Tag Archives: defender

Joleon Lescott wants Manchester City to treat him with respect

Sign me up, or let me leave, says Lescott as City defender urges club to show him respect

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

07:12 GMT, 20 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:16 GMT, 20 April 2013

Joleon Lescott hopes Manchester City will treat him with respect when it comes to deciding his future.

The England defender is close to entering the last year of his contract with the FA Cup finalists and has yet to fix up a new deal.

He has told the Daily Telegraph that he wants to stay, but claims he is not naive enough to think that is assured.

New deal: Joleon Lescott hopes Manchester City will treat him with respect

New deal: Joleon Lescott hopes Manchester City will treat him with respect

New deal: Joleon Lescott hopes Manchester City will treat him with respect

And, with the World Cup on the horizon, the former Everton man wants a first-team place to show national boss Roy Hodgson that he is up to the job.

He said: 'If someone said when I signed here “you're going to win the Premier League, get to two FA Cup finals and represent your country in the Euros” I'd have snapped their hand off.

'So now to go into the final year of my contract uncertain about my future is quite strange. I'd love to stay. My wife's pregnant, we've just moved house, the kids are happy at school. But I'm not naive. When you've achieved all that and you're going into the last year of your contract your future might be elsewhere.

'I can't afford to go into a World Cup year being uncertain of whether I'm going to play [regularly] here.

England ambition: Lescott wants to be a regular in World Cup year

England ambition: Lescott wants to be a regular in World Cup year

'I feel I've done enough for the club to demand a bit of respect in terms of they come and tell me what they want, whether it's a new deal, which I would be delighted to sign, or [to go] elsewhere.

'I'm very respectful of the club with what they've done for me, how they were persistent when Everton were digging their heels in to keep me. I owe a lot to the club. I also feel I've done enough to demand a bit of respect to not see speculation about my future.'

Watford 0 Cardiff 0 – match report

Watford 0 Cardiff 0: Zola's men lose ground on Hull after goalless draw against leaders

PUBLISHED:

18:37 GMT, 6 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:45 GMT, 6 April 2013

Watford lost ground in the race for automatic promotion as they were held to a goalless draw by npower Championship leaders Cardiff at Vicarage Road.

Following their 1-0 win over second placed Hull on Tuesday, Gianfranco Zola's side failed to keep pace with their rivals following a frustrating evening.

The point for City leaves them requiring a maximum of seven points from their remaining six games as they take a step closer to the Barclays Premier League.

Promotion chasers: Watford and Cardiff played out a 0-0 draw in a top-of-the-table clash at Vicarage Road

Promotion chasers: Watford and Cardiff played out a 0-0 draw in a top-of-the-table clash at Vicarage Road

MATCH FACTS

Watford: Almunia, Doyley, Cassetti, Ekstrand, Abdi, Battocchio (Hogg 51), Chalobah, Briggs, Anya, Deeney, Vydra (Forestieri 60).

Subs Not Used: Bond, Yeates, Pudil, Thompson, Geijo.

Booked: Cassetti.

Cardiff: Marshall, Connolly (McNaughton 10), Turner, Barnett, Taylor, Kim, Gunnarsson, Mutch, Conway (Smith 69), Mason (Gestede 56), Bellamy.

Subs Not Used: Lewis, Whittingham, Cowie, Helguson.

Booked: Gunnarsson, Mutch.

Att: 15,550

Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).

The latest Championship table, results and fixtures

Zola made two changes to the side
that edged past promotion rivals Hull on Tuesday. Former Arsenal
goalkeeper Manuel Almunia returned between the posts while stalwart
defender Lloyd Doyley was also recalled.

The Bluebirds made just one change
following their 3-0 win against lowly Blackburn over the Easter weekend.
Striker Joe Mason came in to replace the injured Fraizer Campbell.

Malky Mackay's preparations suffered a
huge blow 10 minutes into the game though when Kevin McNaughton was
forced to replace Matthew Connolly at the back.

