Surprisingly, there are no “all Premiership" ties for the third round and has set up more “Championship vs Premiership" matches than usual. Championship sides awarded a home tie against Premiership opposition have a good winning record in recent seasons and here are a few matches where an “upset" could be on the cards:
WBA vs Reading @ 3.40
Reading top the Championship table and are unbeaten away from home this season, winning nine and drawing five so far. Comparatively, the Baggies are hovering just above the Premiership relegation zone.
Sheff Wed @ 4.00 vs Charlton
Alan Curbishley’s side have a dismal record in the FA Cup against lower opposition, last season losing to Leicester, 2003/04 losing away at Gillingham and at home to Walsall in 2001/02. The Owls are finding life in the Championship tough and will do well to avoid relegation but a possible cup scalp could provide a welcome distraction.
Norwich @ 2.75 vs West Ham
Relegated from the Premiership last season, Norwich were expected to storm the division and return to the top flight at the first time of asking. This hasn’t happened but the Canaries are pressing for a play-off place. West Ham have had a solid season, sitting comfortably in the top 10 after their promotion in May, but will be without the injured Danny Gabbidon and may find their FA Cup campaign is a short one.
Ipswich @ 3.20 vs Portsmouth
Perrenial promotion contenders Ipswich Town are finding life hard this season and the new strike pairing of Sam Parkin and Nick Forster have not been firing on all cylinders. However, they will be up for the visit of Harry Redknapp’s Portsmouth who are in dire straits in the Premiership and have won just twice on the road this season.
Watford @ 3.40 vs Bolton
Watford are mounting a surprise promotion challenge under new manager Adrian Boothroyd while Bolton are having another remarkable season and are in touching distance of a Champions League spot. However, the Trotters do not have the largest of squads and their extended involvement in the UEFA Cup may sap energy levels even further.
Hull @ 3.60 vs Aston Villa
Hull have found the step up to the Championship difficult following two successive promotions but are clear of the relegation places. They have been generally solid at home while opponents Aston Villa have been diabolical on their travels, winning just twice in the league and demolishing Wycombe 8-3 in the Carling Cup.
Millwall @ 4.00 vs Everton
After finishing 10th in the Championship the last two seasons and appearing in the final of the 2003/04 FA Cup, Millwall find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table. After last season’s heroics, Everton have themselves under achieved this term and have also flirted with relegation. Millwall held fellow struggling Birmingham to a 2-2 draw after extra time, losing on penalties, in the Carling Cup earlier this season and will fancy their chances against the Toffees.
David Walker runs soccer betting and free bets websites. A free email course: “Seven Days to Better Betting" is available at both of these websites.