FA Cup third round: 10 things to watch for this weekend | England Cup


1) Swindon and City on an equal footing

Swindon and Manchester City were regular fighters in the 1990s, meeting in the Second Division and in Swindon’s only Premier League season, 1993-94. Friday’s visit to County Ground will be the first reunion in 20 years. On January 5, 2002, former Swindon man Kevin Horlock scored the second goal in a 2-0 home win at Maine Road. The years that followed saw the clubs follow radically different trajectories, and they now operate on different planets. Swindon stopped a slump with a 5-2 defeat to Northampton on New Years Day and is in the League 2 play-off positions. The club explained the price hikes for this game “due to legacy historical financial woes. “from the previous property. City, clearly at the top of the Premier League, bolstered its finances this week by adding an Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company to its portfolio of sponsors. JB

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2) Terriers have history on their side

As the old saying goes, Huddersfield always wins the Cup when the year ends in 22, especially if they visit Turf Moor along the way. They played there twice en route to the first and only trophy lift in 1922, ousting Burnley early in their campaign before beating Notts County at Turf Moor in the semi-finals. So we can be sure that ahead of Saturday’s draw at Burnley, Carlos Corberán will step up his charges with stories from heroes like Billy Smith, their winner’s goalscorer at Stamford Bridge at the time and – incidentally – the first. player in English football to find the net straight from a corner. With both teams plagued by Covid-related issues, and Huddersfield battling for promotion to the Championship as Burnley battles relegation from the Premier League, it’s hard to predict each team’s lineup, but that wouldn’t be. not a major shock if visitors knocked out the Clarets. PD

3) Boreham Wood sees another upheaval

Boreham Wood has developed a taste for beating Football League opposition in recent years, having broken his duck by beating Blackpool in the FA Cup first round in 2017-18. Last season they beat Southend on penalties in the first round of a series that ended in a loss to Millwall in the third. They reached the stadium this time without facing an EFL club, having beaten Barnet and Eastleigh, also winning a local derby with St Albans City to go this far. Wimbledon has found League One somewhat difficult lately, not least due to Covid cancellations. A stern letter to the authorities asked the league “to implement the strictest possible measures to ensure that – when a club is able to complete a game – it does so”. Mark Robinson’s side looked rusty losing to Oxford on their one Christmas mission, but 1,200 Dons will make the trip across to Greater London. JB

Boreham Wood’s Adrian Clifton scores the fourth goal against St Albans in the second round. Photograph: Nick Potts / PA

4) Kidderminster sniffs the Royals’ opportunity

The lowest-ranked team in this year’s competition, the Kidderminster Harriers sit fifth in the NHL and will imagine themselves having a chance to cause an upheaval against a Reading team more interested in the survival of the championship. than by any sort of Cup race. A crowd of over 5,000 will fill the intimate surroundings of Aggborough for the arrival of second-tier wrestlers Veljko Paunovic and the Serbian Royals manager has said he will be resting many top-choice players for a meeting ahead four league games in 12 days for his team. “We have to approach Saturday’s game in the best possible way and in our best interests,” he said, no doubt aware that what serves his best interests will also benefit those of his counterpart Russell Penn. After seeing their last three games postponed, the Kidderminster players enjoyed a restful festive period, while forward Ashley Hemmings will be confident to add to the goals he scored against Grimsby and Halifax in the first and second rounds. . BG

5) Magpies fans still live up to Ashley

That St James’ Park is sold out for the Cambridge visit is not so much a tribute to Mark Bonner’s team, or perhaps a last chance to see the mercurial talents of Wes Hoolahan. Or even the chance for the Geordie Nation to see Kieran Trippier unveiled on the sacred turf. Instead, and despite the club’s modest position in the Premier League, a fountain of optimism continues to spring over Tyneside. Whatever providence of Saudi money funding their January recruiting drive, a non-Mike Ashley rebound continues among club fans. A Covid-hit Christmas and no game since December 27 also left the public begging for more, and there was plenty to be excited about in that night’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United. An FA Cup race would be a distraction for Eddie Howe, but perhaps a distraction that could help fuel the relegation battle. JB

