FA Cup

FA Cup 2016: Live Stream, Predictions for Saturday's 3rd-Round Fixtures

Arsenal’s Hector Bellerín, left, competes for the ball with Sunderland’s Duncan Watmore during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium in London, Saturday Dec. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Tim Ireland/Associated Press
Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2016

A host of Premier League and Championship clubs will make their first appearance in the 2016 FA Cup on Saturday as the majority of third-round ties will be played out throughout the afternoon.

The draw hasn't been kind on a number of top Premier League clubs, with Arsenal and Manchester City both facing squads from the highest division in Sunderland and Norwich City, respectively. Meanwhile, Manchester United will host Sheffield United.

Here's a look at the list of fixtures, complete with live stream info and predictions:

FA Cup Schedule: Saturday
HomeAwayLive StreamPrediction
WycombeAston VillaBT Sport app (UK), Fox Soccer 2Go (U.S.)Villa
ArsenalSunderland/Arsenal
BirminghamBournemouth/Bournemouth
BrentfordWalsall/Replay
BuryBradford/Bradford
ColchesterCharlton/Replay
DoncasterStokeFox Soccer 2Go (U.S.)Stoke
EastleighBoltonFox Soccer 2Go (U.S.)Bolton
EvertonDagenham & Redbridge/Everton
HartlepoolDerby/Derby
HuddersfieldReading/Replay
HullBrighton/Brighton
IpswichPortsmouth/Replay
LeedsRotherham/Leeds
MiddlesbroughBurnley/Middlesbrough
NewportBlackburn/Blackburn
NorthamptonMK Dons/Replay
NorwichManchester City/Replay
Nottingham ForestQPR/Nottingham Forest
PeterboroughPreston/Preston
Sheffield WedFulham/Fulham
SouthamptonCrystal Palace/Replay
WatfordNewcastle/Watford
West BromBristol City/West Brom
West HamWolves/West Ham
Manchester UtdSheffield UtdBT Sport app (UK), Fox Soccer 2Go (U.S.)Manchester Utd
Thefa.com

To access the BT Sport app, click here. For Fox Soccer 2Go, click here.  

 

The FA Cup always serves up a handful of surprises and upsets, particularly in the early stages, and with several Premier League clubs either battling for the title or to avoid relegation, the third round offers a number of matches with major upset potential.

Arsenal host Sunderland, and while the Black Cats would perhaps prefer not to advance so they can focus on the Premier League, the Gunners are likely to field a number of backups with an eye on the title race.

Gunners midfielder Francis Coquelin believes Sunderland will provide his side with a stiff challenge, as he told the Chronicle's Steve Brown:

It’s always going to be tough against Sunderland.

They gave us a difficult game a couple of weeks ago, so we know it will be tough.

They’re going to want to beat the champions as well, so they will be really, really motivated and beating us could give them a boost in their season as well.

Everyone will be prepared for it.

Sunderland's defence has been leaky at best this season, particularly away from home, and on paper, Arsenal should cruise to a win—even without a number of key starters.

Per the Gunners' official website, manager Arsene Wenger maintains he's determined to qualify for the next round, but Arsenal haven't been in the thick of the title race like this in years―one has to assume Wenger will prioritise that competition.

That means resting the likes of Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud, two key players Arsenal can't afford to lose and who need a break badly.

Norwich City can afford to take a few more risks than Sunderland after a strong run through the festive period, with the Canaries currently sitting well above the relegation zone. Manchester City have struggled somewhat in recent games, and like Arsenal, they may choose to sit a few starters.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva haven't looked their best the last few matches, which makes sense given their heavy workload. An FA Cup match seems like the perfect opportunity to give the duo a rest―as iconic as the competition is, the Premier League has to take priority.

Wilfried Bony didn't make the bench against Everton, and while youngster Kelechi Iheanacho certainly deserves more chances, manager Manuel Pellegrini seems determined to stick with Sergio Aguero for now in all competitions.

The Argentina international has only recently returned from injury, and while it's important for him to find his form, the risk of another injury is always there.

Per Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News, he currently doesn't look like a major asset, either:

On paper, United have the easiest task of all Premier League giants, taking on League One's Sheffield United. The Blades recently saw a strong run of results snapped with a 3-2 loss against Peterborough United, taking the latter's advantage in the play-off race to four points.

Sheffield United would likely prefer promotion to the Championship over a deep run in the FA Cup, but there's little doubt they'll throw everything they have at the Red Devils. The hosts have been in dreadful form of late, and if ever there was a chance for an upset for the ages, it would be Saturday at Old Trafford.

 

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