FA Cup 2016-17 3rd Round Tie-by-Tie Preview

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Overview

Five Non-League clubs have fought their way through to the 3rd Round; Barrow, Eastleigh, Lincoln City, Stourbridge and Sutton United. This total has only been bettered twice in FA Cup history since the format of top two divisions being exempted until the 3rd Round was put in place in 1925.

The lowest ranked team still in this year’s competition is Northern Premier League Premier side Stourbridge, playing at level seven in the football pyramid, who are only the sixth level seven club to make the 3rd Round since the introduction of National League North and South divisions. Only two NPL clubs have ever won 3rd Round matches in FA Cup history; Stafford Rangers (1975) and Northwich Victoria (1977).

Stourbridge are also making their first ever appearance in the FA Cup 3rd Round. Three other clubs are just one win away from setting a new personal best of reaching the 4th Round: Barrow, Eastleigh and Fleetwood Town. (AFC Wimbledon have also not gone beyond the 3rd Round since formation in 2002). Barrow actually hold the record for most 3rd Round appearances without ever progressing any further. This season is their 12th attempt to make the 4th Round.

Twenty of the 32 ties involve clubs who’ve met each other in the FA Cup before. The most common tie of the round is Tottenham Hotspur versus Aston Villa who have been drawn together in the FA Cup for the 11th time. Tottenham are currently six wins to four up. Reading and Manchester United are meeting for the 9th time in the FA Cup. Manchester United are Reading’s most common opponent in the competition, but Reading has only won one of the previous eight meetings.

Just nine of the 32 ties pit sides together who will also face each other in League matches this season. This includes one all EFL Two clash between Accrington Stanley and Luton Town. The biggest League gap between two sides in this year’s 3rd Round is three, which occurs four times, with the higher league club at home in all four matches:

Premier League Liverpool host EFL Two side Plymouth Argyle with the visitors looking to prevent adding to their record 49 FA Cup 3rd Round exits. National League side Lincoln City visit Championship club Ipswich Town in the knowledge that their hosts have not won an FA Cup match for seven seasons. Another Championship club Brentford host National League side Eastleigh with the visitors looking to make the 4th Round for the first time ever. And EFL Two side Wycombe Wanderers host Stourbridge. Bizarrely both clubs are in their 112th FA Cup campaign and the Chairboys have only won one more 3rd Round tie than the Glassboys over those seasons.

Seven FA Cup 3rd Round ties have former winners facing each other, but there are no ‘repeat’ Cup Finals in any of the 32 ties. Amongst this group of former winners are Nottingham Forest and Wigan Athletic who are facing each other in the FA Cup for the very first time.

 

 Tie-by-Tie Previews

 

  1. Ipswich Town (EFL Championship) v Lincoln City (National League)

Level 2 v Level 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

1978 FA Cup winners Ipswich Town haven’t won an FA Cup match since beating Blackpool 2-1 in 2009-10. Lincoln City last made the 3rd Round in the same season and haven’t gone further in the competition for 41 years.

 

  1. Barrow (National League) v Rochdale (EFL One)

Level 5 v Level 3

Four previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, all four won by Barrow. The Bluebirds even have an additional FA Cup win against the original Rochdale club.

Barrow are appearing in the 3rd Round for the 12th time. In all 11 previous appearances the club has failed to progress, in fact they hold the record for the most Round Three appearances without ever making the 4th Round. Historically, Rochdale has an appalling FA Cup record (most 1st Round exits), but in recent times have made the 4th Round twice in the last three years.

So Rochdale have never beaten Barrow in the FA Cup, and Barrow have never gone beyond the 3rd Round. Something’s got to give!

 

  1. Manchester United (Premier League) v Reading (EFL Championship)

Level 1 v Level 2

Eight previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, unsurprisingly dominated by Manchester United who have triumphed on seven of the occasions. Reading haven’t faced any other club in the FA Cup as often as they will have met Manchester United.

Manchester United are the current FA Cup holders and are the second most successful club in FA Cup history matching Arsenal for Cup wins, Cup final appearances and Semi-Final appearances, only separated by having one fewer Quarter Final appearance. Over the last seven seasons, Reading have had one of the best FA Cup records with two Quarter Finals and one Semi-Finals appearance.

