On this week’s show Damon and Damian focus on the FA Cup Third Round games in England and Wales and introduce another English for football phrase.
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The FA Cup. As English as a cup of tea, Stonehenge and red double-decker buses.
At least that’s according to a survey in England to try to find English icons. Certainly most men in their thirties or forties will remember as boys following the FA Cup final build up from the early morning on TV until the game kicked off – player profiles, trivia, what the teams were eating for breakfast, the fans on the coaches, the end of the football season in England.
The third round is where the small fry get their chance against the big fish from the top leagues. If the smaller team is lucky they’ll get drawn away to one of the Premier League sides and reap the rewards of the ticket sales. It can mean a new stand, a quality player, clearing debt for the minnows, and huge embarrassment if they lose for the giants from the top league.
So will there be any upsets in this years Cup? Well, here are four games that I think could produce a surprise result. Remember even a draw for a smaller club feels like a victory.
First up is Bristol Rovers from the First Division at Fulham. Now, Fulham have a new manager but their recent form is terrible, and they are really on the ropes. Rovers will believe this is their chance, and if they won it would be a huge shock.
Second, Champions league side Stoke against Premier League side Newcastle United. Of course, you would expect the greater experience and strength in depth to show, but Stoke are in the race for promotion and haven’t lost for 10 games. Sam Allerdyce will not be looking forward to this tie.
Thirdly, a David and Goliath match up sees Swansea from Division One host Havant & Waterlooville from the non-league Conference South division. With a striker called Rocky Baptiste playing for the semi-pro Hawks anything could happen.
But finally, Chasetown, who are the lowest ranked team to reach the third round of the FA Cup take on Cardiff from the Championship. The Welsh side should win comfortably, but they are playing away at Chasetown and it will be a poor playing surface, cold showers, cramped changing rooms and a hostile crowd. The pressure just might get to Cardiff. And who knows, we could see Chasetown progress to meet one of today’s giants in the fourth round.