However, they started the brighter of
the two sides and Bo-kyung Kim soon forced Almunia into a fine save as
he blocked a low effort with his feet.

Craig Conway then fired just wide from the edge with the hosts struggling for a response as they waited for a chance to counter.

Cardiff came closer still as Ben Turner headed over the top before Zola's gameplan began to pay dividends.

On the up Cardiff are five points clear of Hull with a game in hand while Watford sit third in the table

On the up Cardiff are five points clear of Hull with a game in hand while Watford sit third in the table

TOP SIX – AS IT STANDS

TABLE

Click HERE for the full Championship table

Top-scorer Matej Vydra nodded down
for strike partner Troy Deeney but he inexplicably blazed his strike
over the bar from no more than 10 yards.

The Hornets penned their opponents
deep in their own half and with the game bubbling nicely things
threatened to boil over on the touchline.

Zola's assistant, Giancarlo
Corradini, had to be pulled away by the little Italian after clashing
with Mackay as they argued over Aron Gunnarsson's challenge on Cristian
Battocchio.

Referee Mark Halsey kept his cards in
his pocket and Cardiff managed to keep the ball out of their net as
they survived a late onslaught before the break.

The visitors responded positively
after the restart and Almunia did well to save Joel Ekstrand's blushes
pushing away Joe Mason's strike after he seized on an error by the
defender.

Contest: Cardiff captain Craig Bellamy comes under pressure from Watford's Matthew Briggs

Contest: Cardiff captain Craig Bellamy comes under pressure from Watford's Matthew Briggs

As the game began to open up David
Marshall was forced into action at the opposite end making a terrific
fingertip save to keep out Deeney's header.

Conway fired a volley narrowly wide
before Hornets substitute Fernando Forestieri lashed one inches over the
crossbar as the game continued at a frantic pace.

The former Udinese man then
squandered another promising opportunity as he dragged another effort
wide from the edge after a clever flick by Nathaniel Chalobah.

On the touchline: Watford manager Gianfranco Zola and Cardiff boss Malky Mackay

On the touchline: Watford manager Gianfranco Zola and Cardiff boss Malky Mackay

Cardiff were forced to try and
utilise Gunnarsson's long throw in the closing stages and it very nearly
paid off when Kim's close-range effort was deflected wide of the post.

Mackay's former charges looked as
though they might have the last word when Deeney found a way through but
he was crowded out before he could get a shot away.

Forestieri also saw his shot bravely
blocked over the top during a frantic final few minutes but in the end
both sides were forced to settle for a hard-fought point.

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel joins Norwich City

Hughton hails 8.5m Van Wolfswinkel capture as Norwich strengthen frontline

By
Steve Martyn

PUBLISHED:

23:53 GMT, 22 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:57 GMT, 23 March 2013

Norwich City are to smash their club
record transfer fee with the 8.5million signing of sought-after Holland
striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon.

The 6ft 1in Van Wolfswinkel has agreed a four-year contract following three days of negotiations between the clubs.

The 24-year-old, a one-time transfer
target for Liverpool and Tottenham, will arrive at Carrow Road on July 1
after seeing out the season with the Portuguese club.

On the move: Norwich City have signed Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (centre)

On the move: Norwich City have signed Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (centre)

Norwich manager Chris Hughton said: 'Ricky's profile is a perfect fit for us – he's young, ambitious and a proven goalscorer.

'He has an excellent goalscoring pedigree and he is very keen to continue his personal progression and play in England.

'He's already an exciting talent but he still has more development as a player ahead of him.

'I'm delighted we have been able to agree a deal with Sporting Lisbon and with Ricky.

'Now we look forward to welcoming him to the squad in July, once all of the paperwork gets sorted out.'

Great name: Van Wolfswinkel has scored 13 goals in Portugal this term

Great name: Van Wolfswinkel has scored 13 goals in Portugal this term

Van Wolfswinkel has so far scored 82 goals in 188 appearances for Sporting and his Dutch sides Utrecht and Vitesse Arnhem.

