Man City must be happiest of all FA Cup hopefuls with third-round draw

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The joint FA Cup favourites were handed a pair of Championship teams to face in the competition’s third-round draw, with Manchester City likely to be happier than Chelsea with the team that fate put in their path.

The Citizens will welcome mid-table Sheffield Wednesday to the Etihad when the next round takes place on the weekend of December 3, while fellow 11/2 shots Chelsea have it a jot harder in hosting sixth-place Watford at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United, who are 6/1 to lift the FA Cup for the first time in a decade, will be confident of navigating a safe path to the fourth round, thanks to an away draw against the winners of Accrington Stanley’s replay with Yeovil.

Holders Arsenal are perhaps involved in the tie of the round, in a repeat of last year’s final against Hull. Arsene Wenger is 7/1 to repeat the pressure-relieving victory he scored at Wembley last season.

Another of the market’s leading lights, Liverpool, will be revelling in their draw, with a trip to AFC Wimbledon in the offing, while 16/1 shots Tottenham travel to Premier League strugglers Burnley.

Wigan are the first side in the betting to come from outside the Premier League and the 2013 winners will keep things nice and local with a trip to 175/1 shots Bolton.

Romance seekers need look no further than Blyth Spartans, of the Northern Premier League’s top flight, who host Birmingham City, their superiors by five divisions, at Croft Park.

Other non-league outfits with plum draws include Wrexham’s trip to Stoke and Dover Athletic hosting Neil Warnock’s Crystal Palace. The pair can be backed at 3000/1 and 5000/1 respectively to win the competition.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.