Published on January 1st, 2018 | by Ian John

Merseyside Derby Kicks Off a Busy Weekend of FA Cup Third Round Action

This coming weekend is one of the busiest and most exciting of the year for football fans as the ‘big boys’ from the top two divisions of English Football join in with the teams from the lower two divisions and non-league in what promises to be an exciting FA Cup Third Round.

This is always one of the biggest betting weekends of the season as punters try to predict whether there will be any giant-killing performances, such as Wolves defeat of Liverpool at Anfield last season and of course, you can enjoy all the top betting this year as always at Coral Sport.

A total of 32 games will be played over the round with the winners heading into round four and the draw for the competition, which took place back at the start of December has thrown together some intriguing ties.

FA Cup Third Round Draw (all games 3pm kick off unless stated)

Friday 5th January 2018

  • Liverpool v Everton (7.55pm)
  • Manchester United v Derby County (8pm)

Saturday 6th January

  • Fleetwood Town v Leicester City (12.45pm)
  • Middlesbrough v Sunderland (1pm)
  • Aston Villa v Peterborough
  • Birmingham City v Burton Albion
  • Blackburn Rovers v Hull City
  • Bolton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town
  • Bournemouth v Wigan Athletic
  • Brentford v Notts County
  • Cardiff City v Mansfield Town
  • Coventry City v Stoke City
  • Doncaster Rovers v Rochdale
  • Exeter City v West Bromwich Albion
  • Fulham v Southampton
  • Ipswich Town v Sheffield United
  • Manchester City v Burnley
  • Millwall v Barnsley
  • Newcastle United v Luton Town
  • P.R v MK Dons
  • Stevenage Borough v Reading
  • Watford v Bristol City
  • Wolves v Swansea City
  • Wycombe Wanderers v Preston North End
  • Yeovil Town v Bradford City
  • Norwich City v Chelsea (5.30pm)

Sunday 7th January

  • Newport County v Leeds United (12pm)
  • Shrewsbury Town v West Ham (2pm)
  • Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Wimbledon
  • Nottingham Forest v Arsenal (4pm)

Monday 8th January

  • Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace

Our Tips for the Ties of the Round and Possible Upsets

The main excitement for any FA Cup Third Round is the possibility of some upsets, plus some of the big clashes between top teams that will see one of them eliminated relatively early from the competition. We have perused the 32 games above and come up with our selection of the biggest games and also a number of games where a potential giantkilling could be on the cards.

The Big Clashes

Liverpool v Everton (Friday 19.55, Live on BBC One)Bet Stars Football

These teams met just a few weeks ago with Everton claiming a 1-1 draw thanks to some mindless defending from Dejan Lovren gifting the Blues a penalty they scarcely deserved. In truth, the draw was down to Liverpool’s inability to convert their possession into chances and with Everton now on a fantastic run of form, this becomes a rather tough game for the home side.

It will be interesting to see what team both sides pick for this game. Both managers tend to rest players for FA Cup matches, prioritising the league, but will they do so at the risk of being beaten by their most fierce rivals?

Given the number of matches both teams have had over the Christmas period, I do feel it is likely both managers will rest key players here and that makes this game far more even than the 2/5 on Liverpool and 17/2 on Everton winning suggest.

Given the changes likely for both teams, I strongly fancy that this will end in a draw and the teams will have to meet again at Goodison Park a short time later. You can back the draw with Coral at odds of around 3/1.

Manchester City v Burnley (Saturday, 3pm)

Manchester City’s quest for the quadruple is going well. Already in the Champions League knockout phase, top of the Premier League by 11 points and into the Carabao Cup semi-finals, City now begin their FA Cup campaign with a home tie against Sean Dyche’s Burnley.

I am certain that Pep Guardiola, especially after a busy Christmas period of matches, will be playing an effective second-string here, but the problem for Burnley is that this team will still likely be packed full of top quality international players.

With their Premier League status all but secure for next season, I am wondering if Dyche will see this as a chance for Burnley to cause a big upset here and whether he will be tempted to go for the win against a City side that will likely have 10 or 11 changes to its usual team.

If Dyche picks his strongest Burnley team and City are under-strength, this could be another close one and as such, I think the 11/2 you can get on this one being a draw could well be worth a flutter.

Potential Giant Killings?

Norwich City v Chelsea (Saturday, 5.30pm)

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte will likely rest many key players for this trip to Carrow Road and that gives Norwich at least a fighting chance here. That said, Chelsea’s team will still be packed with star players who cost the club a fortune, so they are not going to be a mix of reserve and youth team players there for the taking by a more experienced Norwich side.

Norwich are 16th in the Championship on 27 points from 22 games and scoring goals has been their problem with just 21 scored in those matches. Against a Chelsea defence sure to be well organised whoever plays, that could be problematic.

TV have picked this game as a potential banana-skin for Chelsea, but I think that their odds of 2/5 for the win is about right and I can’t see Norwich getting the better of them here.

Nottingham Forest v Arsenal (Sunday 4pm)

The glory days at Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough may be a distant memory now, but they face an Arsenal side at the City Ground on Sunday in the hope that they, rather like Bristol City did in the Carabao Cup against Manchester United, can cause a huge upset.

The Gunners have won this trophy more times than anyone and Arsene Wenger, with seven wins, is the most successful FA Cup manager in history, so defeating even what is likely to be an under-strength Arsenal side here is going to be no easy task for Forest.

The home fans have not seen their side draw a game this season, so it has either been feast or famine for Forest at times. The problem they have is that Arsenal’s second string side has had plenty of practice this season in the Europa League and they passed that with flying colours and in truth, I think they’ll do likewise here.  Arsenal at 2/5 to win here is the only bet option for me.


About the Author

Ian John

Ian is a lifelong poker fan, and while he hasn't been writing about poker as long as he's been playing it, he still delivers insightful, comprehensive guides to UK online poker sites. Add Ian on Google Plus and Twitter.



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