He netted 25 goals for Sporting last season and has added another 14 so far in the current campaign.

Sporting were reluctant sellers but massive club debts have forced them to part with their prized forward.

Van Wolfswinkel's only senior cap for Holland came in August 2010 for a friendly against Ukraine.

His arrival easily beats Norwich's
previous record transfer fee, the 5.5m paid to Tottenham for Cameroon
central defender Sebastien Bassong last summer.

Rio Ferdinand to the rescue: Should Roy Hodgson name Manchester United defender in England squad

Rio to the rescue: Is it time for Roy to bring back Ferdinand for England Keown, Redknapp and Sportsmail's team of experts have their say

PUBLISHED:

10:46 GMT, 13 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 13 March 2013

Roy Hodgson is set to name his England squad for the World Cup qualifying matches against San Marino and Montenegro and fans are desperate to know if Rio Ferdinand will be in it.

Left out for 'football reasons', Ferdinand has not featured for the national team under Hodgson but, with former captain John Terry now out of the picture, he has been touted for a return.

The 34-year-old has been superb for Manchester United this season and here, Sportsmail's team of experts say whether they feel Ferdinand should take that form back on to the international stage.

Solid: Rio Ferdinand has been tipped for an England return after fine performances for Manchester United

Solid: Rio Ferdinand has been tipped for an England return after fine performances for Manchester United

MARTIN KEOWN

I would bring Rio Ferdinand back into the England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. If Sir Alex Ferguson is picking him as his first-choice centre back for Manchester United, that is good enough for me.

Roy Hodgson is one of the only people who could get away with bringing someone back after not picking them for so long. Hodgson is such a nice man and would find the words to make it a smooth transition.

Ferdinand has every right to feel he should have been in recent squads and he’s the best central defender we have. On top of that, Phil Jagielka is out injured and Gary Cahill has suffered a dip in form. He would benefit from playing alongside some as experienced as Ferdinand.

Tiredness is less of a factor now that United are out the Champions League. Ferdinand has fewer matches to play between now and the end of the season than he would have expected so Ferguson should not have a problem with him playing for his country.

I would imagine Hodgson wouldn’t use him for both games because of the recovery time he needs and the only potential problem with that is whether it creates instability in the team. If someone else plays well against San Marino, do you kill their confidence by then dropping them

The answer is probably yes.

Young gun: Ferdinand made his England debut as a teenager - coming off the bench against Cameroon in 1997

Young gun: Ferdinand made his England debut as a teenager – coming off the bench against Cameroon in 1997

JAMIE REDKNAPP

What has he done wrong He seems to have handled his omission maturely… he lost the England captaincy and didn’t cause a fuss. He has played his way back into form. He wants to play for England and add to his 81 caps.

Judging him on ‘football reasons’, he has to be back in for the World Cup qualifiers, doesn’t he Montenegro is a challenge and their centre-forward, the Juventus striker, Mirko Vucinic is a handful as he proved to Celtic in the Champions League. But Rio has handled better strikers.

Okay, he is not the future, but he is the present.

MARK ALFORD

No. Stick by your footballing
reasons, Roy. I'd prefer it if you further explained them to us all, but
as I suspect your argument is that you're building a side – and
specifically a defence – that can win us the World Cup, please go ahead
and conquer. Rio's too old. Yes, he can still pick a pass and play but
he's past his best. He's lost a yard and that's what matters at
international level. In Roy, we trust… There's no other way.

Off the mark: Ferdinand (No 5) scored his first international goal against Denmark at the 2002 World Cup

Off the mark: Ferdinand (No 5) scored his first international goal against Denmark at the 2002 World Cup

Off the mark: Ferdinand (No 5) scored his first international goal against Denmark at the 2002 World Cup

NEIL ASHTON

Yes. He remains the outstanding England defender of his generation. If he can get two games against Real Madrid in the Champions League, he can play against San Marino and Montenegro in the World Cup qualifiers.

