Home Premier League Arsenal EMIRATES FA CUP: THIRD ROUND PREVIEW

EMIRATES FA CUP: THIRD ROUND PREVIEW

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The FA Cup third-round takes centre stage over the course of the next few days, as clubs from the Premier League and Championship enter the competition, with all the teams involved dreaming of a trip to Wembley in May!

Arsenal are the defending champions for two-years in a row, as the road to the arch begins for those sides in the top-tier, and in the second-tier.

THE MAIN FIVE TIES:

EXETER CITY VS LIVERPOOL

Liverpool travel to St James Park, home of League Two side, Exeter City, on Friday for a televised encounter – as the Reds face a potentially tricky encounter against Paul Tisdale’s side.

The Grecians currently reside in 16th in the fourth-tier of English football, and welcome a Liverpool side who are 75 places above them in the league pyramid.

Exeter beat Didcot Town and Port Vale to set up a date with their top-flight opponents, however all eyes will be on this corner of Devon on Fiday evening, in what will be the biggest game of their season.

Liverpool head down to the south-west following on from Tuesday’s 1-0 win away at Stoke City in the League Cup semi-final first-leg, but manager Jurgen Klopp faces a selection headache, with ten senior players missing from the squad, due to injury.

Phillipe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren, Jordan Ibe and Daniel Sturridge are amongst the ten players currently sidelined.

MANCHESTER UNITED VS SHEFFIELD UNITED

Manchester United play host to League One outfit, Sheffield United at Old Trafford on Saturday evening, in the second televised fixture.

The Red Devils have not lifted the FA Cup since May 2004 – and Louis Van Gaal’s men will be hoping to avoid an upset against the third-tier Blades, with United currently in a unhealthy run of form, which was eased with a win over Swansea City on home soil, in their last encounter.

Team News, and United will be without the trio of Marco Rojo, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia, meanwhile both Ashley Young and Phil Jones remain doubtful.

Sheffield United make the journey across the Pennines residing in eighth in Sky Bet League One, four points adrift of the Play-Offs, after slipping to  3-2 defeat against Peterborough United at Bramall Lane, last time out.

Nigel Adkins has no new injury concerns to contend with, and will be hoping to have Matthew Done back in his plans for the visit to United.

EASTLEIGH VS BOLTON WANDERERS

Eastleigh, who are the only non-league team left in the competition at the third-round stage this year, host a Bolton Wanderers side who are rock-bottom of the Championship – the game at their Silverlake Stadium on Saturday could be worthy of an upset.

Manager Chris Todd has guided his side through qualification rounds, as well as victories over Crewe Alexandra and Stourbridge in the first and second round proper – next in line is Neil Lennon and his beleaguered Trotters – who themselves are staring a relegation to League One in the face.

Kaid Mohamed could be in line for his debut for the Conference National side, after signing from Bath City on a deal until the end of the campaign.

For Bolton, whose troubles are affecting the club both on and off the pitch, the FA Cup could provide an escape to their current problems in the Championship.

Veteran forwards, Emile Heskey (hamstring) alongside Shola Ameobi (groin) remain doubtful for the trip to Hampshire, whilst young forward Max Clayton is out long-term with a hamstring injury.

EVERTON VS DAG AND REDBRIDGE 

Everton remain at Goodison Park for their second domestic cup game in three-days, when they host League Two side, Dagenham and Redbridge.

The Toffees beat Manchester City 2-1 on Wednesday, to gain an advantage going into the second-leg of the League Cup semi-final – goals from Ramiro Funes-Mori and Romelu Lukaku either side of Jesus Navas’ equaliser, confirming the win on home soil.

Roberto Martinez will be without Tony Hibbert, Bryan Oviedo, Tyias Browning and James McCarthy, all of whom are injured, for the visit of the Daggers.

Daganham sit 22nd in the third-tier, and the East Londoners have enjoyed somewhat of a revival under recently appointed manager, John Still, who took over at the Victoria Stadium in late December.

The fourth-tier side beat non-league Whitehawk over a replay to confirm a tie with the Premier League stalwarts.

OXFORD UNITED VS SWANSEA CITY

League Two high-flyers, Oxford United, face Premier League Swansea City on Sunday lunchtime, in what could be another shock at the Kassam Stadium in front of the television cameras.

The U’s sit third in the fourth-tier, and are in line for a promotion to League One, after a good start to the season.

Swansea, who have handed the managerial post to Alan Curtis, will be hoping to avoid an early exit in the third-round, against a lower league side.

BEST OF THE REST: FA CUP THIRD ROUND

Wycombe Wanderers vs Aston Villa

Arsenal vs Sunderland

Birmingham City vs AFC Bournemouth

Brentford vs Walsall

Bury vs Bradford City

Colchester United vs Charlton Athletic

Doncaster Rovers vs Stoke City

Hartlepool United vs Derby County

Huddersfield Town vs Reading

Hull City vs Brighton and Hove Albion

Ipswich Town vs Portsmouth

Leeds United vs Rotherham United

Middlesbrough vs Burnley

Newport County vs Blackburn Rovers

Norwich City vs Manchester City

Nottingham Forest vs QPR

Peterborough United vs Preston North End

Sheffield Wednesday vs Fulham

Southampton vs Crystal Palace

Watford vs Newcastle United

West Brom vs Bristol City

West Ham vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

SUNDAY

Carlisle vs Yeovil Town

Chelsea vs Scunthorpe United

Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester City

Cardiff City vs Shrewsbury Town

 

 

 

 

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