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Will These Be The Biggest FA Cup Third Round Shocks Of The Weekend?

Will These Be The Biggest FA Cup Third Round Shocks Of The Weekend?
Thursday,January 3,2019

The Christmas period may well be over but that doesn’t mean the festivities end, with the FA Cup third round taking place this weekend - arguably one of the highlights of the footballing calendar. With Premier League sides playing four games over the busy Christmas schedule, expect plenty of squad rotation, making for yet another fascinating weekend of cup action. Last year the likes of Wigan and Coventry knocked out Premier League opposition, while Tottenham were held by lower league clubs on two occasions en route to the semi-finals.


A ton of chopping of changing means we can expect an abundance of cup shocks and he’s a look at four which might be worth backing:


Tranmere v Tottenham: Priced at around the 13 mark with several bookies, it might be a step too far to back League Two Tranmere for the victory, but a draw certainly can’t be ruled out. Spurs quite frankly have bigger fish to fry with a League Cup semi-final to contend with next week, as well as an outside shot of a title challenge and a tough tie with Dortmund in the Champions League on the horizon.


Expect plenty of changes from the visitors and with a threadbare squad without the services of at least Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama, Moussa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen through injury, they could find it difficult to overcome lower league opposition yet again. Last season, even with the likes of Vertonghen and Harry Kane, they were held by both Newport and Rochdale before seeing them off at Wembley. Despite recent poor form, Tranmere are just three points off the League Two play-off places in their first year back in the Football League, and top scorer James Norwood poses the biggest threat with 18 goals to his name so far. The draw is 6/1 and might be worth a punt in this Friday night clash.


Accrington v Ipswich: With the way things are going for Ipswich, this could well be the least surprising cup shock of the weekend! The Tractor Boys are having a nightmare season, sitting bottom of the Championship with just 15 points, 10 points from safety after three straight defeats. The departure of Mick McCarthy in the summer has backfired greatly, so too has squad additions from mainly League One and Two. While Accrington’s early season form has dropped off, they’re still performing well in midtable, in their first ever season in League One. To make matters worse, Ipswich haven’t won an FA Cup match for nine years and it could well continue into a decade come Saturday, with Stanley favourites at 2.45.


Norwich v Portsmouth: It might not be one that jumps off the page, but for a couple of reasons, presents a bit of value. Both sides are having memorable campaigns, with Norwich second in the Championship, and Portsmouth five points clear at the top of League One. With promotion back to the Premier League the only aim for the Canaries, you wouldn’t be surprised if they make wholesale changes instead of risking injury to key players, while Pompey will be gunning for a cup shock. With 11 wins in their past 14 matches, Portsmouth are bang in form and are great value at between 4 and 5-1.


Shrewsbury v Stoke: It’s been a disappointing season to say the least so far for Gary Rowett’s Stoke. The Potters are way off the pace in the Championship, back in 14th eight points off the play-offs despite starting the season as favourites to win immediate promotion. They managed to keep hold of the likes of Jack Butland, Ryan Shawcross,  Bruno Martins Indi Joe Allen and Peter Crouch just to name a few but with the negative feeling around the place still there for all to see. Last season they were embarrassed by then League Two Coventry at this stage, and you really wouldn’t rule out a repeat, albeit against a Shrewsbury side who are just about keeping their heads above water in League One. You can get odds of upwards of 4’s on the Shrews, which again could be too tempting to turn down.


It promises to be another giant-killing weekend, and you can enjoy all the action once again right here at i-pools.


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