LEE CLAYTON

Yes. Pick your best players, qualify for the World Cup, then worry about his age, his ability to play back-to-back games in a short space of time and the future.

There is a risk that England’s future will be an end-of-season tour to the back of beyond while the World Cup is taking place in Brazil. We did that before, let’s not do it again.

Rio must play in Montenegro. What’s to discuss

CHRIS WHEELER

Yes. Forget his age, any personal
issues with the manager and the fact that he might not be the best man
for the job when the World Cup comes around. Ferdinand's performances
for Manchester United this season have proved he's still a defender of
the highest quality. That's all that matters so just go ahead and pick
him.

SAMI MOKBEL

Yes. Simply because he is without doubt one of the best four centre-backs available to Roy Hodgson.

It's been a while: Ferdinand's last England appearance was against Switzerland in June 2011

It's been a while: Ferdinand's last England appearance was against Switzerland in June 2011

DOMINIC KING

No. Roy Hodgson has made his decision
to preclude Ferdinand from international duty, so he should stick with
it. There is sufficient quality in the England team to negotiate a
tricky task without worrying about whether Ferdinand should play or not.
With Phil Jagielka injured, play Joleon Lescott and give the in-form
Michael Dawson a go. Ferdinand is England's past, concentrate on the
future.

NEIL MOXLEY

If he’s the best English player to fill the position – and I think he’s the best option at present – then of course he should be picked. I’m not one for ‘looking to the future.’ It’s a nebulous managerial cop-out. When is ‘the future’ What about the here and now

He’s fit, playing well and wants to resume his international career. What, really, is there to consider

On the box: Kelloggs made special cereal packets for the 2010 World Cup but Ferdinand missed the tournament through injury

On the box: Kelloggs made special cereal packets for the 2010 World Cup but Ferdinand missed the tournament through injury

JOHN EDWARDS

If he doesn’t, then ‘football
reasons’ will no longer wash as an explanation. With John Terry out of
the frame and Phil Jagielka and Chris Smalling injured, there is only
one logical choice alongside Gary Cahill.

Hodgson is to be applauded for
looking to the future, but there is a time and place for experimenting
with potential. A World Cup qualifier away to the group leaders is
neither. That rules out Steven Caulker, while the likes of Ryan
Shawcross, Michael Dawson and Joleon Lescott lack Ferdinand’s proven
pedigree when the international stakes are at their highest.

The San Marino game should be plain sailing, whoever gets the nod, but for 90 minutes in Montenegro, it has to be Rio.

ALEX KAY

Of course he should. Ferdinand is the
best English centre back around at the moment and knows how to keep his
head in big games. Also, the alternatives do not fill you with hope:
Joleon Lescott is in and out the team at Manchester City, Gary Cahill
has a wobble in him and Michael Dawson, though playing well, hasn’t
featured for England for a long time.

MIKE ANSTEAD

If
he’s good enough, then yes. With John Terry out of the picture, England
are seriously lacking top-level experience at the back – Gary Cahill,
Phil Jagielka and Co won’t worry the world’s best. Bring Rio back and
he’s still got time to forge a new partnership ahead of Brazil 2014.

TOM BELLWOOD

No. His inclusion would represent a kick in the teeth to those whose performances warrant place in the team and have a long-term future in the national set-up.

LAURIE WHITWELL

Yes. Ferdinand is by some margin the best English central defender playing regularly. He is managing his body well this season and is a major reason United's defence has tightened up in the second part of the campaign. The experience he brings to international football only adds to the compelling reasoning for selection. Surely you pick the best players on offer at any one point rather than worry about a future that is yet to be achieved.

DAN RIPLEY

Judging by Ferdinand’s current form and fitness, the Manchester United centre-back certainly deserves a recall to the England squad. His composure on the ball and experience would be a key asset to a Three Lions side that has yet to have a stable back four under Roy Hodgson’s reign. At 34-years-old Ferdinand isn’t the future, but Hodgson needs to pick a squad that can pick up two wins later this month, not one that is likely to lead England after Brazil 2014.

