From Exeter drawing at Old Trafford in 2005 to Oldham winning at Everton in 2008 or Man City’s shock 3-0 home defeat by Nottingham Forest in 2009, every football betting fan has their favourite example of a Premier League side being upset by lower league opposition in the FA Cup over the past few seasons.
Here are three games from this weekend’s third round that have the potential to provide this year’s memorable moment – and to make you a few quid to boot.
MK Dons v QPR (Saturday, 3pm)
Home win: 17/10 Draw: 9/4 Away win: 31/20
Shock potential: 9/10
Even with their strongest Premier League line-up, Neil Warnock’s QPR would not have relished this trip to Milton Keynes, where the Dons, who sit fourth in League One, are unbeaten this season.
But with skipper Joey Barton suspended and Rangers likely to field largely the same side as that which lost 2-0 at home to Rochdale in the League Cup this season, an upset is definitely on the cards.
Having won their last four games at stadium:mk by an aggregate score of 12-5, Karl Robinson’s Dons will head into this match full of confidence and it’s worth backing them to win big as Warnock this week reiterated that Premier League survival is his side’s focus this season.
Best bet: MK Dons to win with 0-1 handicap @ 19/4
Swindon v Wigan (Saturday, 3pm)
Home win: 39/20 Draw: 9/4 Away win: 29/20
Shock potential: 8/10
Two sides who’ve switched places in the Football League pyramid over the past decade look surprisingly well-matched, with Wigan struggling in the Premier League and Swindon on a roll in league and cup this season.
After a tough introduction to management, Paolo Di Canio has galvanized the Robins, who sit third in League Two and are in the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Roberto Martinez’s side appeared to have turned the corner with draws against Liverpool and Chelsea but crashed to a 4-1 home defeat by Sunderland on Tuesday, a result that will have worried the Wigan manager enough to field a shadow side at the County Ground.
With this in mind, along with Wigan having the lowest goals per game average in the Premier League, it’s worth backing Swindon to pull off another win in a low-scoring encounter.
Best bet: Swindon to win in a match containing under 2.5 goals @ 11/2
Macclesfield v Bolton (Saturday, 3pm)
Home win: 4/1 Draw: 13/5 Away win: 7/10
Shock potential: 7/10
Before their morale-boosting midweek win over Everton, Bolton looked like prime candidates for a third-round upset but should they falter again then Macclesfield are well placed to take advantage.
Despite sitting mid-table in League Two the Silkmen boast a decent home record of just two defeats in 14 games at Moss Rose this season and will fancy their chances of continuing that run against a side without an away draw so far this term.
Yet many Bolton players who’ve remained marginalised despite the team’s lack of form this season – such as Ricardo Gardner and Sanli Tuncay – will have a point to prove and should still have enough class to at least pull off a draw.
Best bet: Macclesfield or draw @ 11/10
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