The FA Cup third round weekend is finally upon us, with one of the most exciting days in the football calendar throwing up plenty of potential banana skins for the big clubs.
Newcastle United travel to Brighton & Hove Albion to open up the action on TV, whilst the day’s late kick-off will see Manchester United travel to West Ham United in an all-Premier League clash.
Sam Allardyce knows it won’t be easy against the Red Devils, but would love a great run in the competition with Joe Cole back and available after signing from Liverpool on Friday.
Another side with the odds stacked against them is Southampton, and manager Nigel Adkins is dreaming of an unlikely Cup run ahead of Chelsea’s visit to the south coast.
Norwich face a tricky looking trip to resurgent Peterborough, whilst Stoke will be looking to avoid a potential upset when they travel to Crystal Palace.
Manchester City should have no such problems at home to Watford, although the training ground altercation between Roberto Mancini and Mario Balotelli has certainly heaped extra pressure on the 2010/11 winners.
QPR and West Brom meet another all-Premier League encounter, whilst Tottenham Hotspur host Coventry City in a repeat of their famous final in the late 80s.
Arsenal travel to Swansea and Mansfield host Liverpool in Sunday’s televised matches, before Everton bring a close to the round with their trip to Cheltenham Town.