There will be an upset somewhere on FA Cup third round weekend – but who will be the victims?
BBC Sport’s football expert Mark Lawrenson has taken a look at all 32 of this weekend’s ties and given his verdict on who might spring a surprise.
For selected matches, including the BBC’s two televised games – Liverpool v Everton (16:01 GMT KO on Sunday) and Arsenal v Leeds United (19:56 on Monday) – BAFTA nominated comedian and Ladhood star Liam Williams has made his predictions too.
Ladhood is a coming-of-age comedy featuring Liam, who has flashbacks to his adolescence as he deals with situations as an adult in the present day.
The show is based in Leeds, which is where Liam grew up, but he supports Manchester United – despite the best efforts of his parents.
“I think I was a Leeds fan for maybe even a few weeks when I first got into football, when I was about five or something,” he told BBC Sport.
“My dad is from London and supports Tottenham, while my mum was not a huge football fan – but they got me a Leeds kit, so I was kind of into Leeds for a bit.
“But I was never able to get to a game so there was no way of watching them live because they were not on terrestrial TV either while Manchester United were, because they were in the Champions League.
“There was a boy who lived on my street, whose family were from Manchester and he was a United fan and he sort of inspired me to be one too.
“So it was not complete glory-hunting when I chose United, but there was probably a degree of that to it – this was the mid-1990s so I got into them at the right time with the double and treble seasons around the corner.”
It is a much tougher time to be a United fan these days, but Liam thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should have time to prove himself as a manager.
He added: “I am giving him a chance. I am not singing ‘Ole’s at the wheel’ but, since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013, it feels like we have been pretty much the same almost every season.
“So we are performing at the level we have pretty much been at for the past few years now, only Ole is a bit more likeable.”
Premier League v non-league
|Sheff Utd v AFC Fylde||104||x-x||2-0|
Gap = how many league positions separate each team
This is the first time AFC Fylde have played a Premier League club and it is going to be a great day for them – this is the biggest game in their history.
I don’t give them much hope of an upset because they are away from home and are in a relegation scrap in the National League, but this tie is a reward for their fans who have followed their rise up the non-league pyramid.
Some people might see Sheffield United as dark horses for the FA Cup this season but I actually think they will have bigger fish to fry in terms of their league position, and focusing on finishing as high as possible in the Premier League.
At the moment the Blades are on course for their best top-flight finish since they finished sixth in 1974-75, and if they stay in the top half then that would be a big achievement in itself.
Premier League v League Two
|Man City v Port Vale||74||4-1||3-0|
Premier League v League One
|Rochdale v Newcastle||49||1-1||1-1*|
|Burnley v Peterborough||35||4-2||2-0|
|Watford v Tranmere||46||3-3||2-0|
|Gillingham v West Ham||39||x-x||1-2|
* Away team to win at home in the replay
For all of these top-flight sides playing lower-division teams, it is a case of picking a team that you think is capable of beating the opposition.
That’s different to a lot of Premier League games, because half the time you are only thinking about stopping the opposition. If you are going out to win, then you pick your strongest side.
For various reasons, that is not going to happen this weekend, so the challenge is to get the balance right between resting players and winning the tie.
Premier League v Championship
|Brighton v Sheff Wed||13||0-1||2-1|
|Fulham v Aston Villa||8||2-1||1-1*|
|Southampton v Huddersfield||28||2-0||2-0|
|Preston v Norwich||9||2-4||0-2|
|Bournemouth v Luton||26||4-0||2-0|
|Leicester v Wigan||40||2-0||2-0|
|Chelsea v Nottingham Forest||20||x-x||2-1|
|Middlesbrough v Tottenham||30||x-x||1-1*|
|Crystal Palace v Derby County||28||x-x||0-1|
|Arsenal v Leeds||11||x-x||2-0|
* Away team to win at home in the replay
Crystal Palace have impressed me this season with the way they keep coming back in games – and they did it again against Norwich on New Year’s Day.
But Eagles boss Roy Hodgson will rest a few players and I just have a feeling that Derby County are going to surprise a few people here.
They have not played well for most of the season but Wayne Rooney will be in the team and he could lift them.
