Who will be the giant killers in the FA Cup third round?

Author: Last Updated: January 2, 2024

Alexander Isak Magpies

Who will be the giant killers in the FA Cup third round?

The FA Cup third round remains one of the most exciting weekends in English football. From January 5-8, 64 teams will be battling it out to reach the next round. It wouldn’t be the FA Cup without giant killings. Who therefore might cause surprises this weekend?

Another Bad Weekend for Newcastle?

It’s not going well for Newcastle United at present, especially on their travels. United have been slipping down the Premier League table and are already out of the Champions League and Carabao Cup. Could an FA Cup exit be on the cards away at Sunderland?

Newcastle’s recent record in the FA Cup is poor. They’ve exited at the third round stage in each of the last three seasons. As will be the case for most clubs this weekend, they will field a weakened line-up on January 6 and that could put them in even more danger of being beaten.

Local rivals Sunderland have also struggled in the FA Cup in recent years. They are going well in the Championship and are only just outside the promotion play-offs. Four of their last six home games have been won including wins over West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United. It’s 7/2 at bet365 that they can beat Newcastle United.

Bolton Wanderers are second in League One and on Sunday travel to Premier League Luton Town. Wanderers will go top if winning their game in hand on leaders Portsmouth. They have won their last three games in League One. Seven away league games have been won this season and they won’t be afraid of a trip to Kenilworth Road. BetVictor gives odds of 19/4 on them causing a surprise this weekend.

Luton Town have shown improvement in recent weeks but may be in trouble here. Last season saw them held to a draw by Wigan Athletic before winning the away replay. They were again held at home in round four by League Two Grimsby Town and lost the replay. Changes will be made by Luton and Bolton could get a win.

Non-Leaguers to Progress?

There are four non-league clubs playing in this weekend’s FA Cup third round. The lowest ranked team are Maidstone who are sixth in the National League South. They knocked out League Two Barrow in the second round and again have a home draw on January 6 as they host Stevenage who are fifth in League One.

Maidstone have a good home record and at odds of 9/2 at William Hill might just be able to make it into round four.

There are three National League sides in the third round. Chesterfield are top of the table and look like being back in the EFL next season. They have already beaten Portsmouth and Leyton Orient in the FA Cup this term.

Now they travel to Championship side Watford who are tenth and without a win in their last two games. If you fancy Chesterfield to cause a surprise on Saturday, you can get odds of 19/4 at bet365.

Aldershot have a tough task away at West Bromwich Albion from the Championship on Sunday. The non-leaguers have conceded nine goals in their last three games and are 7/1 at William Hill to beat West Brom.

WIth a bit more chance of knocking out a league team are Eastleigh. They beat Reading in the last round and would have liked a more glamorous tie than a trip to Newport County on Saturday. Eastleigh aren’t that great on the road though with three of their last five away league games being lost. It’s 17/5 at BetVictor they can win at Newport.

A better bet is on both teams to score in this game. Eastleigh have scored 42 league goals this season but conceded 45. Newport County are 18th in League Two and only lost two of their 13 home league games. A bet on both teams getting on the scoresheet is 4/7 at bet365.

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