Decision time: Roy Hodgson is set to name his England squad to face San Marino and Montenegro

Decision time: Roy Hodgson is set to name his England squad to face San Marino and Montenegro

JOE RIDGE

Yes. It's crazy we're even asking this question. Along with Michael Dawson and Gary Cahill he's the only Englishman playing regularly at centre back for a top four club – and he's still head and shoulders above those two.
SUNNI UPAL

No. Ferdinand is 34 so it would make no sense going back to him considering he will be 35 by the time the World Cup kicks off next year. England have enough choices in defence and don’t need to turn back to someone who is in the twilight of his career. The decision was, rightly or wrongly, made a long time ago for ‘footballing reasons’ so let’s just stick to those reasons and move on.

Not spoiled for choice: Gary Cahill's form has dipped while Phil Jagielka (below left) is struggling with injury

Not spoiled for choice: Gary Cahill's form has dipped while Phil Jagielka (below left) is struggling with injury

Struggling: Phil Jagielka (left)

RIK SHARMA

No. Picking a defender who probably won't be worth taking to the World Cup itself would only be acceptable if qualification for said competition would be viewed as an achievement. For England it is a necessity. Roy needs to focus on the men for the years ahead.

DECLAN WARRINGTON

No, and particularly not if Hodgson intends on using him for no more than just the next two games. Despite his decline, Ferdinand remains a polished defender and has lately impressed but he's had another inconsistent season in which Manchester United have frequently conceded. Hodgson needs to look at the bigger picture and build a new-look side: in Gary Cahill, Steven Caulker, Phil Jones and particularly Chris Smalling he has several improving, quality options who are already good but need time to develop partnerships for the World Cup. He should stick with them.

BILL RUNGAY

Yes. Age is not an obstacle. He is on track to winning an inevitable sixth Premier League title along with his first FA cup medal whilst showing he is still one of the most solid defenders in the game.

Old head: Veteran defender Ferdinand has the experience of 10 years at United and 81 England caps

Old head: Veteran defender Ferdinand has the experience of 10 years at United and 81 England caps

Rio Ferdinand must be recalled by England – Neil Ashton

Neil Ashton: Cahill's slip against Brazil shows Hodgson needs Ferdinand at the heart of England's defence

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

00:07 GMT, 7 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:39 GMT, 7 February 2013

High up in the stands at Wembley, the best available central defender in the country left his calling card. Rio Ferdinand is itching to play for England again, tweeting in advance of Brazil’s visit that he was on his way to north-west London.

Ferdinand will never give up hope, and Gary Cahill’s elementary mistake at the start of the second half is the reason why.

This is the scenario unfolding for England’s head coach Roy Hodgson as he continues to hide behind the ‘footballing reasons’ for Ferdinand’s continued exclusion. Cahill is a good defender, but not good enough at the very highest level.

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand

Out in the cold: Rio Ferdinand has not played for England since the draw with Switzerland last June

He was brutally exposed when his failure to complete a pass allowed Fred, on as a substitute, to equalise at the start of the second half.

There will have been reminders from Hodgson at half-time for England to keep their composure after Wayne Rooney’s sweetly taken goal put them in front. Instead the mistake by Cahill is a cause for concern, an alarming moment for a player with a Champions League winner’s medal.

Until that moment he had done well enough, twice snuffing out the threat of Neymar in the first half as the Brazilian worried England’s defence.

At 34, Ferdinand is still good enough to represent his country. Frank Lampard, who scored after coming on in the second half, is the same age. Lampard has been assured that he will be part of Hodgson’s squad if England get through Group H and board the plane to Brazil next summer.

By then he will be nearly 36 and the assumption is that the remaining members of the Golden Generation will call it a day after the World Cup.

