Big hitters will exit in third round of the FA Cup

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As the draw threw up five all-Premier League ties and handed tricky assignments to several other top flight sides, plenty of big-hitters will exit the FA Cup at the third round stage this weekend.

For starters, one of the North London giants will leave the competition given that the pair will lock horns at the Emirates Stadium and bookies believe it will be Spurs’ ‘Road to Wembley’ that proves to be blocked, BetVictor installing Arsenal as 10/11 favourites to progress at the first attempt.

Paddy Power’s 13/5 about the contest requiring a replay is set to prove popular as it’s a derby contest and also in light of the duo’s tight clash in the Premier League back in September but Arsene Wenger’s troops edged a close encounter 1-0 that day and a similar outcome could be on the cards in this one.

Skybet post 11/4 against another home victory by one but on this occasion it seems likely that both teams will score (4/6, bet365) and that lends appeal to a 2-1 Arsenal triumph at 8/1.

Olivier Giroud is the stand out bet at 11/2 (bet365) to break the deadlock, just as he did the last time the sides met.

William Hill’s 5/1 favourites to lift the trophy are Manchester City and they can stay in the hunt by overcoming Blackburn, a result Stan James chalk up at 3/10.

Similarly, Chelsea and Everton both face decent Championship opposition, in the shape of Derby and QPR and they’re 1/2 and 1/3 respectively, via the same firm, to emerge triumphant. That trio of top-flight high-fliers meanwhile, combine in a treble at 8/5 (Stan James).

Manchester United tackle Swansea at Old Trafford, where they’re betway’s 2/5 jollies but Liverpool are even skinnier at 1/7, this time courtesy of bet365, to do what they failed to do last season but managed at this stage in 2012 and that’s defeat Oldham Athletic.

At St James’s Park, Skybet offer 8/11 about Newcastle defeating Cardiff and the Magpies’ neighbours Sunderland are a skinnier 4/11 to get the better of Carlisle, although as the Black Cats’ survival bid is their priority they’re hard to recommend at that price.

Elsewhere, BetVictor price West Brom at 8/11 as they take on Crystal Palace, it’s 11/10 (Stan James) for Norwich to beat Fulham at Carrow Road and’s 2/5 chances Aston Villa should be too strong for League One Sheffield United.

Punters seeking shocks meanwhile, will have their eye on one or two clashes over the course of an action-packed weekend.

William Hill for example, rate non-league Macclesfield at 5/1 to stun Championship strugglers Sheffield Wednesday, they offer identical odds about Skrill Premier outfit Grimby conquering Huddersfield and bet365 price League Two Rochdale at 10/3 ahead of the visit of Leeds.

Alternatively, where potential mini-upsets are concerned, Nottingham Forest are 2/1 (Stan James) to send West Ham packing, Hull are 7/4 with bet365 to bow out at Middlesbrough and BetVictor mark 14/5 against Leicester surprising Stoke.

Bet of the week: Man City, Chelsea & Everton treble – 8/5 (Stan James).

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