The FA Cup takes over world football this weekend with all the big clubs entering into the competition in the 3rd Round. The FA Cup has long been regarded as the pinnacle knockout trophy in Europe and the World. This cup is the oldest football cup and often is regarded by many managers as more important than winning the Premiership. All we know is it always throws up a few surprise results, as the likes of Notts County and York City both drawing to Premiership teams. Could this be the year for a complete outsider to steal the glory?

The great thing about the FA Cup is no one is ever safe and with no seeding system involved in the draw, any two big teams can get drawn together and always do! This year it’s the turn of Manchester United and Lol-apool, I mean Liverpool. This rivalry dates back decades and you can never predict the result but the safe money will be on Manchester United. So far this season the two teams have had contrasting fortunes in the Premiership with Man United top of the table (where they belong) unbeaten in 21 league games and Liverpool sitting in 12th place having lost more than they’ve won and only 4points above the relegation zone. But this is the FA Cup and a knockout competition where it only counts on the day.

As for the other big teams, Arsenal has Leeds United at home, which will proove to be a tricky game. Leeds knocked Manchester United out last year at this very stage. Chelsea plays Ipswich at home with Roy Keane just having been sacked. This might be a bridge too far for Ipswich but with Chelsea’s current form, don’t write them off just yet. Spurs have got League one team Charlton Athletic at home also having sacked their manager ,Phil Parkinson. They will struggle against the likes of Gareth Bale and Luca Modric. The last of the big teams Manchester City will be playing away at Leicester City who are currently 12th place in the Championship. This might not be as easy as it seems for Roberto Mancini’s men.

Elsewhere, Wigan travel to Hull City and don’t be surprised if Hull pull this one off. Villa has a tough assignment away at Sheffield United. Everton travel to Championship side Scunthorpe. Newcastle United will be away at Stevenage giving them a very favourable draw. Blackburn Rovers travel to play Queens Park Rangers who are first place team in the Championship. I think that Queens Park Rangers might get a result from this game. As for the final Premiership teams, Fulham play Peterborough United at home, West Ham has Barnsley at home, West Brom visits a tough Reading side and finally Bolton entertain York City at home.

One thing is for sure with the FA Cup, you can throw the form book out the window because none of that counts. It’s just hard work, grit and determination that sets up a truly amazing cup. It’s the…FA CUP!

Enjoy every kick of the ball!

Dan

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