November 28, 2020

The FA Cup – let the underdogs bite

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The FA Cup third round has a reputation for underdogs shocking the big boys and one of English football’s heavyweights is guaranteed to receive a knockout blow in this year’s competition.

For rivals Manchester City and Manchester United go head-to-head at the Etihad Stadium in the biggest tie of the round.

Elsewhere, there are several potential banana skins for Premier League sides this weekend.

The round began with Liverpool hosting League One side Oldham Athletic, who make the short journey along the East Lancs Road on Friday night, in the first meeting between the sides since 1994.

Ninety-five places separate Everton and non-league visitors Tamworth in the football standings with the Midlands club aiming to cause one of the competition’s biggest shocks at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Another Blue Square Premier side aiming to create history is Fleetwood Town, who were handed a dream home tie against Championship neighbours Blackpool.

Tony Pulis returns to former club Gillingham after the draw paired his Stoke City side with the League Two team.

Pulis, who guided the Gills to promotion from the fourth tier in 1996, will go head-to-head with current Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler – who was brought to the Kent club as a player by the Welshman.

League One leaders Charlton are aiming to cause an upset when they travel across London to face Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Owen Coyle’s Bolton take a break from their Premier League relegation battle by making the short journey to League Two side Macclesfield – without exit-bound defender Gary Cahill.

Another lower league team targeting a top-flight scalp is League One promotion hopefuls MK Dons, who welcome Queens Park Rangers up the M1 to Buckinghamshire.

Championship high-flyers Middlesbrough and League Two counterparts Shrewsbury both occupy play-off berths but there are no points at stake as they go head-to-head at the Riverside.

And there is an all-Championship clash at the KC Stadium when Hull City look to roar into the fourth round at the expense of Ipswich Town.

 

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