Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThree things to look out for during this weekend's FA Cup ties - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Three things to look out for during this weekend's FA Cup ties - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Three things to look out for during this weekend’s FA Cup ties

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014 and I hope you all enjoyed the festive period, but it is now time to dust the tinsel off as you digest the turkey and tuck into some FA Cup third round action.

Forget what Paul Lambert says about the FA Cup, and there is no denying that the competition has lost some of its shine, it is still a fantastic part of English football tradition and the third round is, of course, when the Premier League clubs get involved.

So, here are three things to keep an eye on during this weekend’s FA Cup ties.

1) The north London derby

Undoubtedly the tie of the round sees Tottenham make the short trip to the Emirates to take on their beloved neighbours Arsenal. This is always a fascinating match up regardless of the form preceding the match but in this case both teams have just recorded wins in the Premier League and are displaying good form with the Gunners topping the league table.

It will be ferocious, gritty, fiery stuff on Saturday afternoon and Tim Sherwood might just believe he can grab the win considering Arsenal are suffering from a slight injury crisis up front with no Olivier Giroud or Nicklas Bendtner. Following a determined 2-1 win at Old Trafford, Spurs will certainly be confident.

2) The upset

Who will be this year’s fairytale story? Whoever it is will have a tough task of coming close to the fantastic drama Wigan delivered during their remarkable run to FA Cup glory last season. Can you consider Nottingham Forest beating West Ham at home a shock? West Ham have been abject this season and despite a division separating the teams you would have to say Forest have an excellent opportunity to advance to the fourth round.

Could Blackburn pull the big upset by beating Manchester City at Ewood Park? Stranger things have happened and for all of City’s impressive firepower they are still a little shaky away from the Etihad. Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes might just have the game of his life.

3) The underdogs

The underdogs are why we love sport and the FA Cup often provides fans with a plucky and unlikely contender who appeals to the nation. Could Kidderminster embark on a fantastic cup run this year? They will have to beat Peterborough at home if they are to advance to the fourth round.

Oldham again take on Liverpool in this competition except at Anfield and despite the gulf in class Oldham proved stern opponents last season.

Is Steve McClaren capable of out-manouvering Jose Mourinho as Derby take on Chelsea?