 

  1. Hull City (Premier League) v Swansea City (Premier League)

Level 1 v Level 1

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 1-0 4th Round victory for Hull City 30 years ago when Hull were in Division Two and Swansea were in Division Four.

Hull City were FA Cup finalists just three years ago whilst Swansea have only made it as far as the Semi-Finals achieved twice when still known as Swansea Town.

 

  1. Sunderland (Premier League) v Burnley (Premier League)

Level 1 v Level 1

Eight previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with Sunderland winning through on five occasions and Burnley triumphing three times. The clubs first met in the FA Cup 120 years ago and this is the first time they have faced each other this Century.

Two times FA Cup winners Sunderland have made two Quarter Final appearances in the last five years. Burnley won the FA Cup in 1914, but in contrast to their opponents have only won one FA Cup match in the last five years.

 

  1. Queens Park Rangers (EFL Championship) v Blackburn Rovers (EFL Championship)

Level 2 v Level 2

Two previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, both won by Blackburn Rovers without conceding a goal. The clubs’ previous meetings occurred 10 years and five years ago.

Six times FA Cup winners Blackburn Rovers have also made the Quarter Finals twice in the last three years. It takes three wins for a Championship side to make it as far as the Quarter Finals. Queens Park Rangers have only managed to win three FA Cup ties this Century!

 

  1. Millwall (EFL One) v AFC Bournemouth (Premier League)

Level 3 v Level 1

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 2-1 win to Millwall in a 2nd Round tie nine years ago when both clubs competed in Division One.

Millwall last went beyond the 3rd Round four years ago went they went all the way to the Semi-Finals. AFC Bournemouth are the only Premier League club never to have made it as far as the Semi-Finals, with just one Quarter Final appearance to their name 60 years ago when still known as Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic.

 

  1. West Ham United (Premier League) v Manchester City (Premier League)

Level 1 v Level 1

Three previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, all within the last 20 years, with The Hammers two to one up in terms of victories.

Three times FA Cup winners West Ham United last made the final 11 years ago when they were prevented from adding a fourth title by a terrific late Liverpool comeback. Manchester City have won the FA Cup five times, most recently six years ago, and last appeared in the Final four years ago when they lost to a last minute extra time goal to Wigan Athletic.

 

  1. Brighton and Hove Albion (EFL Championship) v Milton Keynes Dons (EFL One)

Level 2 v Level 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Brighton famously were FA Cup runners-up and relegated in the same season 33 years ago and will forever be associated with the phrase ‘and Smith must score’. Milton Keynes Dons have yet to go beyond the 5th Round in their 13 FA Cup campaigns.

 

  1. Blackpool (EFL Two) v Barnsley (EFL Championship)

Level 4 v Level 2

Five previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs. Blackpool have won three out of the five encounters, but Barnsley have scored the more goals thanks to a 6-0 replay win in their first pair up in 1909/10 season.

Both clubs have one FA Cup win under their belt, Barnsley in 1912 and Blackpool, famously, in 1953. In recent times both clubs have only gone beyond the 3rd Round twice this Century.

 

  1. Wigan Athletic (EFL Championship) v Nottingham Forest (EFL Championship)

Level 2 v Level 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs. Wigan Athletic will be the 112th different club Nottingham Forest have faced in the FA Cup.

Wigan famously won the FA Cup four years ago and were relegated a week later. Nottingham Forest have won the FA Cup twice, but last went as far as the Quarter Finals 21 years ago.

 

  1. Birmingham City (EFL Championship) v Newcastle United (EFL Championship)

Level 2 v Level 2

Two previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, 101 years apart. Both previous meetings resulted in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle winning 3-0 in 1906 and Birmingham winning 5-1 in 2007.

Twice runners-up Birmingham City have reached the Quarter Finals three times in the last 11 years. Six times winners Newcastle, in contrast, have only won three FA Cup ties since also making the Quarter Finals 11 years ago.

 

  1. Chelsea (Premier League) v Peterborough United (EFL One)

Level 1 v Level 3

Two previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, Chelsea won both previous meetings scoring five goals on each occasion.

Seven times FA Cup winners Chelsea last failed to go beyond the 3rd Round 19 years ago when they lost 5-3 at home to Manchester United. Peterborough United’s best FA Cup run was to the Quarter Finals 52 years ago and have only gone beyond the 3rd Round twice in the last 11 seasons.

