FA Cup Third Round Preview

Is it that time of the season again already? The first weekend in January means that, just after the chaos of the Christmas schedule, everyone can relax for a weekend and forget all about The Football That Is More Important Than Life Itself and enjoy (Enjoy! Fancy that!) the Third Round of the FA Cup. None of this means that it will be necessarily all be plain sailing for the biggest clubs and plenty of them will have very uncomfortable weekends indeed. It’s also time to mention my annual reminder to clubs that aren’t in the Champions League – You’re not too big for the FA Cup. There will be plenty of Premier League clubs putting out under-strength sides this weekend, pursuing that agenda that I’ve never been able to understand – that, in modern football, it’s much more important to secure that fourteenth place in the Premier League than it is to actually have a go at winning the FA Cup. I can’t think of a single club that hasn’t been humiliated in the Third Round of the FA Cup. Whether it’s Manchester United getting stuffed by Bournemouth (1984), Arsenal throwing away a lead to lose to Wrexham (1992) or Liverpool getting beaten at Burnley thanks to a hilarious own goal (2005), there isn’t anyone that hasn’t come a cropper in the FA Cup Third Round at some...

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