Emirates FA Cup third round | 3 Potential Cup Upsets

Cup upsets, FA Cup,

For football fans, the first full weekend of January can only mean one thing; the Emirates FA Cup third round.

As 64 teams across the EFL – and further afield – clash, one of the classic weekends of the season is poised to deliver more cup upsets and giant-killings.

But where might those come?

Here, we put three games under the microscope.

Maidstone United v Stevenage (Saturday, 12:30 GMT)

Could National League South side Maidstone United pull off the big shock of the weekend?

As the Kent side play their very first third round tie, three tiers of English football separate themselves and Saturday’s opponents, Stevenage.

Booking their spot in the last 64 after knocking out League Two side Barrow last month, the Stones now eye a bigger EFL scalp.

Sitting fourth in the standings, The Gallagher Stadium is no fortress but history could be on the side of George Elokobi’s men.

A former FA Cup veteran with Wolves himself, Maidstone’s only other FA Cup meeting with Stevenage ended in first round replay victory, back in 2014.

Stevenage might also have their focus elsewhere with the League One playoffs very much an opening this term.

A 5/1 punt with BoyleSport is to consider, as is the 10/3 shot with QuinnBet for Maidstone to force a replay.


AFC Wimbledon v Ipswich Town (Saturday, 12:30 GMT)

Sticking with the early Saturday window, Championship high-flyers Ipswich meet AFC Wimbledon at Plough Lane.

This game might not immediately be filed in the draw ‘cup upsets’, but the Dons could spring a surprise.

With a full 53 places between the duo, Ipswich are knocking on the Premier League door come May, so, will their priorities lie elsewhere?

The Tractor Boys are win-less in four games, with their record in this competition nothing short of horrific.

Indeed, only once in the last 13 years have Ipswich made it past this stage.

A trip to south London will not be relished by boss Kieran McKenna.

The hosts netted five in both previous rounds and on a tricky pitch, Johnnie Jackson can rekindle memories of the Crazy Gang from 1988.

Wimbledon are 17/4 with 10Bet to sending Ipswich packing.


Wigan v Manchester United (Monday, 20:15 GMT)

For the third of our trio of potential cup upsets, we turn to the final game of the round and two former winners of the FA Cup, Wigan and Manchester United.

And the Latics could heap the pressure on United boss Erik ten Hag.

Entertaining the Red Devils, it was Wigan who famously stunned Manchester City at Wembley in the 2013 final.

Here, in a Greater Manchester derby, Wigan again seek to topple one of the city’s big boys.

Under the guidance of Shaun Maloney – part of the same Wigan side from 11 years ago under Roberto Martinez – narratives are there to be grabbed at.

Statistically, everything points to a comfortable outing for visitors.

United have won 18 of the last 19 meetings against Wigan and their only loss was back in 2012.

It’s worth noting, however, that loss came at the DW Stadium, during a time when United were far stronger.

Domestically, Wigan are battling to stay afloat in League One, whilst United show signs of life, albeit in sporadic fits.

By name alone, it should be a no-contest, but Wigan are ready to drop the banana skin once more.

Looking for an omen? Wigan have won their last FIVE FA Cup ties played on a Monday. The most recent one? A 1-0 win over Man City.

The bookies are buying no romance here, but Wigan are a staggering 14/1 to pull off one of the big cup upsets in recent memory.

A more cautious approach, Wigan are a fair 21/4 with BetUK for a money-spinning return at Old Trafford.

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