FA Cup Round 3 Preview

This weekend sees the return of the FA Cup with the big boys included for the first time.

The third round has been notorious for some major upsets in the past and this year is no different with some cracking games to end a brilliant festive period.

The tie of the round sees FA Cup big boys Liverpool travel to minnows Mansfield.  Liverpool need a win in the cup after an indifferent season in the league, whilst for Mansfield this is their final. On a tricky pitch, and with the conditions expected to be gusty, this has cup shock written all over it.

Newcastle United head to Brighton in a tricky game for the Toon Army. After a loss to Everton in midweek, they will be looking to get their seaosn back on track as they currently hang only three points above the relegation zone.

Another big game sees fa Cup Giant Killers Crawley Town take on Reading in a game the Red Devils will be looking to win. After their rise into the football league, they have been brilliant and as Reading struggle for wins, a home win could well be on the cards.

Norwich City also head to rivals Peterborough in a game where they will be looking to get back to winning ways. After a ten game unbeaten run, they have now lost four on the trot and a win with a couple of goals would do wonders for confidence.

Last year’s Champions Chelsea travel to Southampton in a game they need to win. The FA Cup is probably Chelsea’s best chance of a trophy this season, and after a 1-0 defeat to QPR in midweek they have lost touch in the league. Fans are still calling for Rafael Benitez’s head so a win is a must.

League leaders Manchester Untied travel to Upton Park to face West ham United in a clash that has historically produced drama. In 1995 West ham stopped united taking the title and in the FA Cup in 2001, Paolo Di Canio scored that controversial goal against the statue like Fabien Barthez.

In other select games Manchester City face Watford, Swansea City face Arsenal and Everton travel to Cheltenham.

You can find all the third round fixtures here http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/fa-cup/fixtures.

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