THERE may not be any Worcestershire interest in this year's FA Cup competition but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the famous third round set of matches! 

So, who will do the giant killing this time around? There are some classic cup ties in there, none more so than Northern Premier League Division One North West side Marine FC hosting Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday tea-time. 

The action all starts on Friday night when Premier League rivals Aston Villa and Liverpool do battle at Villa Park (7.45pm kick-off) with the reigning Premier League champions looking to avenge that crazy 7-2 defeat earlier in the season. 

There are 32 games in all as the top tier of English football join the remaining sides left in the competition, including three National League sides and one non-league outfit.

Worcester News have picked out five must-watch games from the third round weekend. 

Aston Villa vs Liverpool - Friday, 7.45pm kick-off (BT Sport 1)

As we mentioned previously, there is perhaps more riding on this one due to the way this fixture ended in the Premier League encounter back in october, when Ollie Watkins netted a hat-trick in a bonkers game of football that ended 7-2 to the hosts.

Liverpool have struggled this season with injuries and a drop in form compared to their incredible title winning campaign in 2019/20. 

Villa have been impressive in the main and look to be pushing up the table rather than looking down it. 

Both sides will make changes, you would imagine, as this weekend kicks-off a busy period of games for clubs up and down the country. 

But the manner of which Jurgen Klopp's side lost in that game will no doubt still be giving him nightmares and you would think the Reds will be out for revenge. 

Betting odds: Villa (13/5) Draw (23/10) Liverpool (6/5)

Chorley vs Derby County - Saturday, 12.15pm kick-off (BT Sport 1)

This one was all setup to be another 'David vs Goliath' encounter but this is a game that has been heavily affected by coronavirus. 

An outbreak at the Championship club has meant that Derby will be sending a mixture of under 18 and under 23 players to national League North side Chorley due to Derby's senior players being placed in isolation, including manager Wayne Rooney.

Therefore, this makes the challenge somewhat easier for the home side but would still be an upset of sorts and a great chance for them to progress into the next round. 

Jamie Vermiglio's men got through to this stage following a 2-1 win over League One high-fliers Peterborough United, in which they came from behind to shock their Football League hosts. 

Betting odds: Chorley (13/8) Draw (29/10) Derby (17/10)

Boreham Wood vs Milwall - Saturday, 12.15pm kick-off (BT Sport Extra 3)

Another of the National League sides in action here as Boreham Wood look to cause an upset against Championship side Milwall at home on Saturday. 

'The Wood' beat Canvey Island in the second-round by a 3-0 scoreline but they have had a mixed season in the Conference Premier so far, sitting mid-table after 13 matches. 

However, they are in form and have won four in a row in the league since their second round tie with Canvey, so they will head into this tie with plenty of confidence. 

As for the visitors, they have struggled in the league. They sit 17th in the Championship and are a side that have an issue in front of goal more than anything else, scoring just 18 goals in 21 matches so far. 

They are relatively strong defensively, conceding just 20 times so Boreham might find it difficult to break them down. 

Defintely the makings of an upset and backing the home side to cause one could be a tidy money earner. 

Betting odds: Boreham (6/1) Draw (7/2) Milwall (13/25)

Marine vs Tottenham Hotspur - Sunday, 5pm kick-off (BBC 1)

Without question the tie of the round as it is exactly what the FA Cup is all about. 

It is the biggest gulf at this stage of the competition's history, with Marine competing in the eighth tier of English football, and Jose Mourinho’s side currently sitting fourth in the top division.

Marine currently sit sixth in the Northern Premier League Division One North West table and have had a long journey through the qualifying rounds to get to this stage having defeated Havant and Waterlooville in the second round thanks to an extra-time winner from Niall Cummins in the 120th minute.

They previously defeated Colchester United, Chester, Nantwich Town, Runcorn Linnets, Frickley Athletic and Barnoldswick Town in their FA Cup run so far.

It is such a shame that the current climate is what it is because Rossett Park would have been absoutely bouncing for this one. 

You would expect changes from Spurs, who qualified for the League Cup final in midweek and have Premier League fixtures coming thick and fast on the horizon. 

But you would like to think that Jose would play up the occasion and still name a strong side meaning they will still be overwhelming favourites. Worth a quid, surely?

Betting odds: Marine (60/1) Draw (33/1) Spurs (1/25)

Stockport County vs West Ham - Monday, 8pm kick-off (BT Sport 1)

We finish the round on Monday night with another attractive looking tie as Premier League West Ham travel to Edgeley Park to face Conference Premier outfit Stockport County. 

Another one where it is a travesty that fans aren't allowed in as you can imagine it would be an even bigger evening for Stockport but as it is, a huge challenge for the hosts regardless.

They are going well in the league, in a play-off place as we speak, aiming to be promoted into the football league. 

They got past League One Rochdale in the first round thanks to a 15 minute blitz at the start of the game that eventually saw them win 2-1. 

It was far more dramatic in the second round as it took an extra-time goal from Connor Jennings to get them past fellow conference side Yeovil Town by three goals to two. 

West Ham are 10th in the Premier League and have performed well in the main but as many of the top-flight clubs do, they will no doubt rest players and you cannot rule out a special evening for the hosts. 

Betting odds: Stockport (8/1) Draw (9/2) West Ham (4/11) 

FA Cup Third Round in full:

Friday, January 8

Aston Villa vs Liverpool - 7.45pm (BT Sport 1)

Wolves vs Crystal Palace - 7.45pm (BT Sport Extra 2)

Saturday, January 9

Boreham Woods vs Millwall - 12pm (BT Sport Extra 3)

Everton vs Rotherham - 12pm (BT Sport Extra 2)

Luton Town vs Reading - 12pm (BT Sport Extra 6)

Norwich vs Coventry - 12pm (BT Sport Extra 5)

Nottingham Forest vs Cardiff - 12pm (BT Sport Extra 4)

Chorley vs Derby County - 12.15pm (BT Sport 1)

Blackburn vs Doncaster - 3pm (FA Player)

Blackpool vs West Brom - 3pm (BT Sport Extra 3)

Bristol Rovers vs Sheffield United - 3pm (BT Sport Extra 4)

Burnley vs MK Dons - 3pm (FA Player)

Exeter City vs Sheffield Wednesday - 3pm (BT Sport Extra 5)

Oldham vs Bournemouth - 3pm (BT Sport Extra 6)

QPR vs Fulham - 3pm (BBC iPlayer)

Stevenage vs Swansea City - 3pm (BBC iPlayer)

Stoke vs Leicester - 3pm (BBC Red Button/iPlayer)

Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston - 3pm (FA Player)

Arsenal vs Newcastle - 5.30pm (BBC ONE)

Brentford vs Middlesbrough - 6pm (FA Player)

Huddersfield vs Plymouth - 6pm (FA Player)

Man Utd vs Watford - 8pm (BT Sport 1)

Southampton vs Shrewsbury - POSTPONED (COVID)


Barnsley vs Tranmere - 1.30pm (FA Player)

Bristol City vs Portsmouth - 1.30pm (FA Player)

Chelsea vs Morecambe - 1.30pm (BBC Red Button/iPlayer)

Cheltenham vs Mansfield Town - 1.30pm (FA Player)

Crawley Town vs Leeds - 1.30pm (BBC ONE/iPlayer)

Man City vs Birmingham - 1.30pm (BBC iPlayer)

Marine vs Tottenham - 5pm (BBC ONE/iPlayer)

Newport County vs Brighton - 7.45pm (BT Sport 1)


Stockport County vs West Ham - 8pm (BT Sport 1)