FA Cup Third Round Draw Announced

The Draw for the greatest round of the greatest sporting tournament has been released.

Nothing beats the FA Cup third round, and the most anticipated draw of the football season (for the non EPL teams that is) was run Monday night UK time for the games to be played as part of the Xmas-New Year festival of football in early January.

As per usual it has thrown up many interesting clashes, some exclusively between EPL sides, some feature all Football League team battles, and for the potentially four Non League teams that remain in the competition a chance to take on the big boys of football. There’s also the traditional lower league teams who get their big day out as they take on one of the giants of the EPL and dream of an upset to go into folklore.

Here’s a quick look through the draw for points of interest.

5 ALL EPL FIXTURES
15 NON EPL TEAMS GUARANTEED TO MAKE IT TO ROUND 4
6 ALL CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES
1 ALL LEAGUE ONE FIXTURE
1 ALL LEAGUE TWO FIXTURE
6 MORE FIXTURES FEATURING NO EPL TEAMS
9 GAMES FEATURING EPL v LOWER LEAGUE SIDES

One team from Non League that are guaranteed a third round fixture is National League Premier (5th tier) side Eastleigh who welcome the struggling bottom Championship side Bolton Wanderers and will fancy an upset and another chance at a big tie in the fourth round. The three remaining Non League sides need to win replays to join the fun, but have the reward of big games if they win. Grimsby Town (5th tier) have a date at Cardiff, 6th tier Whitehawk will travel to Everton and 7th tier Salford will welcome Derby County if they win their outstanding game or replays.

Of the 9 Fixtures involving EPL sides v Lowe League sides, the draw has been set up nicely, as a lot of the EPL sides that are taking on their poorer cousins are either taking on sides famed for strong cup runs or are playing poorly themselves.

Chelsea have been drawn against fourth tier Leyton Orient or third tier Scunthorpe, and given the Blues current run of form and exit to third tier Bradford City last season at Stamford Bridge, an upset can’t be totally ruled out. Similarly Aston Villa look unlikely to beat many sides this year, and a trip to play Wycombe Wanderers (who have made an FA Cup semi final in 2001 and League Cup semi in 2007) doesn’t look much easier than their weekly EPL grind. Swansea City, another team currently in poor form, will travel to League Two’s current table toppers Oxford United. A loss there will certainly seal the fate of Garry Monk, if he hasn’t left before then.

Of the remaining EPL v Lower League clashes the two most interesting appear to be Manchester United v Sheffield United and Exeter v Liverpool. On paper a club the size of Manchester United should beat the Blades, but Sheffield United have been very effective in cup competitions over the past few years. They made the semi finals two seasons ago and knocked out EPL QPR last year, and seem to enjoy a cup run where they are not as much the target they are in League One. Liverpool’s trip to fourth tier Exeter will ensure a sell out and a TV game.

 

FULL 3rd ROUND FIXTURES

Arsenal V Sunderland
Birmingham V Bournemouth
Brentford V Chesterfield or Walsall
Bury V Bradford
Cardiff V Grimsby or Shrewsbury
Carlisle V Yeovil
Chelsea V Leyton Orient or Scunthorpe
Colchester V Charlton
Doncaster V Stoke
Eastleigh V Bolton
Everton V Dagenham & Redbridge or Whitehawk
Exeter V Liverpool
Huddersfield V Reading
Hull V Brighton
Ipswich V Portsmouth
Leeds V Rotherham
Man Utd V Sheff Utd
Middlesbrough V Burnley
Newport V Blackburn
Northampton V MK Dons
Norwich V Man City
Nottm Forest V QPR
Oxford Utd V Swansea
Peterborough V Preston
Sheff Wed V Fulham
Southampton V Crystal Palace
Salford or Hartlepool V Derby
Tottenham V Leicester
Watford V Newcastle
West Brom V Bristol City
West Ham V Wolves
Wycombe V Aston Villa
About Theydon Bois 249 Articles
Born and raised on the banks of Yebri Creek, Theydon Bois has always been obsessed by sport. A stellar career of Underage B sides, RSL Social Golf, C Grade Warehouse and D Grade Indoor Cricket didn’t showcase much talent, but provided a window into the love for any game, any time. Theydon follows as much as he can and will provide opinion, ideas, and best tips and bets for most sports*. A particular interest in English Football sees Theydon Bois up every Saturday night until 2am with two laptops, smartphones, IPad and a radio feed of Soccer Saturday. A lifelong fan of underperforming, mediocre, disappointing teams will not sway his enthusiasm for sport. *Rugby Union not included.