The very first FA Cup competition was contested in the 1871/72 season and it is a non-seeded tournament where teams enter at different stages (depending on how far up or down the football pyramid in the UK the team plays).

That first final was played at Kennington Oval, site of the Oval Cricket Ground today, and resulted in a 1-0 victory for Wanderers over Royal Engineers.

The 2022/23 tournament saw 732 teams enter the competition, the majority of those starting their quest for glory in the Preliminary Competition, which runs over several rounds from August through to the First Round proper for which 32 teams from the preliminary competition join the 48 teams from League One and League Two.

The First Round sees 40 teams qualify for the Second Round and from that round, the 20 winning teams enter the Third Round draw, where they can be drawn against any team, perhaps even a plum tie against a Premier League big gun.

The competition is hugely popular with fans who love a ‘giant killing’ where a lower ranked team beats a big name top division opponent and there have been a great many of just such results over the years.

Where has the FA Cup Final been contested?

Since its inception, the FA Cup Final (and any replays required) have been hosted at many different grounds, some of which no longer exist today.

Grounds to have held the Final include:

  • Kennington Oval
  • Lillie Bridge*
  • Raceourse Ground (now Derbyshire Cricket Club County Cricket Ground)
  • Fallowfield Stadium*
  • Goodison Park
  • Crystal Palace*
  • Burnden Park*
  • Old Trafford
  • Bramall Lane
  • Stamford Bridge
  • Wembley Stadium (Original)*
  • Millennium Stadium
  • Wembley Stadium (New)

Stadia marked with an * are those that no longer exist, although some have been replaced by new stadia built on or near to the original venue.

Wembley has been regarded as the home of the FA Cup since the first final held there in 1922/23, the famous White Horse Final, when an official crowd of 126,047 witnessed Bolton beat West Ham 2-0 (although many people estimate there were considerably more than 200,000 people in attendance).

Who have been the most successful teams in the FA Cup?

The full chronological list of teams with the most success in the FA Cup is as follows.

  1. Arsenal – 14 wins, 7 runners up
  2. Man Utd – 12 wins, 8 runners up
  3. Chelsea – 8 wins, 8 runners up
  4. Liverpool – 8 wins, 7 runners up
  5. Tottenham – 8 Wins, 1 runners up
  6. Aston Villa – 7 wins, 4 runners up
  7. Newcastle United – 6 wins, 7 runners up
  8. Man City – 6 wins, 5 runners up
  9. Blackburn Rovers – 6 wins, 2 runners up
  10. Everton – 5 wins, 8 runners up
  11. West Bromwich Albion – 5 wins, 5 runners up
  12. Wanderers – 5 wins, 0 runners up
  13. Wolves – 4 wins, 4 runners up
  14. Bolton Wanderers – 4 wins, 3 runners up
  15. Sheffield United – 4 wins, 2 runners up
  16. Sheffield Wednesday – 3 wins, 3 runners up
  17. West Ham – 3 wins, 2 runners up
  18. Preston North End – 2 wins, 5 runners up
  19. Old Etonians – 2 wins, 4 runners up
  20. Portsmouth – 2 wins, 3 runners up
  21. Sunderland – 2 wins, 2 runners up
  22. Nottingham Forest – 2 wins, 1 runner up
  23. Bury – 2 wins, 0 runners up
  24. A total of 21 teams have won the FA Cup once
  25. A total of 13 teams have reached the FA Cup Final but have never won it, of those only four teams have appeared in two finals and not won either (Queens Park, Birmingham City, Crystal Palace and Watford).

FA Cup Records

  • Biggest FA Cup Final Win – 6-0 (Bury 6-0 Derby in 1903, Man City 6-0 Watford in 2018)
  • Most Consecutive Wins – Wanderers & Blackburn Rovers – 3
  • Most FA Cup Wins by an Individual Player – Ashley Cole – 7 wins
  • Most FA Cup Final Goals – Ian Rush – 5
  • Most FA Cup Finals Scored In – Didier Drogba – 4

Let’s take a look now at the games coming up this weekend in the FA Cup Third Round in England.

FA Cup Third Round 2023

Friday 6th January

  • Manchester United v Everton

Saturday 7th January

  • Preston North End v Huddersfield Town
  • Reading v Watford
  • Tottenham Hotspur v Portsmouth
  • Gillingham v Leicester City
  • Forest Green v Birmingham City
  • Crystal Palace v Southampton
  • Hull City v Fulham
  • Middlesbrough v Brighton
  • Fleetwood v QPR
  • Ipswich Town v Rotherham United
  • Bournemouth v Burnley
  • Blackpool v Nottingham Forest
  • Chesterfield v West Bromwich Albion
  • Millwall v Sheffield United
  • Boreham Wood v Accrington Stanley
  • Shrewsbury v Sunderland
  • Brentford v West Ham United
  • Coventry City v Wrexham
  • Luton Town v Wigan Athletic
  • Grimsby Town v Burton Albion
  • Sheffield Wednesday v Newcastle United
  • Liverpool v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Sunday 8th January

  • Derby County v Barnsley
  • Bristol City v Swansea City
  • Cardiff City v Leeds United
  • Stockport County v Walsall
  • Hartlepool United v Stoke City
  • Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers
  • Aston Villa v Stevenage Borough
  • Manchester City v Chelsea

Monday 9th January

  • Oxford United v Arsenal

Our Top Tips For The Weekend’s FA Cup Games

We’ve put together this accumulator bet for the FA Cup this weekend and we think it has a great chance of coming in:

  • Manchester United to beat Everton (9/20)
  • QPR to beat Fleetwood (10/11)
  • Middlesbrough to beat Brighton (9/2)
  • Sunderland to beat Shrewsbury (Evens)
  • Leeds Utd to beat Cardiff (5/6)
  • Man City to beat Chelsea (4/9)

At the stated odds, which were correct at the time of writing but may have changed in the meantime, this sixfold bet would see you get odds of 79.63/1.

So why not tune in to bet365 this week and see what FA Cup bets you like the look of?