It’s a new year, and FA Cup third round weekend is upon us. Fans ad players up and down the down the country will be dreaming of a trip to Wembley, and we’re backing three teams to go on e step closer in a tempting 5/1 treble.
We’ve picked three home sides to get the business done without the need for a replay. Let’s hope they can deliver the goods to get 2018 up and running in style. Here are our selections.
Aston Villa V Peterborough United
Following a run of bad results which had put Steve Bruce under pressure, Aston Villa have bounced back with two fantastic wins against Middlesbrough and Bristol City, with the latter being a 5-0 drubbing. They’ll be eager to keep the momentum going as they turn their attentions to FA Cup action, and should have no problems as they welcome Posh to Villa Park.
The Championship side have been pretty strong at home this season, December aside, and can look to several potential goal sources across the midfield and attack. Given that Peterborough rarely keep a clean sheet on their travels, it seems very likely that the hosts will use their superiority to find the net.
Grant McCann’s men may well have a little more joy in the attacking third, especially if they can unleash Jack Marriott. In truth, though, the visitors are unlikely to create that many chances, which will pile even more pressure on their leaky defence.
Unfortunately for them, that could be a recipe for disaster. Home win.
Aston Villa win @ 6/11 with Unibet
Doncaster Rovers V Rochdale
The Keepmoat plays host to an all-League One affair as Rovers host Rochdale but, while the clubs are in the same league, their current situations could scarcely be more different. Despite the fact that anything can happen in the cup, Doncaster should be fancied here.
Rovers are unbeaten in five games overall while their unbeaten home streak stretches to seven in all competitions. In addition to the momentum, Darren Ferguson’s men 12 points ahead of the visitors in the league while they also registered a 2-0 win against Dale just last Friday. A similar outcome in the cup clash could be likely.
Keith Hill’s men have lost their last three and are six games without a win. In 17 away games this term, their only three wins have come against struggling Bury and two teams from lower down the pyramid. While they do score a respectable amount of goals, their defensive record is likely to cause problems in South Yorkshire.
Doncaster will still be hoping for a play-off spot in the league, but a good cup run would do them nicely. Expect them to take a positive step with a routine win in round three.
Doncaster win @ 21/20 with Unibet
Wolverhampton Wanderers V Swansea City
It’s a Championship club versus a Premier League outfit at Molineux, but nobody would be overly surprised to see the hosts seal their progress to round four. In truth, should Nuno Santos’s men win, it wouldn’t even be described as an upset.
The hosts enter this clash having won 10 of their last 12 competitive matches, drawing the other two, and are playing some simply brilliant football right now. Confidence is booming while the combination of British grit and Portuguese flair is working wonders. Meanwhile, Brazilian striker Leo Bonatini is leading the goals chase extremely well too.
Swansea on the other hand look a little lost right now. New boss Carlos Carvalhal may have seen the Jacks clinch victory in his first game, but they came crashing back down to earth against Tottenham. January signings will be needed to stamp his authority in this team, and the weekend’s cup clash arguably comes a little too soon. Right now, an early exit probably wouldn’t be the worst thing for the visitors anyway.
Both teams will prioritise league matters over the cup run, but Swansea are the team that could truly do without his distraction. With momentum and home advantage on Wolves’ side too, we’re backing the hosts to prevail.
Wolves win @ 10/11 with Unibet