This weekend, the highly awaited third round of the FA Cup will be played and several major clubs will hope to escape a possible banana skin. Here, PA News Agency takes a look at five of the games this year that have the potential to come as a big surprise.
After his side’s 15th Premier League loss of the season at Crystal Palace last Saturday, Bristol Rovers v Sheffield UnitedChris Wilder, left, is consoled by Roy Hodgson (John Walton/PA)Rovers, 18th in Sky Bet League One with games still to play, have won four of their last five matches in all competitions and are poised to invade the Blades, who have yet to win a game this season. The side of Chris Wilder have made their worst ever start to a Premier League season and the Pirates will fancy their chances of getting them in further trouble. The stars of Chorley v Derby Chorley celebrate the winning goal of Mike Calveley at Peterborough (Joe Giddens/PA) in the second round. Chorley, the North side of the National League, will never have a better opportunity to make history and reach the fourth round. This week, after an outbreak of corona virus forced the club to close its training ground, Wayne Rooney and the entire Derby first-team squad were isolated and they will field a team of U23 and U18 players. Crawley v LeedsHistons players and fans celebrated a famous FA Cup victory over Leeds in 2008 (Chris Radburn/PA) In recent seasons, Newport, Sutton and Rochdale have humbled the West Yorkshire club, and who can forget the embarrassment at Histon’s hands in 2008? Unbeaten in their last eight League Two games, John Yems’ Crawley is in the promotion play-off places and will take a lot of heart from that. Blackpool v West Brom Flash back to 2010, when the Seasiders won a 2-1 win over opponents in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday, @WBA. #UTMP pic.twitter.com/lz5YfTvXWz- Blackpool FC (@BlackpoolFC) January 6, 2021 The only Premier League victory for West Brom this season was against Sheffield United and the last thing that manager Sam Allardyce would have expected was a trip to the seaside in January. On their last visit to Bloomfield Road in 2010, the Baggies lost as both sides competed in League One. While Blackpool’s form stalled in League One in December, their playoff drive could start with a win in the cup. Marine v TottenhamWelcome to the MTA, @SpursOfficial! #COYM with https://t.co/3AVFU6xADJ https://t.co/VA50S8qWEz- Marine Football Club (@MarineAFC) January 7, 2021Marine, from the eighth level of the soccer pyramid and the lowest-ranking team in the game, continues to pinch herself against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in the prospect of pulling off one of the greatest surprises in the history of the FA Cup. The odds are against them – 1:20 at the bookmakers – but every minute will be celebrated by the Northern League side, which includes teachers and NHS staff.