It’s that time of year again. This weekend is the third round of the FA Cup – one of the most eagerly-awaited dates in the football calendar – and we’ve got lots of live action lined up for you on Deezer. We’ll be bringing you three live matches, with plenty of potential for drama and perhaps a giant-killing or two. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what’s in store…
West Ham United v Manchester City: Pep tastes the magic of the cup
The action starts on Friday evening as West Ham United welcome Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to E20 for the first FA Cup game at the London Stadium. Hammers boss Slaven Bilic will be pleased to have Algeria international Sofiane Feghouli at his disposal after his controversial red card – picked up on Monday against the team from the red side of Manchester – was rescinded by the FA ahead of tonight’s clash.
In the dugout opposite will sit a man who’s won a trophy or two in his time, but tonight’s game represents the former Barcelona and Bayern man’s first experience of the world’s oldest cup competition. Pep’s introduction to life in the rough and tumble of the Premier League has been far from straightforward – his City side sitting fourth, seven points off pace-setters Chelsea – but the Cup represents another chance to fill one of the few remaining gaps in a glittering CV.
KO 7.55pm – live in the Deezer app
Preston North End v Arsenal: Battle of the Invincibles
Our Saturday fixture is a meeting of two clubs who have both been honoured with the title ‘Invincible’. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal claimed the Premier League crown without losing a single game in 2003/04, but that team – spearheaded by the irrepressible Thierry Henry – were not the first to achieve this feat. Way back in 1888/89 it was Preston who first claimed this rare accolade, romping to the title without defeat and bagging the FA Cup for good measure.
In recent times, however, the cup pedigree is all Arsenal’s – the Gunners having most recently won back-to-back FA Cup Finals in 2014 and 2015 – and tomorrow’s clash at Deepdale will see Arsenal start as clear favourites. Wenger says his team will once again be targeting Wembley glory come May – and he may be preparing to involve Danny Welbeck for the first time this season as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.
KO 5.30pm Saturday – live in the Deezer app
Liverpool v Plymouth Argyle: More Devon drama for the Reds?
Opponents from Devon gave Liverpool a scare in last year’s third round as League Two side Exeter City held the Reds to a 2-2 draw down in the south west before succumbing in the replay at Anfield. This time around it’s Plymouth Argyle who face Jurgen Klopp’s men – and their trip to Anfield on Sunday lunchtime certainly looks like a daunting assignment. The Pilgrims may be in the thick of the League Two title race, but Liverpool remain hot on the heels of Chelsea in the battle at the top of the Premier League and are unbeaten at home in the league this term.
Klopp sent out an inexperienced side at Exeter – and paid the price with the need for a replay in what is already a busy fixture schedule. It is likely the German gaffer will similarly use this third round clash as a chance to give some game time to some of the more peripheral members of his squad. We will see if can Plymouth capitalise on this and force Liverpool to make the long trip down to Devon once again.
KO 1.30pm Sunday – live in the Deezer app
Feeling the magic of the cup? Excited for the weekend’s action ahead? Get yourself in the mood for the thrills and spill of the third round with the official Emirates FA Cup playlist: