FA Cup Third Round Preview And The Best Bets To Back

By Ian John
January 5, 2023

For football romantics across England and Wales, this coming weekend is one of the biggest of the season and that is because it is the Third Round of the FA Cup that is to be played from Friday night through to Monday evening.

All 44 teams from the Premier League and Championship will join 20 teams that qualified from the FA Cup Second Round back in December in a Third Round which has thrown together some intriguing ties, some between Premier League giants, others that pit a relatively small club, against one of the bigger teams left in the competition.

Bet365 Sport will be expecting plenty of punters to enjoy a wager on the third round action, perhaps on one of their favourite teams, or maybe on one of the little clubs causing a major upset against a more established opponent.

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Let’s have a closer look now at the full fixture list for this weekend’s FA Cup Third Round ties across England and Wales.

FA Cup Third Round

Friday 6th January

  • Manchester United v Everton

Saturday 7th January

  • Preston North End v Huddersfield Town
  • Reading v Watford
  • Tottenham Hotspur v Portsmouth
  • Gillingham v Leicester City
  • Forest Green v Birmingham City
  • Crystal Palace v Southampton
  • Hull City v Fulham
  • Middlesbrough v Brighton
  • Fleetwood v QPR
  • Ipswich Town v Rotherham United
  • Bournemouth v Burnley
  • Blackpool v Nottingham Forest
  • Chesterfield v West Bromwich Albion
  • Millwall v Sheffield United
  • Boreham Wood v Accrington Stanley
  • Shrewsbury v Sunderland
  • Brentford v West Ham United
  • Coventry City v Wrexham
  • Luton Town v Wigan Athletic
  • Grimsby Town v Burton Albion
  • Sheffield Wednesday v Newcastle United
  • Liverpool v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Sunday 8th January

  • Derby County v Barnsley
  • Bristol City v Swansea City
  • Cardiff City v Leeds United
  • Stockport County v Walsall
  • Hartlepool United v Stoke City
  • Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers
  • Aston Villa v Stevenage Borough
  • Manchester City v Chelsea

Monday 9th January

  • Oxford United v Arsenal

Replay Rules?

This year, any game that finishes in a draw after 90 minutes in the 3rd or 4th round of the competition, will go to a replay.

In that replay, if the teams cannot be separated at 90 minutes, then extra time and penalties will be used to decide the winner.

Replays will be played on the ground of the away opponent from the first fixture in the tie.

However, from the 5th Round of the tournament onwards, all games will be played to a conclusion on the day, with extra time and, if required, penalties used in those games to decide the winner of matches that finish in a draw.

Key FA Cup Games & Tips

All-Premier League Games

  • Manchester United v Everton
  • Crystal Palace v Southampton
  • Brentford v West Ham
  • Liverpool v Wolves
  • Manchester City v Chelsea

Half of the Premier League will be facing off against each other in the Third Round, starting with Friday night’s game as Manchester United take on Everton, with the Red Devils very much the favourites to win that game against an ailing Everton side who lost 4-1 to Brighton at Goodison Park in midweek.

Crystal Palace host Southampton in another all-Premier League clash on Saturday and on the same day there’s a London derby as Brentford take on West Ham in what looks like being one of the better games on Saturday.

Saturday night sees Liverpool hosting Wolves,  teams that have met a couple of times in the FA Cup in recent years, with both sides enjoying success.

Finally, after meeting on Thursday night in the Premier League Manchester City host Chelsea at the Etihad as City attempt to do something that only one other team has done to Chelsea in the past six years, and that is knock them out of the tournament before the final.

Games Where We Could See A Giant-Killing?

  • Gillingham v Leicester City
  • Tottenham v Portsmouth
  • Hull City v Fulham
  • Middlesbrough v Brighton
  • Coventry City v Wrexham
  • Sheff Wed v Newcastle United
  • Cardiff City v Leeds United
  • Aston Villa v Stevenage
  • Oxford United v Arsenal

There are a few games on the schedule which could give us a potential giant-killing, although I have to say that the odds are far greater in some games rather than others.

Personally, I think most of the Premier League teams shown above will be fine, although I think Brighton have a very tough task away to Middlesbrough who are in good form and Leeds United are going to have to play well to get a positive result away to Cardiff, a team who they have a poor record against in recent times.

For me though the best chance of an upset may well be the Coventry City v Wrexham game with the Championship side hosting the National League team, now owned by Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.

Coventry have been struggling for form of late, but Wrexham are flying in the National League lying second, with a game in hand and they have won four of their last five.

So if you are going to back a giantkiller here, then my choices would be Middlesbrough, Wrexham and perhaps Cardiff City to claim the win although I feel Wrexham and Middlesbrough could be the two that are most likely to land the surprise win.

FA Cup Outright Winner Odds

Bet on the FA Cup 2018
  • 10/3 Favourites – Manchester City
  • 6/1 – Liverpool
  • 7/1 – Arsenal
  • 8/1 – Tottenham
  • 10/1 – Manchester United
  • 12/1 – Chelsea, Newcastle United
  • 25/1 – Leicester City, Brighton
  • 33/1 – Aston Villa, West Ham United
  • 40/1 – Crystal Palace
  • 50/1 – Everton, Leeds United, Southampton
  • 66/1 – Brentford, Fulham
  • 80/1 – Wolves, Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest
  • 100/1 bar

Bet365 have got the above odds on the 20 Premier League teams to win the FA Cup with all other teams left in the competition ranked at 100/1 or longer to win the tournament.

Manchester City, unsurprisingly, are the favourites to win the tournament, even despite the fact that they face Chelsea in the Third Round at the weekend.

It’s the usual suspects behind them with the Big Six, plus Newcastle featuring prominently while the winners in 2021, Leicester City, are 25/1 to repeat that success alongside Brighton.

For me, the interesting longer odds bet here is Brentford, who are 66/1 but they have been in great form of late and have a very good record against the top six in recent times.

The Bees look particularly good value, especially as an each way bet to reach the final.

Another team to consider is Newcastle United. It has been a long time since the Magpies won a trophy and manager Eddie Howe will know that while their Premier League form has been superb, if he can bring a trophy to Tyneside, he will be an instant hero with the fans.

They have spent their wealth well without splashing the cash ridiculously and at 12/1, I think they are probably the best value bet to back here.

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