The Emirates FA Cup may have a history of serving up giant-killings, but one factor often forgotten is how important form is going into these ties – both for favourites and underdogs.
Here are three sides shining right now, and there’s plenty of reason you’d tip them for a victory which would lead to the dreamland of the Third Round and the chance to draw the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool…
Chesterfield v Wycombe Wanderers
The Chairboys may ply their trade a level below League One Chesterfield, but all the signs point to victory for the visitors, and there’s an argument they could be trading places in the EFL pyramid next season.
Gareth Ainsworth’s men have regained their reputation for a rock-solid defence, conceding just once en route to four wins on the spin. Meanwhile, the Spireites have lost 10 of their last 15, and even a slight upturn of late hasn’t seen their defensive woes fixed.
That means the Buckinghamshire club look likely to reach the Emirates FA Cup Third Round for the second season in succession.
Still not convinced? Wycombe beat League One opposition on the road at this stage last season, in the form of Millwall. Expect history to repeat itself.
Woking v Accrington Stanley
Back when Coolio was tearing up the charts with ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ and Will Smith was saving the world in ‘Independence Day’, Woking were enjoying their own slice of glory, reaching the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup in 1995-96 and again in 1996-97.
Since then, they’ve waited 19 years to repeat the feat, but following four wins in their last six games – including a 3-0 away-day demolition of Maidstone United – the Cardinals could be on the cusp of rekindling their cup glory.
With striker Gozie Ugwu netting seven times in his last four games, Stanley look set to be toppled by the National League club, to extend their winless run to six.
Notts County v Peterborough United
The Posh could find themselves in surroundings which are just that, if they enjoy victory at Meadow Lane – with a visit to grand stadiums like Old Trafford and the Etihad on the table for those in the Third Round hat.
Grant McCann’s men have won four of their last five, with their impressive away form meaning a win in Nottingham would make it four-in-a-row for the away side.
Boasting the likes of George Moncur, Marcus Maddison and Tottenham loanee Nathan Oduwa, Peterborough are really clicking right now, and should prove too hot to handle for their struggling hosts.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing