FA Cup 3rd Round: 6 Biggest Battles to Watch Out For

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FA Cup 3rd Round: 6 Biggest Battles to Watch Out For
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The first football weekend of 2013 sees the FA Cup roar back into action.

The oldest and most prestigious domestic cup competition in the world has lost some of its lustre since the advent of the Champions League in 1992. However, there can be little doubt that players and fans alike still dream about winning the famous cup.

While this weekend sees the beginning of the competition for many fans, the FA Cup actually started all the way back on August 11. A whopping 758 clubs started out on the Road to Wembley in August, and some eight rounds later, we are left with just 64 as the third round begins.

Chelsea will begin the defence of their title with a tricky game at Southampton, while Hastings, the lowest-ranked team in the competition, travel almost the entire length of England to take on Middlesbrough.

If this were a different competition, Chelsea as holders and the probable No.1-ranked team would play Hastings, the undoubted 64th-ranked side.

But this is the FA Cup, where rankings and reputations matter not. 

As ever there are a number of stand-out games ranging from all-Premier League ties, veritable giant-killing missions and non-league heroes on a crusade for fame, fortune and a place in football folklore history.

Here, Bleacher Report looks at six of the biggest battles of the FA Cup Third Round.

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