Sky Super 6 tips: Match predictions and first goal time for January 9
The third round of the FA Cup kicks off this weekend with a spate of potential giant-killings lying in wait.
Defending champions Arsenal begin the defence of their crown at home to Newcastle on Saturday with neighbours Tottenham featuring in perhaps the pick of the round – away to eighth tier side Marine FC.
National League North side Chorley FC are out to cause a shock against a weakened Derby with Boreham Wood and Stockport County looking to do likewise against Millwall and West Ham.
Below we run the rule over Sky’s Super 6 fixtures for Saturday, offering our predictions and tips.
Squawka prediction: Stoke 0-2 Leicester
Leicester, third in the Premier League, travel to the Bet365 Stadium this weekend having progressed from all five of their FA Cup ties against Championship opposition since their own return to the top flight back in 2014.
Stoke, winless in their last four, will be boosted by the news that both Jamie Vardy and James Maddison are set to miss out due to injury. But the Premier League side should have enough depth in their squad to seal a place in the fourth round.
Squawka prediction: Blackpool 0-1 West Brom
Sam Allardyce is back at the club where it all began for him in full-time management 26 years ago.
With one draw, three defeats and 13 conceded in his four games in charge of the Baggies, there is real concern for West Brom in the Premier League but a positive result here in the FA Cup could serve as a timely boost.
Blackpool have just one win in their last six with their FA Cup record not making for positive reading: The Seasiders are winless in their last 15 matches against top-flight opposition since beating Burnley in the third round of the competition back in January 1976.
Squawka prediction: Oldham 1-3 Bournemouth
A fixture that will now take place at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium owing to a frozen pitch at Boundary Park, Oldham will have to spring a surprise on a Cherries side that have rediscovered some defensive solidarity this season.
Jason Tindall’s side have lost just one of their last seven – that to promotion rivals Brentford -while also keeping five clean sheets during that run.
59 places separate Bournemouth and League Two’s Oldham but they might be thankful of the late switch in venue having won just three games on home soil this season – with only Harrogate Town picking up fewer points at their own ground in the fourth tier.
Only one side has scored more League Two goals than the Latics this season however and with Bournemouth the Championship’s top scorers this season, there should be goals.
Josh King has come on from the bench in each of Bournemouth’s last two games. The Norwegian striker has been strongly linked with a January move with West Ham emerging as the new favourites with Sky Bet to sign him following the departure of Sebastien Haller, priced at 1/1.
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Squawka prediction: Burnley 2-0 MK Dons
A much-improved month of December saw Burnley take 11 points from a possible 18 ahead of their meeting with MK Dons, currently sat 16th in League One.
The Dons come into the fixture with two wins in their last two which have helped distance themselves from the drop zone but the Clarets will be hopeful of kickstarting a cup run with Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Jack Cork and Matej Vydra among those back in contention for the hosts after fitness problems.
Squawka prediction: Bristol Rovers 1-2 Sheffield United
Chris Wilder’s beleaguered Blades travel to Bristol Rovers looking for some respite from a miserable Premier League campaign that has seen them pick up two points from 17 games.
Sheffield United will see this as an opportunity to build some much-needed self-belief with a comprehensive victory.
But such is the extent of their malaise, Rovers, three points off the relegation zone in the third tier of English football, will fancy their chances, perhaps the more rested of the two sides having been involved in just two matches since December 12.
Squawka prediction: Exeter 3-2 Sheffield Wednesday
Exeter will fancy their chances of at the very least testing a manager-less Sheffield Wednesday side that sit just four points off the bottom of the Championship.
The Grecians are comfortably League Two’s top scorers and have netted 14 in their last five. Wednesday have also lost or been forced to a replay in their last three FA Cup ties against sides lower than them in the English football pyramid.
First goal tiebreaker prediction: 9 mins