FA Cup Third Round

Predictions on the Top Six

We preview the top six Premier League sides’ FA Cup third round fixtures taking place this week. There are two all-Premier League contests with Liverpool hosting rivals Everton on Friday and Manchester City entertaining Burnley on Saturday, while Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal will face Championship sides. The Red Devils welcome Derby County to Old Trafford on Friday while the Blues visit Norwich on Saturday and the Gunners travel to Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Of the top six, Tottenham have the easiest tie as they face League One side Wimbledon at Wembley on Sunday.

Friday 5 January

4/10 Liverpool | Draw 37/10 | Everton 57/10 (21:55)

Liverpool will host city rivals Everton in the pick of the third round ties, with Reds fans hoping to see new £75million man Virgil van Dijk in action. Jurgen Klopp’s side come into the Merseyside derby unbeaten in 16 matches in all competitions with 11 wins, including three on the spin. However, the Reds have won just once in their last six FA Cup home ties, comfortably beating Exeter City but playing to four goalless draws and losing 2-1 to Wolves last season. Everton have played four times at Anfield in the FA Cup – every one ending in a draw, with the Blues going through three times in the respective replays. Sam Allardyce’s men are winless in four matches, losing back-to-back games against Bournemouth and Manchester United. I’m backing the Reds to win at 4/10.

3/10 Manchester United | 17/4 | Derby County 9/1 (22:00)

Manchester United will welcome Derby County to Old Trafford on Friday night. The last time United faced Derby was in an FA Cup tie on a Friday night in January 2016, when Wayne Rooney, Daley Blind and Juan Mata were all on the scoresheet as United won 3-1 on the way to lifting the trophy under Louis van Gaal the following May. Jose Mourinho’s men made a perfect start to the New Year by beating Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park on Monday. That was United’s first win in five matches following a shocking 2-1 loss at Bristol City in the League Cup and three straight draws against Leicester City, Burnley and Southampton. Derby County, who are ninth in the Championship, are in good form – unbeaten in seven matches with five wins. I’m confident United will win even though they’ll be without Romelu Lukaku (injured), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (injured) and Ashley Young (suspended), but I fancy the Rams to get on the scoresheet. My tip here is Manchester United Win & Both Teams to Score at 2/1.

Saturday 6 January

2/11 Manchester City | 6/1 | Burnley 12/1 (17:00)

Runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City will host Burnley at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Pep Guardiola’s side recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over the Clarets in October last year and will look to repeat that feat. Sean Dyche’s men are winless in their last five matches, suffering two straight home defeats at the hands of Tottenham and Liverpool. Burnley turned Turf Moor into a fortress last season, but they’ve been better on the road this season. Dyche’s men claimed a 3-2 victory at Chelsea and earned draws at Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United, although City put them to the sword. Burnley have scored in five of their last six away meetings against City and with Guardiola set to make changes, I’m backing a Manchester City Win & Both Teams to Score at 27/20.

57/10 Norwich | 7/2 | Chelsea 4/10 (19:30)

Last season’s FA Cup finalists Chelsea travel to Carrow Road on Saturday to face Norwich. It will be the first time the sides have met since the Blues won 2-1 in the Premier League back in March 2016. Antonio Conte’s men are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings against the Canaries, winning nine times (incl. three straight wins at Carrow Road). Norwich are 13th in the Championship and unbeaten in three matches, beating Birmingham City and Millwall in between a draw at Burton Albion. Chelsea are unbeaten in their last six games at the time of writing, winning five times – they scored 13 goals while conceding two in that run. Back the Premier League champions at 4/10.

Sunday 7 January

1/10 Tottenham | 15/2 | Wimbledon 23/1 (17:00)

Tottenham host League One side Wimbledon at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Spurs are yet to play their midweek games against Swansea and West Ham at the time of writing. As it stands now, however, they’ve won five of their last six matches in all competitions (incl. four straight wins at Wembley). Wimbledon are 15th in League One and are winless in their last four travels, losing twice. Back Spurs to be leading at half-time at 4/10.

52/10 Nottingham | 34/10 | Arsenal 9/20 (18:00)

Holders Arsenal travel to the City Ground on Sunday to take on Nottingham Forest. The Reds are 14th in the Championship and winless in five matches with three defeats, including back-to-back losses at home against Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland. The Gunners are unbeaten in their last five away matches although they’ve won just two in that run. They beat Burnley and Crystal Palace and drew three of their four matches in December against Southampton, West Ham and West Brom. Looking to make it four FA Cup successes in five seasons, holders Arsenal should prove too strong for Forest.

Liverpool Win 4/10
Man Utd Win & BTTS 2/1
Man City Win & BTTS 27/20
Chelsea Win 4/10
Tottenham HT Win 4/10
Arsenal Win 9/20

Chadley Nagel


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