It is one of the busiest and certainly one of the best weekends of the season coming up as the first weekend in January has traditionally been the date for the 32 fixtures in the Third Round of the FA Cup to take place.
Last season saw a number of upsets including Sutton United’s victories over Cheltenham Town, AFC Wimbledon and then most famously Leeds United. It was also the year that non-league Lincoln City (now a League Two team after their promotion at the end of the 2016-2017 season) reached the quarter finals after shocking Premier League Burnley 1-0. Both of these teams saw their run ended buy the eventual winners Arsenal.
This year’s fixtures have thrown together a number of intriguing ties and the potential for a giant killing or two is good. Out of sorts Stoke City face a daunting trip to Midland rivals Coventry City who are flying high in League Two at the moment and who have won four of their last five games. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will likely field a below strength team against city rivals Everton which would give Sam Allardyce’s men a chance if a memorable FA Cup win ar Anfield. West Brom, who have not won in the Premier League since August, face a tricky trip to St James Park to face Exeter City, who pushed Liverpool hard in this competition in recent times.
Manchester City’s only defeat this season came in the Champions League when Pep Guardiola fielded a below strength team for their trip to Shakhtar Donetsk having already qualified for the knockout stages. Should Pep play a below strength team again against Burnley, then could Sean Dyche’s team land a massive upset?
Other potential banana skins for Premier League teams include Leicester’s trip to Fleetwood Town, Huddersfield Town facing Bolton Wanderers on the road, Newcastle facing League Two leaders Luton Town while Chelsea face a trip east to take on Norwich City at Carrow Road. West Ham and Arsenal also face tricky trips to Shrewsbury and Nottingham Forest respectively.
The full list of FA Cup Third Round matches is outlined below:
Friday 5th January 2018
- Liverpool v Everton (7.55pm)
- Manchester United v Derby County (8pm)
Saturday 6th January
- Fleetwood Town v Leicester City (12.45pm)
- Middlesbrough v Sunderland (1pm)
- Aston Villa v Peterborough
- Birmingham City v Burton Albion
- Blackburn Rovers v Hull City
- Bolton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town
- Bournemouth v Wigan Athletic
- Brentford v Notts County
- Cardiff City v Mansfield Town
- Coventry City v Stoke City
- Doncaster Rovers v Rochdale
- Exeter City v West Bromwich Albion
- Fulham v Southampton
- Ipswich Town v Sheffield United
- Manchester City v Burnley
- Millwall v Barnsley
- Newcastle United v Luton Town
- P.R v MK Dons
- Stevenage Borough v Reading
- Watford v Bristol City
- Wolves v Swansea City
- Wycombe Wanderers v Preston North End
- Yeovil Town v Bradford City
- Norwich City v Chelsea (5.30pm)
Sunday 7th January
- Newport County v Leeds United (12pm)
- Shrewsbury Town v West Ham (2pm)
- Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Wimbledon
- Nottingham Forest v Arsenal (4pm)
Monday 8th January
- Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace
Our Choice of FA Cup Accumulator
Looking through the full list of fixtures there are a number that stick out as good value selections for an accumulator bet. So, what I have done is put together a selection of these games into a single accumulator bet and then compared what the best prices are for that bet across our top selection of UK-based bookmakers: Bet365, Betway, Coral, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.
Here’s the fixtures I added to the slip:
- Manchester United v Derby County – Home Win
- Bournemouth v Wigan Athletic – Home Win
- Coventry City v Stoke City – Draw
- Bolton v Huddersfield Town – Away Win
- Wolves v Swansea City – Home Win
- Norwich City v Chelsea – Away Win
- Shrewsbury Town v West Ham – Away Win
- Nottingham Forest v Arsenal – Away Win
Now you can back this accumulator at the following bookmakers at the following odds:
- Bet365 – 120.93/1
- Betway – 134.89/1
- Coral – 116.93/1
- Ladbrokes – 116.93/1
- Paddy Power – 115.52/1
However, it is not as simple as backing the best odds as it is worth remembering that some of our partner sites also have offers or promotions which are available for this particular accumulator bet.
Ladbrokes – 5 Team Acca Insurance
Remember, with Ladbrokes any five-team or more accumulator bet on all football leagues made on the Win-Draw-Win market (as this bet is) qualifies for their 5 Team Acca Insurance offer. This means that if just one team from your selection lets you down, but the other teams all win, then rather than losing your stake, Ladbrokes will refund your stake as a free bet up to a maximum of £25.
Coral – 4+ Acca Boost
Place a fourfold or more accumulator from £2 with Coral on selected markets (of which the Match Result is one of the qualifying markets) and if your bet wins then Coral will boost your winnings with a 10% Free Bet bonus (up to a maximum free bet worth £100).
For example, with this Accumulator with Coral, if you placed a £10 bet with them, and the bet won, you would win back £1169.30 plus you would bet the maximum 4+ Acca Boost bonus of a £100 free bet paid out to you too.
Paddy Power – 5+fold Acca Insurance Offer
If you were to place this bet with Paddy Power then it would qualify for the sites Acca Insurance Offer which means that for any fivefold or more accumulator, if just one leg of your bet lets you down then Paddy Power will refund your stake as a free bet on football.
So as you can see, while bet365 and Betway both offer the higher odds on this bet, with the other companies you get either an insurance offer or a boost on your winnings for a successful bet, which could well make them a more attractive betting option if you are a punter that wants either a free bet bonus, or a chance to earn your stake back at least if just one leg of your accumulator lets you down.