Gutted: Gary Cahill is dejected after his mistake allowed Fred to equalise for Brazil against England (below)

Gutted: Gary Cahill is dejected after his mistake allowed Fred to equalise for Brazil against England (below)

Fred scores against England

Lampard has made 17 Barclays Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season, but if Hodgson is number crunching then Ferdinand represents full value as well. The Manchester United defender has started 19 games for the club in the Premier League and come on as a substitute in one other.

He is playing, unquestionably, for the best team in the country and his selection, fitness permitting, against Real Madrid next week is automatic.

That is a Champions League tie, a second-round first-leg clash in the Bernabeu where Cristiano Ronaldo and Co will take some beating.

Fergie always turns to Ferdinand in big games, just as he has against Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea.

In command: Ferdinand has impressed in defence for Manchester United this season

In command: Ferdinand has impressed in defence for Manchester United this season

After his injury just days before the start of the 2010 World Cup, Ferdinand made only a handful of appearances under Fabio Capello the following season.

Hodgson has never picked him in a squad, preferring John Terry at the heart of his defence until he made the surprise decision to retire.

Recalling Ferdinand would provide some mild embarrassment for Hodgson, but ending the defender’s international career on the Tube is way out in front when it comes to wincing.

England have important games next month, particularly when they travel to Montenegro for a vital World Cup qualifier.

Those are the games that really count at international level, true tests for the top players.

Italy's Franco Baresi

Paolo Maldini

Examples: Franco Baresi (left) and Paolo Maldini both continued into their thirties at international level

Some of the great defenders, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi among them, have been to World Cups when they were well past their prime.

Simply because they were 34 at the time didn’t make them bad players and that is something Hodgson should consider carefully when he selects his squad next month.

Beyond that, Hodgson hopes this team will be heading for Brazil and the World Cup finals.
To do well, he will need England’s best players with him.

Vegard Forren abandons Liverpool trial for Southampton talks

Saints set to snatch Forren as 4.2m defender abandons Anfield trial for St Mary's talks

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

11:43 GMT, 15 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:43 GMT, 15 January 2013

Vegard Forren is considering the option of a permanent transfer to Southampton rather than his planned trial at Liverpool.

Forren, a Norwegian international central defender, arrived in England last night and was expected to report to Liverpool for a trial today.

Change of plan: Molde defender Vegard Forren has abandoned a trial at Liverpool in favour of talks with Southampton

Change of plan: Molde defender Vegard Forren (also in action, below) has abandoned a trial at Liverpool in favour of holding talks with Barclays Premier League side Southampton

Heading off: Norway international Forren (No 5) looks set to leave Molde for a move to England

But the 24-year-old has other options in the Barclays Premier League including Saints, who are keen to strengthen their defence and thought to be among the clubs who have agreed a 4.2million transfer fee with his club Molde.

Fulham and Everton are other clubs who have been monitoring Forren, who has been capped five times by Norway.

Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed earlier this month that the defender was set to leave the club, possibly for the Barclays Premier League.

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Upper hand: Southampton boss Nigel Adkins is leading the race to sign Forren ahead of Brendan Rodgers (R)

QPR join race to sign Joleon Lescott

Redknapp enters race to sign defender Lescott from City with QPR ready to pay 90k wages

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

09:51 GMT, 5 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:42 GMT, 5 January 2013

QPR have joined the race to sign Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott as Harry Redknapp bids to beat the drop.

The west London side are looking to strengthen their defence and Redknapp is keen on England defender Lescott and QPR are understood to be prepared to meet his 90,000-a-week wages.

But he is not the only one as former club Everton and boyhood team Aston Villa are also keen.

One the move: Lescott has struggled to hold down a regular first team place at City this season

One the move: Lescott has struggled to hold down a regular first team place at City this season

If QPR miss out on Lescott then they will turn their attentions to Everton’s Sylvain Distin.

Yesterday, Aston Villa were linked with the defender as owner Randy Lerner is set to back Lambert in the transfer window and an experienced central defender is the top target.

