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11 potential FA Cup Giant Killings

Liverpool, Derby County, Sunderland, Newcastle United, Wolves, Middlesbrough, Reading Aston Villa, and Hull City will all be hoping to avoid upsets as the FA Cup gets underway this weekend.

With the third round fixtures of the FA Cup about to get underway, we look at eight possible FA Cup giant killings for this weekend.

Mansfield v Liverpool

The tie of the round, Liverpool travel to non-league Mansfield Town aiming to avoid a monumental cup upset. The Stags are set to host Brendan Rodgers' side at 4pm on Sunday, although they will be keeping their fingers crossed the game is not postponed after worries over heavy rain.

Brighton v Newcastle United

Brighton are currently sitting just outside the play-off places in the Championship. They play aggressive and attractive football and will raise themselves for this game. They have scored 18 goals at home in the league, just two less than Hull in second place.

Bolton v Sunderland

Bolton stand a great chance of beating Sunderland because of their recent Premier League pedigree and the fact they have won the joint highest number of home games of any Championship side in the bottom half of the table.

Middlesbrough v Hastings

Hastings are the lowest ranked side in the competition, and while they may have failed to land a Premier League opponent, Middlesbrough will certainly be an excellent scalp. It will be a long trip up north for the seaside club, who are priced as long as 16/1 to pull off a memorable upset.

Crawley v Reading

Keep one eye on League One side Crawley who could take advantage of Reading’s up and down form this season. Crawley have scored just one goal less than Sheffield United and Tranmere in League One.

Aston Villa v Ipswich Town

Villa are in wretched form at present, but in cup competitions this season they have been a different team. Semi-finalists in the Capital One Cup they will fancy their chances against Championship strugglers Ipswich, but they are a side Town boss Mick McCarthy knows well. On form, Villa are not a safe bet here regardless of opposition.

Derby County v Tranmere Rovers

Tranmere Rovers have sat at the top of League One for most of the season and have only lost two away games. They have a great chance to claim the scalp of Derby, who are sat just inside the top half of the Championship table.

Hull City v Leyton Orient

Orient beat Swansea City and Norwich City away from home a couple of seasons back when they were eventually knocked out of the competition by Arsenal. They have drawn only one game away from home in the league suggesting they are an all or nothing side on the road.

Luton Town v Wolves

Luton Town have been one of the consistent performers since they dropped into the Blue Square Premier. They are winning over 50% of their matches at home this season and they are in the best shape to win out of all the non-league sides left in the tournament.

Sheffield Wednesday v MK Dons

The MK Dons are just inside the play-off places and will fancy their chances of beating Sheffield Wednesday who have lost eight home league matches this season. Only Peterborough have lost more with nine.

Southend United v Brentford

Southend will fancy their chances of beating any side at home. Their stadium means their fans can get right on top of the opposition and try to intimidate them with some verbal abuse. Southend have avoided defeat in 9 out of 15 home games suggesting they are difficult to break down and get the better of.

image: © flawka

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