Our su­per six add up to Cup acca cracker!

The Racing Paper - - Football - by Mar­lon Ket­tle

IT’S FA Cup Third Round day, or should I say week­end, as this once im­por­tant day now spreads over four days and ex­cite­ment and an­tic­i­pa­tion has dwin­dled since the Premier League and be­came ever more im­por­tant to fans and clubs alike.

One of the sides who are likely to be look­ing for a good win to­day is BURN­LEY who take on Barns­ley from League One. De­spite a poor start to the sea­son they won last week­end against West Ham at Turf Moor and will be look­ing to win again in front of their own fans, es­pe­cially in a War of the Roses bat­tle.

Barns­ley are riding high in fourth place in League One and have au­to­matic pro­mo­tion in their sights, but they will not be rest­ing any­one as they look to take a Premier League scalp.

The Tykes are un­beaten in five games but will find that, de­spite not pro­vid­ing any vin­tage dis­plays, the Clarets are a res­o­lute team and will stick to­gether through thick and thin and that bat­tling abil­ity added to their Premier League qual­ity should see the Lan­cas­tri­ans through. WEST BROM are a Cham­pi­onship team chas­ing the dream of a quick re­turn to the Premier League and cur­rently lie in fourth just five points from lead­ers Leeds.

It’s doubt­ful that Dar­ren Moore will play a weak­ened side but will rather be look­ing to re­turn to win­ning ways af­ter an un­ex­pected league de­feat to Black­burn put the skids un­der his team’s chal­lenge for the Cham­pi­onship ti­tle.

The Bag­gies have recorded seven of their 13 cham­pi­onship wins at The Hawthorns and they def­i­nitely re­serve their best per­for­mances for home matches.

West Brom have scored 35 goals in their 16 home ap­pear­ances in all com­pe­ti­tions, in­clud­ing a 2-0 win over to­day’s op­po­nents Wi­gan on Box­ing Day.

Al­though the Lat­ics will pro­vide a stern test the Bag­gies’ fire­power should see them home. They have def­i­nite Premier League qual­ity in Jay Ro­driguez who notched both goals on Box­ing Day.

We stay with the Cham­pi­onship for the third se­lec­tion in our Cup acca and head north to

MID­DLES­BROUGH who play host to League One side Peter­bor­ough.

Posh have a dan­ger for­ward in ex-New­cas­tle man Ivan Toney and he could be one that gets a move in the Sum­mer if they don’t push for pro­mo­tion.

Boro are fifth in the ta­ble and have their eyes on pro­mo­tion back to the Premier League but they draw far too many games to be able to get an au­to­matic spot.

There is no-one I’d rather have in charge than Tony Pulis as his ex­pe­ri­ence could make all the dif­fer­ence, es­pe­cially if they start con­vert­ing those wins to draws which they should do to­day with the help of a goal or two from Jor­dan Hugill.

The fourth side in our mul­ti­ple lie sec­ond in the Cham­pi­onship and have been shock lead­ers un­til just over­taken by Leeds.

NOR­WICH are sur­prise con­tenders for some but for those fa­mil­iar with Hud­der­s­field it won’t be as much of a shock as boss Daniel Farke comes from the same stock as Jur­gen Klopp and David Wag­ner and was hired by the same per­son that brought Wag­ner to Hud­der­s­field.

Farke’s team are young and en­er­getic which makes them hun­gry and, al­though con­tain­ing more Ger­man play­ers than Bay­ern Mu­nich, they will hold the FA Cup in much more of a high re­gard than some of their English col­leagues.

In Teemu Pukki they have an ex­pe­ri­enced for­ward who has ex­ploded onto the scene with 15 goals in 23 games.

Pom­pey are fly­ing high and top League One hav­ing only lost three and won two pre­vi­ous rounds to get here. But, de­spite the odd scare, the Ca­naries should be singing along with us at full-time.

With so many games to choose from and many seem­ingly mis­matched op­po­nents you could choose a cou­ple of more sides to add and ei­ther re­place or perm the se­lec­tions.

For those pre­pared to wait un­til Sun­day for their re­turns you could look at

FUL­HAM who play host to League Two Old­ham.

De­spite win­ning two on the bounce the Lat­ics should be swept aside by Ranieri’s new side who can take a break from their rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle and see them­selves through to the fourth round.

An­other con­test that looks com­pletely mis­matched is the one be­tween SH­EFFIELD

UNITED and Bar­net at Bra­mall Lane.

Chris Wilder’s team, who lie in third in the Cham­pi­onship, should prove far too pow­er­ful for their Na­tional League op­po­si­tion.

The Un­der­hill out­fit are midtable in the fifth tier and had they been at home may have given the Blades more of a game but with Billy Sharp in fine form United can look to the fourth round with con­fi­dence and add some cheer to our New Year.

Premier class: Jay Ro­driguez for West Bromwich

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