Analysis of the FA Cup third round draw - Part 1
The FA Cup third round draw took place last night and one of the oldest cup competitions in world football is set to return. A set of tasty fixtures were revealed and we shall look into the first part of them individually as we try to predict the final results.
Ipswich Town vs Lincoln City
Ipswich Town are set to welcome National League side Lincoln City in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup. Lincoln City exited the Football League in 2011, but beat League One side Oldham Athletic 3-2 on Monday night. The sides have only met on 10 separate occasions, the last one taking place in 1961. Ipswich have a lot to lose if they cannot overcome their opponents, specifically £67,500.
Prediction : Ipswich Town to beat Lincoln City without any issues.
Barrow AFC vs Rochdale AFC
National League side Barrow AFC will be facing League one side Rochdale AFC, as they hope to keep their run going. The side were hoping to get Premier League opponents but will have to make do with their opposition. Manager Paul Cox, speaking on BBC2, said: “The chairman will be happy at least, because it’s at home. It’s at home and were happy with that.”
The fans seemed really disappointed on missing out on a Premier League side, but are looking forward to the game. “It could have been better. You always dream of that big club but we will take the draw at home. If you look at their away form, it isn’t the best, so I don’t see why we can't win it.,” said a fan.
Prediction : Rochdale AFC shouldn’t find it hard to beat Barrow AFC.
Manchester United vs Reading
Manchester United will face Reading in the third round and will face a reunion with their former player Jaap Stam, who currently manages Reading. The Dutchman previously won the FA Cup with United, during the historic treble season of 1999.
United legend Andy Cole was present during the draw and is excited with the fixture. “No doubt Jaap will get a superb reception. He was a great defender there and I think they’ll really enjoy him coming back. It doesn’t surprise me how well he’s doing. He was desperate to get into management and he’s doing really well now.”
Prediction : Manchester United should be able to see out this draw.
Hull City vs Swansea City
Hull City are the first team to be handed an all-Premier League tie during the draw. The clubs will meet for the first time since 1987, were Swansea suffered a loss. The Welsh are currently bottom of the Premier League and suffered an embarrassing 5-0 defeat at Tottenham.
Mike Phelan's side meanwhile are just above Swansea in 19th, and have 11 points from 14 games. Both teams are not at the best of places and will be hoping to capitalise on each other's failures so far.
Prediction : Swansea City
Sunderland vs Burnley
Sunderland meanwhile will welcome Burnley to the Stadium of Light. Sean Dyche's Burnley are comfortably above the Black Cats who are also in the relegation zone. The team have 4 wins out of 14, and will be hoping to find better results in the FA Cup. The fixture will take place at the start of January, which leaves little time for the managers to organise their teams in a bid to prepare for the competition.
Prediction : David Moyes’s side should trump Burnley.
Queens Park Rangers vs Blackburn Rovers
London side Queens Park Rangers are set to host Blackburn Rovers in the third round fixture. The all-Championship fixture will see QPR take their miserable cup record against a club with their own set of organisational problems. It is expected to be a perfect 3:00 PM kick off due to it probably not being selected for TV coverage.
Prediction : A tight fixture, which QPR should edge out.
AFC Bournemouth vs Millwall
Eddie Howe's side will be taking a trip to face League One side Millwall. The London side has seen a massive fall in grace, as they were finalists of the competition in 2004. The two sides meanwhile last met in 2014 , as Bournemouth beat their opponents comfortably by two goals to nothing as they moved to the top of the Championship.
Millwall are currently ninth in the League One, while Bournemouth after beating Liverpool in a 4-3 thriller, are 10th on the league table.
Prediction : Bournemouth to progress into the next round.
West Ham United vs Manchester City
Pep Guardiola’s first fixture in the FA Cup will be one of the standout fixtures in the draw. Manchester City will travel to the beautiful London Stadium in a bid to go all out for the competition.
The Manchester side is definitely one of the front-runners to win the cup competition. The club is currently reeling from their loss against Chelsea and are currently 4th on the table. West Ham meanwhile suffered a 1-5 loss at the hands of Arsenal, and are currently facing rumours of their manager possibly leaving the club after poor results.
Prediction : Manchester City shouldn’t find it hard to beat West Ham United
Brighton and Hove Albion vs MK Dons/Charlton
MK Dons face the possibility of facing Brighton and Hove Albion, but must make sure that they make it past Charlton in their second round replay. The club previously drew 0-0 against Charlton, and will be hoping to progress comfortably through the replay. The replay shall see the return of Charlton manager Karl Robinson, return to Milton Keynes, where he spent six and a half years.
Prediction : Brighton and Hove Albion to beat Charlton
Blackpool vs Barnsley
League Two side Blackpool F.C. will welcome Championship side Barnsley in what is set to be an exciting encounter for the two. Blackpool are 8th in their League, and have picked up 27 points from 19 games. Barnsley, on the other hand, are 12th and will be looking to progress into the next round of the competition. When the two sides met last time, Barnsley won by four goals to two.
Prediction : Barnsley to grab a comfortable win
Wigan Athletic vs Nottingham Forest
Wigan Atheltic have been drawn at home against Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup. The 2013 winners and 2014 semi-finalists are in the relegation zone of the Championship. Nottingham Forest, on the other hand, are 13th and shouldn't find it hard at all to beat Wigan.
Prediction : Nottingham Forest
Birmingham City vs Newcastle United
Championship leaders Newcastle United will travel to Birmingham, as they face each other in the FA Cup. The two clubs are set to face each other on Saturday, which should give us a taste of things to come. Birmingham currently are 5th in the table and are chasing the league leaders by 9 points.
The fixture has seen some serious past contests, as Birmingham scored 5 goals past the Magpies in the 2006/07 season.
Prediction : Newcastle United are on top for a reason. They shouldn’t find facing Birmingham that hard.
Chelsea vs Notts County/Peterborough
Peterborough United will first have to beat Notts County in a second round replay if they are to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The league leaders are confident of going past this round, especially after their current performances domestically.
The club don't have any other commitments, hence winning the cup will be their primary target. “It’s a great incentive for us to win our replay, but it’s also a great incentive for Notts County,” said Posh Director of Football Fry. “It’s a terrific draw for both clubs, but I doubt Grant will let any of our players get ahead of themselves.”
Prediction : Chelsea have been handed an easy draw, so an upset will be unexpected.
Middlesborough vs Sheffield Wednesday
Premier League club Middlesborough will face Championship side Sheffield, as they hope to progress into the next round. Boro were previously knocked out of the FA Cup by fellow Premier League club Burnley. Sheffield Wednesday meanwhile, are 6th in the Championship and really hoping for an upset.
Prediction : Tight fixture, but I expect Middlesborough to progress quite easily.