This weekend sees one of the greatest weekend’s in football as the football giants from the Premier League and Championship are added to the pot where they’ll face the 20 sides that have progressed through the qualifying stages and early rounds of the competition to face the big guns. Down the years we’ve seen some massive upsets with the 2-1 wins for Sutton and Hereford against Coventry and Newcastle in the late 80’s and early 70’s, as well as Wrexham beating Arsenal by the same scoreline in 1992, all going down in history.
To celebrate the achievements of these underdogs we’re taking a look at the some of the biggest outsiders playing this weekend to see if they can write their names in the history books besides Mickey Thomas and Ronnie Radford. We preview these matches with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our best FA Cup Third Round Cupset bets.
The first match that we’re previewing is the first match of the weekend as the team sitting 16th in League Two welcomes EPL side Liverpool, who are currently eighth and lead their Capital One Cup semi final against Stoke following a 1-0 first leg win during the week, to St. James’ Park (no, not the one in Newcastle!). This will be the first time that these two sides have clashed since a 3-1 win for Liverpool on this ground in the second round of the League Cup in 2011 but despite there being 76 places between the sides in the football pyramid the home side this Friday night will be quietly confident of their chances of getting a result.
The Grecians have the longest serving manager in the football league guiding them in Paul Tisdale, who has been in charge at the club since 2006, and they have been known to cause a stir in this competition. Their most recent upset came 11 years ago at this stage of the competition as they travelled to Old Trafford and held Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to a 0-0 draw, which was the last time that they reached this stage of the competition, and with Liverpool certainly being out of their comfort zone for this match they may once again get their names in the headlines. The ground holds just over 8,500 fans and the pitch will certainly not be at the level that the EPL stars are used to so this will make things difficult for the away side, and couple this with the fact that Jurgen Klopp has a massive injury crisis and will rest players for this match we can certainly see Exeter pushing the top flight team all the way.
Liverpool have recorded just three clean sheets in their last eight away games and with a weakened side we feel that despite Exeter having lost all of their last four matches before this weekend’s FA Cup game we can see them getting a goal and, as a result of this, we’re backing goals from both sides in this Friday night clash. Can the League Two team push on and get a winner though?
Our best Exeter v Liverpool bet is back Both Teams to Score – Yes @ 1.80 with Bet365.com.
Adams Park also hosts a clash of a League Two side and a Premier League team as Wycombe and Aston Villa meet for the first time competitively since Villa thrashed their hosts 8-3 here a decade ago. However, we feel that this match is ripe for an upset as the home team are riding high in the fourth tier of English football as they occupy a place in the Play Offs and have lost just one of their last six matches compared to an Aston Villa side that is 11 points from safety at the bottom of the Premier League having collected just eight points all season. With them facing Crystal Palace at Villa Park on Tuesday they are sure to resort to a much changed side for this match.
Wycombe have recorded two wins and two draws in their last four matches at Adams Park while Villa have lost nine and drawn two of their last 11 matches in all competitions since beating Bournemouth on the opening day of the EPL season, and with them lacking in confidence while looking ahead to Tuesday we’re backing a cupset in this match!
Our top Wycombe v Aston Villa tip is back Wycombe/Draw Double Chance at odds of 1.70 in the Bet365 Sportsbook!
The Spitfires are the lowest ranking side left in the FA Cup and they welcome the seven time finalists in Bolton Wanderers to the 5,192 capacity Ten Acres stadium this Saturday looking to upset the odds against the second tier side. Eastleigh currently sit fourth in the Conference as they aim to secure passage to the football league for the first time in their 64 year history and with them seeing off League One side Crewe Alexandra in the first round of the competition they will be very much up for this match against an out of form Bolton side.
The Neil Lennon managed team currently is currently rock bottom of the Championship having amassed just 17 points from their 25 games this season as they look as if they’ll be relegated as they’ve received a transfer ban under Financial Fair Play rules. They’ve won just one of their last 19 matches in all competitions and are without a win on the road this season, and with their hosts having lost just one of their last 16 games in all competitions we foresee another cupset in this match as the Championship side will be focused on their away game at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night.
Our money is on Eastleigh to beat Bolton @ 3.20 at Bet365.