See our pick of five Emirates FA Cup third round ties and where you can watch them

Tuesday 04 Jan 2022
Patrick Vieira lifting the FA Cup in 2005

This weekend marks one of the highlights of the sporting calendar, with the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.

With just three all-Premier League ties, some giant killings could be on the cards, with Swindon Town hoping to be the first to provide an upset when they get things underway on Friday night against Manchester City.

With £82,000 up for grabs for the successful teams, plus some bumper crowds, the third round of the Emirates FA Cup often provide clubs with valuable income, not to mention some unforgettable memories.

Here we have picked out five third round ties worth watching and included the details of how you can watch the games – with an honourable mention to the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, Kidderminster Harriers, versus Reading, which would have made the list had the National League North side not already sold out their Aggborough Stadium ahead of the Championship club’s arrival, and with the match not selected for television.

Swindon Town v Manchester City
Friday 7 January (kick-off 8pm)

Swindon Town will be looking to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in a decade when they take on the Premier League leaders Manchester City.

That year they beat Wigan Athletic 2-1, which was the last time the Robins faced a Premier League side in the famous old competition.

You need to go back 20 years since they last took on Man City, when the iconic Paulo Wanchope and Kevin Horlock helped their side to a 2-0 victory.

Man City are in remarkable form, winning 13 of their last 14 matches in all competitions, but Ben Garner’s side go into this match on the back of a 5-2 victory over Northampton Town on New Year’s Day and are currently just two points below the League Two automatic promotion places in fifth, with a game in hand.

If you have been unable to secure a ticket for the fixture, you can watch it live on ITV1 and ITV Hub, with the broadcast starting at 7.30pm and the match kicking off at 8pm.

Millwall v Crystal Palace 
Saturday 8 January (kick-off 12.45pm)

With just over seven miles separating The Den and Selhurst Park, Millwall are geographically Crystal Palace’s nearest team and this weekend will provide the chance for some all-important bragging rights in South London.

The sides have not met since April 2013, when they shared a goalless draw in the Championship, and this will be the first time they have faced off in the FA Cup since 1985, when the Lions won a third-round replay 2-1 at Selhurst Park.

In 2004 Millwall became the first team outside of English football’s top flight to reach the FA Cup final since the creation of the Premier League when they lost 3-0 to Manchester United, and Crystal Palace reached their second FA Cup final in 2016, losing in extra-time to Manchester United.

This will be Patrick Vieira’s first FA Cup game as a manager but the Crystal Palace boss is one of the most successful players in the competition’s history, winning the trophy four times with Arsenal and once with Manchester City. Only Ashley Cole (7) has lifted it more and there are just nine clubs who have won the trophy more times than Vieira’s five.

ITV1 and ITV Hub will start broadcasting at 12pm on Saturday 8 December and kick-off is at 12.45pm.

Chelsea v Chesterfield

Saturday 8 January (kick-off 5.30pm)

Chesterfield will be hoping to become just the third non-league team to beat a Premier League side in the FA Cup, as they look to follow Luton Town’s victory over Norwich City in 2013 and Lincoln’s win at Burnley five years ago.

National League leaders Chesterfield have not faced a Premier League side in the FA Cup since pushing Middlesbrough to a replay in the 1996-97 semi-final and it has been 72 years since they played Chelsea in the competition, with the Blues winning a fifth-round replay 3-0.

James Rowe’s side will be aware of the task at hand, with 90 places between The Spireites and Chelsea, and the Blues reaching the FA Cup final in four of the last five years.

But you can see whether Chesterfield can create one of the greatest upsets in FA Cup history on the BBC Red Button and BBC iPlayer at 5.30pm on Saturday 8 January.

Liverpool v Shrewsbury
Sunday 9 January (kick-off 2pm)

Liverpool will be well aware of the threat posed by Shrewsbury Town, after the League One side took the Reds to a fifth-round replay two years ago.

Shrewsbury have proved themselves to be worthy opponents to Premier League clubs in recent seasons, with the Shrews forcing replays against top-flight opposition in three of the last six years.

Town also have a manager in the dugout who knows what it takes to beat Liverpool in an FA Cup third round tie, after Steve Cotterill guided then Championship Burnley to a 1-0 victory back in 2005.

As for Jurgen Klopp, he has yet to lift a domestic cup competition as Liverpool boss and the Reds will be hoping to win the FA Cup for the first time in 16 years.

This tie will not be televised in the UK but some tickets are still available for home supporters at Anfield.

Aston Villa v Manchester United
Monday 10 January (kick-off 7.55pm)

The all-Premier League encounter between Aston Villa and Manchester United will have some added spice on Monday night as Steven Gerrard comes up against his old adversary for the first time as a manager.

The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United is one of the greatest in English football and as a local lad, it was one Gerrard relished as a player but in his last outing, the former Reds captain was sent off just 38 seconds after coming on as a half-time substitute.

Now a manager, this will be Gerrard’s first in charge of an Emirates FA Cup game and is the first of two games between the teams in the space of five days.

Aston Villa beat United 1-0 earlier this season but history does not bode well for the Villains, who have lost their last six FA Cup matches and have also tasted defeat in their last six meetings with United in the competition since winning the 1957 final. 

Manchester United have won their last nine home FA Cup games by an aggregate score of 20-2 and are unbeaten in their last 11 at Old Trafford in the competition.

BBC1 and BBC iPlayer will be broadcasting from 7.30pm on Monday 10 January, with kick-off at 7.55pm.

By Frank Smith