FA Cup third round match previews

Premier League and Championship teams join the competition; Follow FA Cup third round on Sky Sports’ digital platforms with our dedicated blogs

Sunday 10 January 2021 15:46, UK

The FA Cup takes centre stage this weekend as Premier League and Championship teams join the third round, with Sunday’s fixtures including Marine vs Tottenham and Chelsea vs Morecambe.

The FA Cup will not have replays for the 2020-21 season to help ease fixture congestion caused by the COVID-19 crisis, meaning that all ties will be decided on the day.

Both the fourth and fifth-round draws will take place on Monday January 11, with the respective games scheduled for the weekend of January 23 and Wednesday February 10 respectively.

  • FA Cup fixtures | results
  • Saturday’s FA Cup review: Chorley beat Derby kids

Chelsea vs Morecambe, Sunday 1.30pm

Team news: N’Golo Kante will miss Chelsea‘s FA Cup third-round clash with Morecambe due to a hamstring injury.

The World Cup-winning midfielder is not expected to be out for long, but will not be ready take on the Shrimps on Sunday. Andreas Christensen has a minor knee issue, while Reece James is not quite past a thigh concern.


Youngsters Tino Anjorin, Lewis Bate, Henry Lawrence, Tino Livramento and Jude Soonsup-Bell have trained with Chelsea’s first team this week and could feature.

Brad Lyons could come straight into contention for Morecambe. The 23-year-old Blackburn midfielder has joined the Shrimps on loan until the end of the season.

Morecambe are back in training after a Covid-19 shutdown while their players self-isolated for 10 days, and have a clean bill of health. Manager Derek Adams was awarded the League Two manager of the month for December on Friday.

Stat of the match: Chelsea and Morecambe will face off for the very first time. Chelsea’s last defeat against a side they were facing for the first time was against Steaua Bucharest in March 2013.

Follow Chelsea vs Morecambe on Sky Sports’ digital platforms with our overall FA Cup blog, kicking off at 12.30pm.

Crawley Town vs Leeds, Sunday 1.30pm

Team news: Crawley are sweating on the fitness of in-form top scorer Max Watters ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup third-round clash with Leeds.

Striker Watters, who has been linked with a host of bigger clubs following 15 goals in 17 appearances, has missed Town’s last two games due to a hamstring problem and will be assessed.

Manager John Yems has no other selection concerns as he prepares for arguably the biggest game in the West Sussex club’s history.

Tom Nichols, who scored a hat-trick in the 6-5 first-round win at Torquay, and Ashley Nadesan could continue to lead the line, should Watters be absent.

Leeds skipper Liam Cooper is back in contention after recovering from an abdominal injury. Cooper has missed the last three matches and it remains to be seen whether he goes straight back into the starting line-up.

Fellow centre-half Diego Llorente is fit-again following a setback in his recovery from a muscle strain, but will not be risked.

Tyler Roberts is unavailable, while defenders Robin Koch and Gaetano Berardi (both knee), plus midfielder Adam Forshaw (hip) remain long-term absentees.

Stat of the match: Crawley have reached the third round for the first time since 2012-13 when they were eliminated by Premier League side Reading.

Follow Crawley Town vs Leeds on Sky Sports’ digital platforms with our dedicated match blog, kicking off at 12.15pm.

Manchester City vs Birmingham, Sunday 1.30pm

Team news: Sergio Aguero is set to start for the first time since October when Manchester City host Birmingham in the FA Cup third round on Sunday as he steps up his return from knee trouble.

Fellow striker Gabriel Jesus and right-back Kyle Walker could feature after returning to training this week, and being unused substitutes against Manchester United on Wednesday, following positive Covid-19 tests.

Goalkeeper Ederson, winger Ferran Torres and midfielder Tommy Doyle are the next players due to return but they must first test negative and playing in the game may be unrealistic. Third-choice goalkeeper Scott Carson, defender Eric Garcia and midfielder Cole Palmer are still isolating while centre-backs Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are doubts with muscle problems.

Defenders Marc Roberts (ankle) and Kristian Pedersen (knee) could feature for Birmingham at the Etihad Stadium having returned to training.

The game will come too soon for midfielders Gary Gardner and Alen Halilovic. Forward Caolan Boyd-Munce and goalkeeper Zach Jeacock also both remain on the sidelines.

Stat of the match: This is the first FA Cup meeting between Man City and Birmingham since a third round tie in January 2001, Man City winning 3-2 at Maine Road.

Follow Man City vs Birmingham on Sky Sports’ digital platforms with our overall FA Cup blog, kicking off at 12.30pm.

Marine vs Tottenham, Sunday 5pm

Team news: Marine are waiting nervously on the results of their second round of coronavirus testing to decide whether their FA Cup third-round tie with Tottenham can go ahead.

The Northern Premier League North West Division side came through a first round unscathed and will receive results of their second batch of tests by Saturday morning.

Boss Neil Young has promised the players that have been involved in their historic run to what is the biggest mismatch in FA Cup history the chance to play against Spurs.

But they are short of match practise, having not played since December 26 due to the suspension of their league.

Tottenham could have Gareth Bale back as Jose Mourinho promises to go strong. There are 161 places between the two sides in the football ladder, but Bale could be involved after a recent calf injury.

Giovani Lo Celso (hamstring) continues to miss out while Erik Lamela could be involved after a period of self-isolation. Mourinho has said out of 20 players, only one from the under-18s will be making the trip to Crosby.

Stat of the match: This will be Tottenham’s first FA Cup match against non-league opposition since January 1995, beating Altrincham 3-0 in a third round tie.

Follow Marine vs Tottenham on Sky Sports’ digital platforms with our dedicated match blog, kicking off at 3.30pm.

Newport County vs Brighton, Sunday 7.45pm

Team news: Newport expect to have captain Joss Labadie and veteran forward Ryan Taylor available again for their FA Cup third-round tie against Premier League Brighton.

Midfielder Labadie has missed the past three matches, while Taylor has not played since early October because of a hamstring issue.

Swindon forward Scott Twine and Swansea defender Brandon Cooper have both been recalled from loan spells by their parent clubs.

Striker Owen Windsor has joined the Exiles on loan from West Brom until the end of the season, but is not eligible on Sunday having already played in this season’s competition during a previous spell at Grimbsy.

South Africa striker Percy Tau could made his long-awaited Brighton debut. The 26-year-old, signed during 2018, has been recalled from an extended loan spell in Belgium after Brighton received Government approval to secure a work permit following the end of the Brexit transition period with the European Union.

Midfielder Adam Lallana is doubtful through illness and striker Danny Welbeck (knee) will again miss out.

Forward Aaron Connolly is also sidelined by a hamstring injury picked up in last week’s 3-3 draw with Wolves, along with full-back Tariq Lamptey (hamstring).

Brighton will be without Tariq Lamptey, who has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury. Striker Percy Tau has been recalled from his loan at Anderlecht and is available to play.

Stat of the match: This will be the fourth FA Cup meeting between Newport County and Brighton, with Newport winning the first 3-1 in November 1948, before losing 1-8 in November 1955 and 1-2 in November 1966.

Follow Newport vs Brighton on Sky Sports’ digital platforms with our dedicated match blog, kicking off at 12.15pm.

Sunday’s other FA Cup ties

  • Barnsley vs Tranmere, 1.30pm
  • Bristol City vs Portsmouth, 1.30pm
  • Cheltenham vs Mansfield, 1.30pm

Stockport vs West Ham, Monday 8pm

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