Lescott
was born in the Midlands and grew up supporting Villa before playing
for Wolves, Everton and now City and is available for a move.

Villa bound Joleon Lescott could be set to leave Manchester City

Villa bound Joleon Lescott could be set to leave Manchester City

Villa are just one point above the relegation zone and have conceded 17 goals in their last four games.

The 10million rated defender would
have to take a drop in his wages if he were to join his boyhood club as
Lerner is trying to reduce player salaries, and Villa would face
competition from both Everton and Sunderland who are also interested in
taking the 30-year-old.

Lescott
would also have to negotiate a pay-off from City to leave the club –
just as Richard Dunne and Stephen Ireland did.

The ultimate guide to ALL of this weekend"s FA Cup third round fixtures

The ultimate guide to ALL of this weekend's FA Cup third round fixtures

PUBLISHED:

10:09 GMT, 4 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 4 January 2013

It may only be the start of January but the weekend of the FA Cup third round remains one of the most famous occasions in the football calendar.

The world’s oldest football competition often offers lowly minnows a chance to fight with some of the biggest teams in the game and this weekend is no different with a number of eye-catching ties.

With 32 matches to be played, Sportsmail has teamed up with statistic giants Opta to bring you the ultimate guide to all of this weekend’s fixtures.

Road to Wembley: The FA Cup third round sees teams from the Premier League and the Championship enter the competition

Road to Wembley: The FA Cup third round sees teams from the Premier League and the Championship enter the competition

Brighton v Newcastle (Saturday 12.30pm – live on ITV1)
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will be
without Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini for tomorrow's clash with Brighton after both picked up slight knocks.

Midfielder Cheick Tiote is also unavailable, as the Ivory Coast international left for
the African Nations Cup after Wednesday night's 2-1 Barclays Premier
League defeat by Everton. Potential replacement Gael Bigirimana is
battling a dead leg.

Striker Demba Ba's transfer to
Chelsea has left a vacancy in attack, and while central defender Steven
Taylor (hamstring) and midfielder Yohan Cabaye (groin) are back in
training, they remain unavailable.

Full-back Ryan Taylor
(knee) and midfielders Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Jonas Gutierrez, Dan
Gosling and Haris Vuckic (all knee) are also out.

Brighton may be tempted to start Kazenga Lua Lua for the third consecutive game against his former club.

The winger spent five years at St James' Park before leaving in November 2011 having made 15 appearances.

Will Buckley's deflected strike
helped the Seagulls to a win against Newcastle last season in the FA
Cup, but the winger is likely to be ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Will history repeat Will Buckley celebrates Mike Williamson's own goal that helped Brighton defeat Newcastle 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round last season

Will history repeat Will Buckley celebrates Mike Williamson's own goal that helped Brighton defeat Newcastle 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round last season

Brighton and Newcastle have met four times before in the FA Cup; the Magpies progressed in the first meeting in 1930, but the Seagulls have since won the last three ties including in Round 4 last season.

Brighton have won three of their last five FA Cup games against higher-ranked sides, including that victory over the Magpies last term.

The Seagulls have only lost one of their last 12 FA Cup games on home soil, and have not been eliminated from the competition at home since 2008.

Newcastle have not won an away game in the FA Cup since January 2006, when they won 2-0 at fourth tier Cheltenham Town.

Newcastle squad: Krul, Elliot, Harper, Santon, Ferguson, Tavernier, Williamson, Perch, Streete, Bigirimana, Anita, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Obertan, Abeid, Shola Ameobi, Ranger.

Aldershot v Rotherham (Saturday, 3pm)
Aldershot Town have met Rotherham once before in the FA Cup since their reformation in 1992, winning 3-0 away from home in a replay after a 1-1 draw in Round 1 of the 2009 competition.

Rotherham have not made the fourth round of the FA Cup since 2002, when they eliminated top-flight Southampton at this stage before losing to Crewe.