6) seagulls can learn their priorities

With automatic promotion to the Premier League, the club’s overriding ambition, Valérien Ismaël made no apologies for practically losing West Brom’s place in the Carabao Cup this season by fielding a backup team against Arsenal, who won. a 6-0 victory in August. . We will never know for sure if Ishmael would have opted for a similar approach to the FA Cup, since the circumstances made the choice for him: injuries, suspension and international duty mean that the Baggies could do without up to 10 players in the league. ‘first team when they host Brighton on Saturday. Graham Potter needs to make sure he picks a team that is strong enough to progress, as there is no reason for Brighton not to take a serious Cup tilt this season. Last year they collapsed in the fifth round after fielding a weakened side at Leicester, which of course won the trophy. Hopefully Potter has learned a lesson. PD

7) Chesterfield’s Deserved Award Rekindled

The architects of one of the most breathtaking FA Cup races in living memory, when as a third tier team they were robbed by bad referees and the lack of technology at the goal line in their 1997 semi-final against Middlesbrough, Chesterfield had a chance to recreate the magic of yesteryear when they faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The European champions are second in the Premier League, while their visitors sit 92 places below them, knocking on the door of the Football League. Unbeaten in 14 games under 38-year-old James Rowe, Chesterfield were actually the first visiting team in history to win a championship match at Stamford Bridge in 1905 and hope history of some sort can to be repeated in the first encounter between the clubs in 72 years. Whatever the outcome, this glamorous tie and the accompanying financial bonanza are a well-deserved reward for those behind the Chesterfield FC Community Trust, who have done an outstanding job since purchasing the club 17 months ago. . BG

James Kellermann of Chesterfield celebrates his goal against Salford in the second round.
James Kellermann of Chesterfield celebrates his goal against Salford in the second round. Photograph: Bradley Collyer / PA

8) The Glovers against the Cherries, it’s wonderful!

Yeovil and Bournemouth share Alec Stock in common. The FA Cup made Stock’s name, from the head of the Southern League in Yeovil to a famous defeat of the Sunderland Premier Division in 1949, then of the Second Division Fulham to the final defeat in 1975. Bournemouth was the FA Cup. final stop in a long managerial career for the man whose dismal, nostalgic tones inspired the Ron Manager of Fast Show. Yeovil, back out of the league after a long stint in the Football League that ended in 2019, seeks to repeat the heroism of 1949 by toppling championship-leading Bournemouth. A National League midfielder, that would be quite an achievement for Darren Sarll’s side, although they may be aided by a Covid outbreak which led to the postponement of Bournemouth’s game with Peterborough on Monday. If the game continues, Scott Parker will likely have his limited selection for the club’s very first FA Cup visit to Yeovil. JB

9) Harrogate reaches the milestone

Harrogate Town first entered the FA Cup in 1919, but this will be their first appearance in the third round, marking a further step in the rise of a club which is enjoying an impressive second season in the Football League despite a recent drop. results. The decision to turn full-time four years ago has paid off for the club, and Simon Weaver, who is in his 13th year at the helm, can now claim to be the longest-serving manager in the league. Weaver has already led the team to Wembley glory – they won the 2020 FA Trophy – and will aim to build on good wins in the previous rounds against Wrexham and Portsmouth when they travel to Luton, another first enchanting. The returns of injury defenders Rory McArdle and Will Smith could increase their chances of upsetting the Championship squad. PD

10) Opportunity for United and Villa

The FA Cup should be a priority for Manchester United and Aston Villa. In Scotland with the Rangers, Steven Gerrard focused on winning the league. Villa are a club of considerable ambition and with the top four out of reach and the relegation battle not too much of a concern, a run to Wembley can be considered. And United? Roy Keane, during an exchange of opinions at the end of 2021 with Jamie Carragher, suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo had been signed to win “the cups”. United look at five years without a trophy, the longest drought since this competition’s victory in 1983 followed the FA Cup victory in 1977. Behind the scenes and on the last pages it is suggested that United’s players are struggling with the lack of fame of Ralf Rangnick, as well as his formation in 4-2-2-2. There is already a whiff of misfit Roy Hodgson’s diet in Liverpool over the German’s nomination. JB


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