Ah, the nostalgia that surrounds the FA Cup 3rd Round. The little guys playing the big guys. Premier League teams taking the early rounds oh so seriously. Or not.
Here’s a look at what might (and probably won’t happen) in some of the more interesting ties.
Liverpool vs Everton
Big Sam has already said he will pick his strongest Everton side for this one. It’s not so much who you pick Sam, it’s what you ask them to do. Will Jurgen Klopp do the same? You’d expect the German to put finishing top four ahead of actually trying to win the FA Cup so there could be some drama at Anfield. And by drama I mean a dull 0-0 with Everton maybe winning on penalties. Eh, they don’t have replays in the 3rd Round yet? Rubbish.
Liverpool 0 – 0 Everton (Everton win on pens eventually)
Manchester United vs Derby County
The most interesting thing about this game is that United are not on TV in the FA Cup, breaking a run that went back as far as the days when Shane Long used to score freely. Derby County will probably field a reserve team as winning promotion to the glory land is more important nowadays.
Manchester United 2 – 0 Derby County
Fleetwood Town vs Leicester City
It’s time to play a “Jamie Vardy Sweepstake” – if the fact that Vardy played for Fleetwood gets mentioned 114 times during the TV coverage, I win £100 from the office. Boom! For your own fun, you could make it Jamie Vardy bingo and come up with a load of stock cliches that are bound to get trotted out – first one to cross them all off wins. Speaking of winning, Leicester City. Easily. Plus I’d love Claude Puel to rest Vards.
Fleetwood Town 1 – 3 Leicester City
Manchester City vs Burnley
This one is on the list because it will just show us that Manchester City’s reserve XI is way stronger than Burnley’s reserve XI. There’s no real shock in that revelation, is there?
Manchester City 5 – 1 Burnley
Newcastle United vs Luton Town
I’ve brought this up as it is very rare my lot get a chance at beating a Premier League side in the FA Cup. Yeah, we’ve suprised a few over the years and we actually beat Newcastle in our last great FA Cup run of the 1993/94 – John Hartson was key back then. Newcastle won’t care less about his one, whereas Luton Town have scored more goals than Manchester City. Go on lads. For old-times sake. Guaranteed to be mentioned a lot: Ex-Magpie Rob Lee has two sons playing for Luton. One of them has even scored from his own half this season.
Newcastle United 1 – 1 Luton Town
Watford vs Bristol City
Since beating Manchester United, Bristol City have gone a bit off the boil. Watford are so off their early-season boil that you could drink them cold right now. Will Watford really care when they lose this one? Probably not.
Watford 0 – 2 Bristol City
Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon
You wanted FA Cup nostalgia? Well here you go. What is bound to get mentioned? There is an outside chance 1988 might come up time and time again. You can be assured MK Dons might get brought into the conversation and I can almost guarantee we will see Gazza’s free-kick against Arsenal. None of which really have anything to do with this actual game.
Tottenham Hotspur 4 – 1 AFC Wimbledon