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FA Cup Third round Preview

Man United vs Aston Villa

The third round of the 2021/22 FA Cup gets started this weekend as the Football League and Premier League clubs enter the competition. As always, some of the minnows in English football will fancy their chances against the big players. Premier League leaders Man City travel to Swindon to get the FA Cup weekend started. The likes of Chesterfield, Shrewsbury and Nottingham Forest then take on champions Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal respectively in the hope of an upset. There is also an enticing South London derby between Millwall and Crystal Palace early on Saturday to bring plenty of entertainment.

All odds are from bet365 and subject to change.


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Millwall vs Crystal Palace

Millwall has struggled to garner momentum over the Christmas and New Year period. Two of their last four matches were postponed, both home fixtures. The Lions lost 3-2 at Bristol City last time out, a result which followed an impressive 1-0 away win at Coventry. The Den has been a real stronghold for Gary Rowett’s side this season as they are unbeaten in five (won three and drawn two). The Lions have lost just three of their 14 home games this season.

Crystal Palace fell to a 3-2 home defeat against West Ham on New Year’s Day. The Eagles trailed 3-0 at half time but late goals from Odsonne Eduoard and Michael Olise provided some consolation. The loss extended a patchy run of form for Patrick Viera’s side, who have won just two of their last nine in the Premier League, both at home. Palace’s only away win came against Man City at the Etihad (2-0). The South Londoners have lost their last three on the road without scoring.

Maikel Kieftenbeld (knock) and Daniel Ballard (knee) are out for Millwall. Conor Gallagher, Nathaniel Clyne and James MacArthur should be in contention for Palace. Wilf Zaha and Cheikhou Kouyate are unlikely to feature due to coronavirus and Jordan Ayew is at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Millwall at home will be a tough proposition for a Palace side struggling away from home. There is good value on a draw at the Den.

Millwall – 11/4

Crystal Palace – 1/1

Draw – 5/2

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Hull vs Everton

After a dreadful start to the season with two wins in their opening 17 games, Hull has steadied the ship recently. A six-match unbeaten run in the Championship came before consecutive away losses against Nottingham Forest and Blackpool over the Christmas period. Grant McCann’s side has been in decent form at home recently. The Tigers have are unbeaten in three, winning two and scoring two goals in each game.

Everton’s fall down the Premier League table has continued in recent matches due to their inconsistent results. Rafa Benitez’s side ended an eight-match winless run with a 2-1 home win against Arsenal, before losing 3-1 at Crystal Palace. A 1-1 draw with Chelsea followed although the Toffees lost their most recent match 3-2 at home against Brighton. The Merseyside club haven’t fared much better away. They are winless in their last eight away, including four losses in their last five.

Hull’s Josh Emmanuel may return from illness. But Alfie Jones (groin) and Lewie Coyle (ankle) are ruled out for Hull. Everton trio Fabian Delph, Jarrad Braithwaite and Tom Davies may return from injury. Richarlison (calf), Andros Townsend (ankle), Yerry Mina (calf) and Alex Iwobi (knock) are out.

Hull will try to use their home advantage to make life difficult for a listless Everton side. But, Benitez will be aware a loss could be damaging for his reign at Goodison Park and the Toffees may just edge this one.

Hull – 3/1

Everton – 19/20

Draw – 5/2

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Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal

Nottingham Forest endured a tough Christmas period as they have lost their last two. A 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough came before a 1-0 home loss against Huddersfield. The back to back defeats ended an impressive run of form for Steve Cooper’s side, who lost just one of their last 16. The narrow defeat against Huddersfield at the City Ground ended a five-match unbeaten run at home, including consecutive wins against Peterborough (2-0) and Hull (2-1).

Arsenal’s five-match winning run came to an end with a 2-1 home defeat against Man City last time out. The Gunner’s led 1-0 through Bukayo Saka before City bounced back with two second-half goals. Mikel Arteta’s side had recorded huge wins before the defeat. The North London club beat Norwich 5-0, Sunderland 5-1 and Leeds 4-0 before the City loss, two of which came on the road.

Joe Lolley could return for Forest. Max Lowe (groin), Alex Mighten (knee), Jordi Osei-Tutu (ankle) and Rodrigo Ely (muscular injury) are out. Arsenal defender Calum Chambers should be in contention. Nicola Pepe, Mohamed Elneny, Thomas Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are at the AFCON. Gabriel Magalhaes is suspended and Sead Kolasinac is out with an ankle injury.

Forest come into this tie in patchy form and they are likely to struggle against an in-form Arsenal who have found their groove in recent weeks.

Nottingham Forest – 15/4

Arsenal – 4/5

Draw – 5/2

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Man United vs Aston Villa

Man United’s revival under Michael Carrick and Ralf Rangnick was ended by a 1-0 home loss against Wolves last time out. The Red Devil’s rarely threatened with nine shots before Wolves netted the winner late on. It was United’s first defeat in eight matches in all competitions. United have also won just two of their last five in all competitions after 1-1 draws against Young Boys and Newcastle came before the Wolves defeat.

Steven Gerrard’s new manager bounce at Villa has tailed off in recent weeks following postponements and poor form. The Villans have lost their last two in the Premier League following a 3-1 home loss against Chelsea and a 2-1 defeat a Brentford last time out. The Midland’s side has lost three of their last four and their only win came against Premier League strugglers Norwich. Away form has been an issue for Villa this season and they have lost five of their last seven.

Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial should return for United. Paul Pogba is out with a groin injury, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay are suspended and Eric Bailly is at the AFCON. Villa’s Tyrone Mings and Ashley Young should return to the squad. John McGinn (suspended), Marvelous Nakamba (knee), Leon Bailey (thigh), Ollie Watkins (knock), Bertrand Traore (AFCON), and Trezeguet (AFCON) are out.

Neither Man United nor Aston Villa are inspiring confidence on current form. Both teams have some key players out so a tight draw could play out at Old Trafford.

Man United – 8/15

Aston Villa – 5/1

Draw – 10/3

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