Saturday’s FA Cup tips: Man United and Arsenal among cup picks

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It’s one of the greatest weekends in football – the FA Cup third round. Upsets never fail to amaze, while unknown hopefuls can become legends with one moment of glory.

We’re buzzing to see what drama the world’s oldest cup competition throws our way over the next couple of days.

And ahead of Saturday’s fixtures, we’ve picked out five games worth looking into…

Man Utd v Reading – 12:30pm

Under Jose Mourinho, Reading may well have fancied their chances, but Manchester United look far happier under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Royals lost 4-0 at Old Trafford in the third round two years ago, but picked up a 1-1 draw in 2007 – a game which saw the current United boss start up front.

The Premier League side are 1/10 favourites, but have slipped up at this stage in the past, losing to Leeds United and Swansea City in recent years.

Reading are 20/1 underdogs, and they’d be equally happy to grab a draw at 17/2.

Derby v Southampton – 3:00pm

One of the day’s banana skins could come at Derby as County host Premier League strugglers Southampton.

Both teams have prior concerns in the league. The Rams are still chasing promotion in the Championship, with the Saints looking to avoid going in the other direction.

But a cup run would do Frank Lampard’s managerial stock no harm at all. There’s 17/10 about Derby knocking the Premier League side out.

Gillingham v Cardiff – 3:00

Like Southampton, Cardiff may focus their energies on Premier League survival rather than a potentially distracting cup run.

That could offer hosts Gillingham the perfect chance to pull off a surprise at Priestfield Stadium this afternoon.

Neil Warnock’s visitors are 4/5 favourites, but have been poor on their travels this season. There’s 13/4 about the Gills and 13/5 for a draw.

Bristol City v Huddersfield – 5:30pm

Another Premier League struggler with a tricky cup tie is Huddersfield Town. David Wagner’s men look lost at sea in the top tier, and a trip to Bristol City is unlikely to help.

The Robins are going nicely in the Championship, are are unbeaten in eight games. They’re no strangers to cup joy either, reaching the FA Cup semi-finals in 2008, and the last four of the EFL Cup last season.

City are 5/4 favourites for what would be a not-so-surprising upset, with the Terriers out at 9/4.

Blackpool v Arsenal – 5:30pm

Unai Emery’s first taste of FA Cup action will have an authentic vibe to it as his Gunners side are off to Blackpool.

The Tangerines needed a replay to see off National League outfit Solihull Moors in round two, but they’ve failed to win their last four league games.

These two sides have already met this season, with a second-string Arsenal side downing Blackpool 2-1 in the EFL Cup.

It could be close again now the Lancashire side are on home turf. There’s 1/4 about the Gunners winning in 90 minutes tonight, but 12/1 says Blackpool cause a good old fashioned banana skin.

Click here for all our FA Cup odds.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.