Giant killers: 5 potential shocks in the FA Cup third round
The big boys have arrived, but see which Premier League sides could be headed for an embarrassing exit.
Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday –
Sheffield Wednesday lost their fifth game in six matches on New Year’s Day, as they were spanked 3-0 at home to third-bottom Burton.
The Owls have also managed just one victory in 10 league games and have slid to 16th in the Championship.
Carlisle have already ousted a side from a higher division this season, having beaten Gillingham 3-1 in a second-round replay.
The Cumbrians were also 10 minutes away from forcing extra time against Sunderland in the EFL Cup second round earlier this season.
With two victories from three at Brunton Park, don’t discount the League Two side.
Coventry v Stoke –
Stoke have already been beaten by a Football League side this season, losing in the EFL Cup third round to Bristol City.
The Potters have also been knocked out of the FA Cup by lower-league sides in two of the last three seasons.
Having also lost eight of their 12 away games so far this term, beating only Watford in that period, they can’t afford any complacency against Coventry.
The Sky Blues, who won the competition in 1987, have won four on the spin in all competitions at the Ricoh Arena and have lost just two in 14.
Exeter v West Brom –
It’s been a miserable season for West Brom, who haven’t won a match since beating Accrington in the EFL Cup second round back in August.
The Baggies have gone 20 league games without a victory, equalling the second-longest winless run in Premier League history.
So a trip to a side three divisions below won’t be as straightforward as you might expect.
Exeter have been impressive at home this term and have won each of their last four league games.
The Grecians also drew 2-2 with Liverpool at this stage of the FA Cup two seasons ago, having twice taken the lead.
A draw is the minimum Paul Tisdale’s side should be aiming for.
Stevenage v Reading –
These two sides met at this stage of the FA Cup in 2012, with Stevenage upsetting their Championship hosts and winning 1-0.
The Boro progressed to the fifth round that season, eventually losing to Tottenham after earning a replay.
With Darren Sarll’s side looking good at home, a repeat could be on the cards.
Stevenage are unbeaten in eight at Broadhall Way and have netted 14 goals in their last four on home turf.
Reading were beaten 2-0 at home to relegation-threatened Birmingham last time out and have lost four in a six-match winless run.
Watford v Bristol City –
This will be the second meeting between these two sides this season after Bristol City knocked Watford out of the EFL Cup in the second round.
The Robins won 3-2 at Vicarage Road back in August and have beaten a further three Premier League sides, including Manchester United last month, to progress to the semi-final.
That cup run has also been coupled with decent league form and, despite losing their last two, Lee Johnson’s side have won five out of eight.
The outlook isn’t as good for Watford, who have lost seven of their last nine and won just once.
Don’t be surprised to see the Championship side in the hat for round four.