The 3rd round of the FA Cup is always an exciting time for football fans and this year’s ties look set to provide some fantastic entertainment. As the Premier League and Championship clubs enter the competition, The72 preview what is set to be a thrilling weekend of football.

 

Saturday

Bolton v Blackpool

Blackpool’s trip to Bolton is set to be the best all-Championship game of the round. Blackpool are currently on a horrendous run having lost seven of their last ten matches and they haven’t won since their 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in late November. Bolton have been steady recently – they have won two, drew two and lost two of their last six – but they are six league places below Blackpool. The tie is a repeat of the famous 1953 FA Cup final, which is known as ‘The Stanley Matthews Final’, and it looks set to be highly entertaining. Score prediction: 3-1

Getty Images

Getty Images

 

Blackburn v Man City

Blackburn will have their work cut out to get anything out of this game. Manchester City are on fire in the Premier League and boast an incredible amount of world-class talent which Blackburn can only dream of. Rovers currently sit 10th in the Championship table and have enjoyed a decent run of form – they’ve won three of their last six and sit 7th in the Championship form table. Despite City’s qualities, Blackburn have a not-so-secret weapon in Jordan Rhodes, who can cause problem for any team in world football on his day and if City take Blackburn lightly they could rue their mistake – after all this is the FA Cup, and anything can happen. Score prediction: 1-3

Everton v QPR

This is a very tough assignment for QPR. Everton sit 5th in the top tier of English football and look set to finish in one of the European places come the end of the season. Manager Roberto Martinez has got the Toffees playing a terrific brand of football and they have already beaten Chelsea and Manchester United this season. QPR wobbled in December, only winning two games, but a win over Doncaster on New Year’s Day seems to have put them back on track. QPR will give it a real go but Everton probably have enough quality to get the job done. Score prediction: 2-0

soccerway

Soccerway

Southampton v Burnley

This game could have come at the right time for Burnley – Southampton started the season in fantastic form but a run of tough games have seen them come unstuck and the Saints have only won two of their last ten. Contrastingly, Burnley have picked a solid eleven points from their last six games but they have drawn five of their last ten – something which is sure to have irritated manager Sean Dyche. This is set to be a thrilling game between two teams who will be pleased with their efforts so far this season. Score prediction: 3-2

Aston Villa v Sheffield United: 2-0

Barnsley v Coventry: 1-1

Bournemouth v Burton: 3-1

Brighton v Reading: 1-0

Bristol City v Watford: 1-2

Doncaster v Stevenage: 2-0

Grimsby v Huddersfield: 1-1

Ipswich v Preston: 2-1

Kidderminster v Peterborough: 0-2

Macclesfield v Sheffield Wednesday: 0-2

Middlesbrough v Hull: 2-2

Rochdale v Leeds: 1-3

Southend v Millwall: 1-1

Stoke v Leicester: 1-1

Wigan v MK Dons: 2-0

Yeovil v Leyton Orient: 0-2

 

Sunday

Derby v Chelsea

Despite their defeat to Wigan on New Year’s Day, Steve McLaren’s Derby are still the Championship’s most-in-form team. They have won eight of their last ten and have climbed the table rapidly – they now sit 4th and are one of the promotion favourites. Chelsea are 3rd in the Premier League and are on a run of five games unbeaten, since their 3-2 defeat to Stoke. Playing Chelsea is a tough assignment for any team in World Football, but Derby will not turn up expecting to lose and will give Chelsea a close game. Score prediction: 1-2

Liverpool v Oldham

These two sides met in the 4th round of the competition last year, when Oldham pulled off the shock of the round winning 3-2. Lots has changed since then – Paul Dickov has been sacked and Lee Johnson’s side are once again embroiled in a relegation battle whilst Liverpool have strengthened considerably and have a real chance of winning the Premier League. Home advantage will be a key factor for Liverpool (something they lacked last year) and Oldham’s poor form means a repeat of last year’s results will be unlikely. Score prediction: 4-0

Telegraph

Telegraph

Nottingham Forest v West Ham

This game (which ITV have selected for Television coverage) holds a very real possibility of a cup upset. West Ham have a squad decimated by injury and sit 19th in the Premier League while Forest are 5th in the Championship and are 3rd in the form table. Furthermore in the last ten league matches Forest have only lost one whilst West Ham have only won one. There is a very real possibility that the two clubs could swap leagues at the end of the season and, if Forest do get the win this weekend, the balance of power will begin to shift and West Ham manager Sam Allardyce could be facing the sack. Score prediction: 2-1

Sunderland v Carlisle: 3-0

Port Vale v Plymouth: 2-0

 

Wednesday

Charlton v Oxford: 3-1


About Author

18 year old aspiring sports journalist and Northampton Town season ticket holder. Twitter: @LiamRaggett