The English FA Cup and its magical fever
|Arsenal begin the defense of their FA Cup title with the visit Newcastle to the Emirates (Photo credit: Premierleague.com)|
Every club involved in professional football understands what it means to partake in the FA Cup and the usual magic that comes with the competition will never go away as the third round kicks off across England.
Arsenal will begin the defense of their title at home against Newcastle and it’s coming at a time they’re beginning to find their rhythm.
Three wins on the bounce in the league and two in a row without conceding, up against a Steve Bruce side that lacks the fire when needed most, it should be a cracker.
Liverpool opened the account of the third round right about the same time Wolves took on Crystal Palace but it was the story of illness around the Villa Park that headlined the contest.
Aston Villa fielded members of their U18 squad following the spike in numbers of Covid-19 patients in their first-team squad and none of them, including Dean Smith, was available for the visit of Liverpool.
But Jurgen Klopp wasn’t in the mood for fair play, he fielded a strong team, pitching the game as that of David and Goliath.
There’s no news in the fact that Liverpool won but the big news would be the fact that the kids scored against Liverpool.
A defense that had James Milner and Fabinho, it was a joy to watch the kids wheel away in celebration, the night, as they’d love to remember it will forever be fresh in their elated memories.
Odion Ighalo would be expected to lead the line for United when they host his former club Watford later on Saturday.
The Nigerian will come to the end of his loan at Old Trafford, with mixed feelings but with lot of gratitude having to play for a club he supports as a child and hitting the back of the net would remain special to him.
Arsenal are the defending champions, they bested Chelsea at Wembley in the summer and will look to start on a high when Newcastle visit the Emirates.
Everton will host Rotherham while West Brom will play away at Blackpool, the question for the Baggies would be that do they want to compete in the FA Cup to boost morale or just crash out and face their relegation battle?
Burnley will host MK Dons and Brendan Rodgers will lead Leicester to the Britannia where they negotiate Stoke for a place in the fourth round.
The trio of City, Spurs and Chelsea aren’t playing until Sunday but they all have pretty easy opponents on paper.
We all know in the FA Cup, magic happens and upsets are a huge part of the rich history of the oldest cup competition in the world.
Whatever happens, the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal can count on this as their strongest opportunity to land a trophy at the end of the season.
With City and Spurs going head to head in the league cup next month, it will be down to the rest to make sure they earn the bragging right.
Arsenal is the record FA Cup holder with 14 and Mikel Arteta became the first player to win as a player and then as a manager for the Gunners after leading them past Chelsea in the summer of 2020.