Sang Tan/AP/Press Association Images Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith
# Romance of the cup
FA Cup third round: Where do possible upsets lie?
We run through the lower league sides who could cause their opponents some problems today.

1. Brighton Hove Albion v Newcastle, 12.30pm, Amex Arena – Home win

Newcastle travel south to face Championship opponents Brighton on the back of three Premier League defeats. Alan Pardew’s team have been unable to emulate last season’s achievements, with a series of injuries and the added strain of playing European football not helping their cause, and lie 15th in the table.

Gus Poyet’s Seagulls are currently three points off the play-off places and began 2013 with a convincing 3-0 win over Ipswich. These two sides met last year in the fourth round of this competition and it was Brighton who prevailed thanks to William Buckley’s individual run and deflected shot. Repeating that shock for a second year running is not unimaginable.

Watch highlights of their meeting last season below:

YouTube credit: thefacup·

2. Aston Villa v Ipswich, 3pm, Villa Park – Away win

Since joining the Norfolk club back in November, Mick McCarthy has hauled Ipswich off the bottom of the Championship, out of drop zone and into 19th place. They were beaten on Tuesday but did record good wins against Wolves, Charlton, Millwall and Bolton in December.

Villa, meanwhile, have conceded 17 goals in their last four games – none of which ended in victory for Paul Lambert’s side.

3. Crystal Palace v Stoke, 3pm, Selhurst Park – Home win

Unbeaten since November, high-flying Palace entertain Stoke at Selhurst Park. The Eagles have been brilliant in the league this season despite having to deal with the loss of manager Dougie Freedman and although his replacement Ian Holloway has been told to concentrate on promotion, he will relish the chance to get the better of Premier League opposition.

Wilfried Zaha has been in scintillating form for Palace this season. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

4. MK Dons v Sheffield Wednesday, 3pm, Stadium:mk - Home win

Two teams who were vying for promotion from League One last season meet again at Stadium:mk today. Karl Robinson's Dons needed an injury time Jon Otsemobor goal to overcome their bitter rivals AFC Wimbledon in the last round but could upset the Owls, who have struggled on their return to the Championship this term.

5. Wigan v Bournemouth, DW Stadium, 3pm - Away win

The Latics take on a resurgent Bournemouth side who have earned 24 points out of the last 30 in League One and who are unbeaten in 16 games since Eddie Howe returned. With 42-year-old David James in decent form between the sticks, it's not inconceivable to think they could cause Wigan problems at the DW Stadium this afternoon.

Do you fancy any other upsets from today's games?

See all the FA Cup third round fixtures here

Rooney ruled out for 2 weeks, will miss Liverpool game

Your Voice
Readers Comments