The FA Cup produces magic to levels which famed artist Dynamo and fictional wizarding superstar Harry Potter can only dream of, and there are a host of fixtures this weekend which could produce some classic upsets.
With more than five Premier League or Championship sides heading to lower league opposition, we’re sensing many a banana skin for the Cup’s famous Third Round.
So ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, Ladbrokes News have run the rule over where the Cup magic will be coming from across the next couple of days.
Wycombe to beat Aston Villa @ 12/5
Saturday’s early kick-off sees hapless Aston Villa head to League 2 promotion-chasing Wycombe Wanderers.
The Chairboys are no strangers to a Cup run, famously reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 2001 and the League Cup in 2007.
With Villa winless since the opening day of the season and generally all at sea this term, this is ripe for a packed Adams Park to roar the hosts to victory.
Eastleigh to beat Bolton @ 2/1
Neil Lennon is doing all he can to keep Bolton in the Championship, but Wanderers have won just twice this season and neither came away from home.
To make matters worse, they head to a confidence-high Eastleigh who sit fourth in the National League.
The hosts have lost just one of their last 16 games, which was also the only time the non-leaguers failed to score in that spell.
Newport to beat Blackburn @ 7/2
Hosts Newport may be in the wrong half of League Two, but Blackburn haven’t scored in any of their last four fixtures.
Rovers have claimed just three wins away from Ewood Park this term, and while County have only a single win at Rodney Parade, they’ll be confident of a result against Paul Lambert’s misfiring Lancashire side.
Hartlepool to beat Derby @ 11/2
Another League Two versus Championship clash sees Hartlepool host Neil Clement’s Derby.
A succession of postponements means the Pools haven’t played a single game since December 19, so they’ll be raring to get out and get playing.
Derby have failed to win their last two games but find themselves in a battle royal for automatic promotion into the Premier League. An FA Cup run would surely be a distraction to their league efforts.
Oxford United to beat Swansea @ 14/5
Alan Curtis has steadied the Swansea ship in recent weeks, but Oxford United will be keen to get at a side many would say are still in limbo.
The Swans’ only away victory this year came at struggling Aston Villa, while Oxford are sitting third in League Two.
The hosts have lost just two of their last 24 fixtures, and have been massively impressive on home soil, counting defeat just twice in their last 26 at the Kassam Stadium.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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