- The third round of England’s FA Cup takes place this weekend, with games from Friday through to Monday
- On Friday, there are two all-Premier League clashes: Aston Villa vs Liverpool & Wolves vs Crystal Palace
- Get the full odds for both of these fixtures with previews and best bets below
The third round of the English FA Cup – one of the oldest, most prestigious cup competitions in the world – takes place this weekend with games starting on Friday and concluding on Monday. In total there are 32 ties with, among them, the all-Premier League clashes between Aston Villa and Liverpool, and Wolves and Crystal Palace – both on Friday, January 8 at 2:45 pm EST.
We will preview both games, look at the odds, and see if we can identify where the value is.
Aston Villa vs Liverpool FA Cup Odds
|Aston Villa vs Liverpool||AV +1 (-278) | LIV -1 (+205)||AV +230 | DRAW +270 | LIV +108||Ov 2.5 (-175) | Un 2.5 (+128)|
Aston Villa vs Liverpool
Villa only avoided relegation on the final day of last season but have performed well in 2020-21 – including an amazing 7-2 home win over Liverpool back in October. They have picked up 26 points from their 15 games. They currently sit eighth in the table, only three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand. Dean Smith’s team do, however, come into this having taken just a point from their last two matches. Those came against Chelsea and Manchester United – and the Villa boss may well have one eye on them retaining their top-half status when he picks his team.
Three goals and one assist in his last four games. ?
Bertrand Traoré is in fine form. ? pic.twitter.com/ozpeLWHTaF
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 2, 2021
Worth noting too is that the Villans have lost four of their last seven home games, including a shock 1-0 defeat by Stoke City in the Carabao Cup. While Villa has plenty of history in the FA Cup – they have won it seven times (the same as Liverpool) – they have not lifted the trophy since 1957. They have been knocked out at the third-round stage in each of the last four seasons. Top-of-the-league Liverpool comes into this off the back of a 1-0 defeat at Southampton and without a win in their last three Premier League games – a rarity for Jurgen Klopp’s team. As a result, the reigning EPL champions will be desperate to return to winning ways. They will see the FA Cup as an ideal route back into some form.
Time to look forward and focus on our next fixture ? pic.twitter.com/gf0hKHzXA5
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 5, 2021
The Reds’ recent record in the FA Cup is relatively poor, exiting the competition once in the third round and three times in the fourth round in the Klopp era, although last season they made it to the fifth round before losing to Chelsea. Much will depend on the strength of the respective XIs but, either way, Klopp will be going all out to avoid a fourth game without a win. Also, the news that Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground has been closed after a significant Coronavirus outbreak may impact negatively on Smith’s team and so, while still in plus money, the Reds’ win offers decent value.
Pick: Liverpool to win (+108)
Wolves vs Crystal Palace FA Cup Odds
|Wolves vs Crystal Palace||WOL -1 (+235) | CP +1 (-305)||WOL +110 | DRAW +225 | CP +270||Ov 2.5 (+125) | Un 2.5 (-157)|
Wolves vs Crystal Palace
Wolves are in the midst of a blip having gone four EPL games without a win and could only manage a 3-3 draw with lowly Brighton last time out. Their dip in form has seen them drop to 13th in the table. They’re level on points with Palace and equally concerning is that they have had no clean sheets in their last ten games.
FT | #BHA 3-3 #WOL
The points are shared at the Amex. #BHAWOL
— Wolves (@Wolves) January 2, 2021
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have also failed to score in four of their last 10 games. And, overall, a return of just 18 goals in 17 games is a poor return for a team that prides itself on being free-scoring. They are missing the presence of leading scorer Raul Jimenez who is out for a spell after suffering a serious head injury. Their home form has also been disappointing by their recent high standards. They’ve won only three out of nine this season at Molineux this season – but a big plus is that they are unbeaten in their last three games against Crystal Palace.
EZE25 magic. On repeat ?#CPFC | #CRYSHU pic.twitter.com/AvHbMJ0f5u
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 2, 2021
Palace, like Wolves, have had a poor run of form with only one win in their last five, although the win did come last time out when they beat bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United 2-0. Defensive frailties have seen the Eagles earn just one clean sheet in their last 16 games. While they’ve also failed to score in four of the last 10 games, winning away just three times in their last nine. The key here could be whether or not Palace manager Roy Hodgson picks his talisman Wilfried Zaha. Without him they rarely win – but even if he does play Wolves have more than enough in terms of quality to get the job done.
Pick: Wolves to win (+110)
Let’s have fun and keep it civil.