 

  1. Middlesbrough (Premier League) v Sheffield Wednesday (EFL Championship)

Level 1 v Level 2

Four previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with two wins apiece. The clubs first met in the 19th Century and this will be their first meeting this Century.

Just one FA Cup final appearance for Middlesbrough, a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea 20 seasons ago. Three times winners Sheffield Wednesday last appeared in the Final four years before Middlesbrough did.

 

  1. West Bromwich Albion (Premier League) v Derby County (EFL Championship)

Level 1 v Level 2

Seven previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with Derby County coming out on top on five occasions. This total includes a double win for Derby County in the 1945-46 season when clubs faced each other over two legs for the only time. Derby’s two wins equals one FA Cup victory.

Five times winners West Bromwich Albion have only failed to go beyond the 3rd Round three times in the last 10 seasons. One time winners Derby County have only failed twice in the same time period.

 

  1. Everton (Premier League) v Leicester City (Premier League)

Level 1 v Level 1

Two previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, both won by Everton, 84 years and 49 years ago respectively.

Five times winners Everton have made it as far as least the Quarter Finals five times over the last 10 years. Leicester City famously hold the record of most FA Cup Final appearances without ever lifting the Trophy, with four. Just one Quarter Final appearance for the Foxes in the last 10 years.

 

  1. Liverpool (Premier League) v Plymouth Argyle (EFL Two)

Level 1 v Level 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Liverpool won their seventh FA Cup Final 11 seasons ago and have not failed to progress beyond the 3rd Round for six years. Plymouth Argyle famously made the Semi-Finals as a third tier club in 1984, but have not gone beyond the 3rd Round for nine seasons. Argyle hold the record for most FA Cup 3rd Round exits with 49.

 

  1. Wycombe Wanderers (EFL Two) v Stourbridge (Northern Premier League Premier Division)

Level 4 v Level 7

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Wycombe Wanderers famously made the Semi-Finals as a third tier side 16 years ago, but have not gone beyond the 3rd Round since then. In fact that SF run was the only time the Chairboys have gone beyond the 3rd Round. Stourbridge are the lowest level team still in this year’s competition and are appearing in the 3rd Round for the first time ever in their 140 year history.

Both clubs are in their 112th FA Cup campaign. Wycombe only lead Stourbridge 1-0 on number of 3rd Round victories over their collective campaigns!

 

  1. Watford (Premier league) v Burton Albion (EFL Championship)

Level 1 v Level 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two.

Watford were runners-up in 1984 and have reached the Semi-Finals three times in the last 15 years including last season. Exempted until the 3rd Round for the first time in their history, Burton Albion are just one win away from equalling their best ever FA Cup run, achieved just the once six seasons ago.

 

  1. Preston North End (EFL Championship) v Arsenal (Premier League)

Level 2 v Level 1

Four previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs with two wins apiece. Preston won the first two encounters, Arsenal the latter two, but this is their first 21st Century meeting.

The battle of the clubs previously given the moniker ‘The Invincibles’. Two times FA Cup winners Preston have not gone beyond the 5th Round for over 50 years, whilst Arsenal are the current best FA Cup club having won the Trophy 12 times in total with five of those victories coming in the 21st Century. Arsenal also have the longest unbeaten run in the 3rd Round, having not lost at this stage of the competition since Sheffield United beat them 1-0 in a replay in 1996.

 

  1. Cardiff City (EFL Championship) v Fulham (EFL Championship)

Level 2 v Level 2

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 1924/25 2nd Round tie won 1-0 by Cardiff. Ninety two years is the longest any club has had to wait in this 3rd Round to avenge a previous FA Cup defeat.

Cardiff City won the FA Cup 90 seasons ago and last made the final just nine seasons ago. Fulham have had just one FA Cup Fi al appearance, back in 1975, and have at least reached the Quarter Finals four times this Century.

 

  1. Stoke City (Premier League) v Wolverhampton Wanderers (EFL Championship)

Level 1 v Level 2

Seven previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs. Stoke City won their only other 21st Century encounter, whilst Wolves won all the previous six meetings, including an 8-0 victory in the 3rd Round 1889/90 that represents Stoke City’s heaviest ever FA Cup defeat. (The irony is that Stoke had complained after losing 4-0 in their first meeting and that game was voided).