Tottenham might find it tough against Middlesbrough. They will be without Harry Kane (hamstring) and were not having a good time of it anyway.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho will have to be careful in this tie – I was at Deepdale on Wednesday when Boro beat Preston and they are a strong team physically, with plenty of height in their attack, and they have found a bit of form too.
And, while Chelsea seem to be better away from home at the moment, they should see off Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge.
I love watching Leeds play and they are good enough to give Arsenal a test too (live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website at 19:56 GMT on Monday).
But they have seen previous promotion challenges fade in the second half of the season and I don’t think Marcelo Bielsa will want a cup run.
Leeds will still come and have a go at Emirates Stadium, but I don’t think they will do it with their first XI.
Liam Williams: I genuinely like to see Leeds do well. Obviously most people in Leeds hate Manchester United but I always enjoyed going to see Leeds and felt sad about their decline.
These days my brother in law is a big Leeds fan and I do want them to get promoted. I actually dislike Arsenal more than Leeds – perhaps irrationally – so poetically I will go for a 2-1 Leeds win here.
Premier League v Premier League
|Wolves v Man Utd||2||0-0||2-1|
|Liverpool v Everton||10||x-x||2-1|
Liverpool against Everton (16:01 GMT KO and live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website) is quite a difficult one to call.
We already saw Reds boss Jurgen Klopp make a load of changes for the league match against Everton and I would not be surprised if he gambled again.
That would be a risk against this Toffees side, who already look a different proposition under Carlo Ancelotti. It will be lively too – because there will be a different atmosphere, there will be a lot more Everton fans inside Anfield for this one – but I still think Liverpool will get through it.
Liam Williams: An exciting Merseyside derby would be very enjoyable, so that’s what I am hoping for. I think it will mean more to Everton than Liverpool – so I am going for them to get a 2-2 draw, then win the replay.
Championship v League Two
|Millwall v Newport County||55||3-0||2-0|
|Cardiff v Carlisle||56||2-2||3-0|
|Crewe v Barnsley||27||x-x||2-1|
Championship v League One
|Bristol City v Shrewsbury||27||1-1||2-0|
|Rotherham v Hull||18||2-3||0-1|
|Reading v Blackpool||20||2-2||2-0|
Championship v Championship
|Birmingham v Blackburn||5||2-1||2-1|
|Brentford v Stoke||18||1-0||2-0|
|Charlton v West Brom||17||x-x||1-1*|
|QPR v Swansea||9||x-x||1-2|
* Away team to win at home in the replay
Charlton have had a lot of injuries to contend with and I think West Brom will get the better of them, eventually.
QPR versus Swansea will be tight too – the Swans are generally one of the most difficult sides to play against in that division, and I think they might sneak it.
League One v Non-league
|Oxford Utd v Hartlepool||59||4-1||2-0|
League One v League Two
|Burton Albion v Northampton||18||x-x||0-1|
I’ve not predicted many upsets so far, but I am going to go for a minor one here.
Northampton are in the third round for only the second time in the past 14 seasons, and they have not been any further since 2004 – but I think they can keep the flag flying a little longer for League Two this year.
League One v League One
|Fleetwood v Portsmouth||2||1-2||1-0|
|Bristol Rovers v Coventry||5||x-x||0-2|
I’ve been impressed by Coventry when I’ve seen them this season. Sky Blues boss Mark Robins has got goals in his side, and I think they can go to Bristol Rovers and win.
How did Lawro do last time?
From the Premier League games on New Year’s Day and Thursday, Lawro got four correct results, including one perfect score, from 10 matches, for a total of 70 points.
He drew with comedian Kojo, who also got four correct results, with one exact score.
|+/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO’S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITION|
GUEST LEADERBOARD 2019-20
|90||Avelino, Helen Housby, Jo Harten, Bobby Seagull, Geraint Thomas|
|80||Andy Murray, Stephen Graham|
|77||Lawro (average after 21 weeks)|
|70||David Baddiel, Richard Hawley, Kojo, Michael Johnson, Craig Mitch, Alex Scott|
|60||Sonny Bill Williams, Serge from Kasabian, Stefan Ratchford|
|50||Chelcee Grimes, Reece Parkinson, Sam Warburton|
|40||Stephen Fry, Neil Jones, Tommy O’Dell|
|Total scores after week 21|
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