In some ways, the FA Cup (The Football Association Cup) is the finest of all soccer competitions in the world. It brings together English clubs from each of the tiers, with exciting play where lower teams have a chance to topple larger clubs. Many of these matches will be absolute crackers, with teams you’ve never heard of stepping up to bravely take on some of the biggest names in the sport. For the back history on the FA Cup, check the wikipedia page.
Throughout the full soccer season, these English clubs battle their way down to the final match in May. This weekend, we hit the Third Round of proper competition, so you’ll see clubs from the Premier League and Championship League battling for dominance in knockout rounds to stay in the competition.
Here are the matches I’m really looking forward to:
- Brighton v. Sheffield Wednesday. You know I’ve got to support the Owls. It is still (as I write this) 0-0 at the beginning of the second half. I’d have thought Wednesday would be a bit stronger than they’ve looked, but Brighton seems to be full of surprises.
- Reading v. Blackpool. At the half, Blackpool was up by a goal. This match feels more evenly spread between the teams.
- Man City v. Port Vale. This will be a fun game to watch, though City may absolute destroy Port Vale. I love watching smaller teams play the big boys. Port Vale have nothing to lose and I hope they play with a strong heart.
- Chelsea v. Nottingham Forest. This is going to be a match of pure fun too. I watch a lot of Nottingham’s matches and I think they’ll give Chelsea a good run. But, I ultimately hope Chelsea pulls it off.
- Crystal Palace v. Derby County. Derby has Wayne Rooney on their side. This should be an absolute smash-up.
- Gillingham v. West Ham. Up the Hammers, of course.
- Arsenal v. Leeds United. I’m anticipating Leeds makes it up the Premier League next season as they currently sit atop the Championship League table. It’ll be a good test of Arsenal’s metal to see if they can make it past Leeds United.