Stoke City eventually made the FA Cup Final six years ago and haven’t failed to go beyond the 3rd Round for seven seasons. Four times FA Cup winners Wolves haven’t gone beyond the 3rd Round for six years.

 

  1. Cambridge United (EFL Two) v Leeds United (EFL Championship)

Level 4 v Level 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Cambridge United have only once gone beyond the 3rd Round in the 21st Century. 1972 FA Cup winners Leeds United have made the 4th Round five times during that same period.

 

  1. Bristol City (EFL Championship) v Fleetwood Town (EFL One)

Level 2 v Level 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Bristol City have only gone beyond the 3rd Round twice in the last 15 years. Fleetwood Town are equalling their best ever FA Cup run last achieved five years ago.

 

  1. Huddersfield Town (EFL Championship) v Port Vale (EFL One)

Level 2 v Level 3

Four previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with two wins apiece. This will be the third meeting between the two clubs in the last eight years.

1922 FA Cup winners Huddersfield Town have gone out in the 3rd Round in each of the last two seasons. Port Vale have only twice gone beyond the 3rd Round this Century.

 

  1. Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League) v Aston Villa (EFL Championship)

Level 1 v Level 2

Ten previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, the most common pair up in this year’s FA Cup 3rd Round, with Tottenham winning six and Villa winning four. This, however, will be the clubs first meeting in the Cup this Century.

Eight times FA Cup winners Tottenham Hotspur have reached the Semi-Finals six times since they last lifted the Trophy in 1991. Seven times FA Cup winners Aston Villa last won the competition 60 years ago, but were Finalists just two seasons ago.

 

  1. Brentford (EFL One) v Eastleigh (National League)

Level 2 v Level 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Brentford have been Quarter Finalists four times, but it is four years since the club made the 4th Round. Eastleigh are equalling their best ever FA Cup run achieved for the first time just last season.

 

  1. Bolton Wanderers (EFL One) v Crystal Palace (Premier League)

Level 3 v Level 1

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 1981/82 4th Round tie won 1-0 by Palace when both clubs were Division Two sides.

Bolton Wanderers haven’t failed to make the 4th Round for eight seasons. Palace were beaten Finalists last season, becoming only the second club to be in two FA Cup Finals and lose to the same side in both of them.

 

  1. Norwich City (EFL One) v Southampton (Premier League)

Level 2 v Level 1

Three previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with Southampton ahead with two wins to one.

Norwich City are equal record holders of most FA Cup Semi-Finals without making the Final, falling at the last hurdle three times. The Canaries have gone out in the 3rd Round in each of the last three seasons. Southampton won the FA Cup in 1976 and were runners-up in 2003.

 

  1. Sutton United (National League) v AFC Wimbledon (EFL One)

Level 5 v Level 3

Depending upon your point of view, these sides have either never met in the FA Cup before, or have met on five occasions with Sutton being victorious three times, including a 7-0 win in the 1st Qualifying Round in the first competition run after the Second World War. (Sutton United were the first club AFC Wimbledon faced back in 2002. Sutton won 4-0 on that day. Sutton United and Wimbledon also famously met in the FA Amateur Cup Final in 1963 won 4-2 by Wimbledon).

Sutton United are into the 3rd Round for the first time in 28 years and are just one win away from equalling their best FA Cup run. AFC Wimbledon are either former FA Cup winners or are equalling their own best ever Cup run.

 

  1. Accrington Stanley (EFL Two) v Luton Town (EFL Two)

Level 4 v Level 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Accrington Stanley are just one win away from equalling their best ever FA Cup run, achieved just the once so far seven years ago. Luton Town were FA Cup runners-up 58 years ago, but most recently are noted for being the latest of just seven teams to reach the 5th Round as a Non-League club, doing so just four years ago.

 

  1. Rotherham United (EFL Championship) v Oxford United (EFL One)

Level 2 v Level 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Rotherham United have twice reached the 5th Round, but haven’t gone beyond the 3rd Round for 15 years. Oxford United made the Quarter Finals as a fourth tier side, but last season was their first time beyond the 3rd Round this Century.

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