This is Aldershot’s first appearance in Round 3 since 2007; the Shots have not made the fourth round since 1987, when they lost to Barnsley.

Aldershot have won their last three home games in this competition, and have only lost one of their last eight.

Aston Villa v Ipswich (Saturday, 3pm)
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is
hoping to have a trio of players – including Darren Bent – back in
contention for tomorrow's FA Cup third-round clash with Ipswich.

Bent (hamstring), fellow striker Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh) and winger
Charles N'Zogbia (knee) are all poised to return to training today and
will then be assessed by Lambert.

Midfielder Ashley Westwood has been ruled out after suffering an ankle
injury during the 2-2 draw at Swansea. Defenders Ron Vlaar (calf),
Nathan Baker (hamstring) and Richard Dunne (knee) remain sidelined.

Back in business: Villa striker Darren Bent could return to face his former side, Ipswich at Villa Park

Back in business: Villa striker Darren Bent could return to face his former side, Ipswich at Villa Park

Mick McCarthy has just 16 players
with significant Championship experience to call upon tomorrow when his
side travel to Villa.

The likes of Stephen Henderson,
Bradley Orr (ineligible due to loans), Tyrone Mings (cup-tied) and Andy
Drury (illness) are unavailable, while Danny Higginbotham and DJ
Campbell have seen their loan deals expire.

In addition, McCarthy wants to rest a
number of his players who have featured during a spell of
four games in 11 over the Christmas period.

Patrick Kisnorbo is available for the Tractor Boys though, with the defender having completed his one-month loan deal from Leeds on Thursday.

Villa and Ipswich have met four times
before in the FA Cup, winning two ties apiece with the Villans winning
the last clash back in 1996.

Aston Villa have won their last five FA Cup games at Villa Park, scoring exactly three times in each one.

The Midlands side have progressed through each of their last nine ties against lower ranked sides, with Sheffield United the last to eliminated them back in 2005.

Ipswich have lost their last 10 FA Cup games against teams from a higher division, and have only won one of their last 25 (23 ties).

Aston Villa squad: Guzan, Given, Lowton, Herd, Clark, Lichaj, Stevens,
Bennett, Ireland, N'Zogbia, Bannan, Delph, Albrighton, Holman, Benteke,
Bent, Agbonlahor, Bowery, Weimann, Burke, Johnson, Williams, Carruthers.

Barnsley v Burnley (Saturday, 3pm)
This will be the first FA Cup meeting between Barnsley and Burnley since 1911, when the Clarets won a Round 2 match 2-0 on home soil.

Barnsley have lost their last four FA Cup round 3 games and haven’t picked up a victory since their run to the semi-finals back in 2008.

Burnley have only won one of their last 11 away FA Cup games, conceding nine in total in their last two.

The Clarets have only mustered one clean sheet in their last 15 outings in the FA Cup (conceding 30 in total).

Macclesfield v Cardiff (Saturday, 3pm)
This will be the first meeting between these sides in the FA Cup, though their most recent meeting came in the League Cup in 2005, when the Welsh side prevailed 2-1.

Cardiff have won 11 and drawn three of their last of their last 14 FA Cup games against lower ranked sides, and have not lost against a team from a lower league since 1995, when they eliminated by Enfield.

After three away wins on the way to the final in 2008, Cardiff have failed to win any of their ensuing five on the road in the FA Cup, drawing two and losing three.

The Silkmen have only lost one of their last 11 on home soil in the FA Cup proper, and that was against Everton in 2009.

Blackburn v Bristol City (Saturday, 3pm)
This will only be the second FA Cup meeting between Blackburn and Bristol City; the Robins won the first back at this stage of the 1951 competition (2-1).

Rovers have won 12 and lost just one of their last 16 FA Cup games at Ewood Park, scoring at least once in each of their last 14.

The Robins have only made it past the third round once in the last 10 years, reaching Round 4 back in 2007.

City have only scored one goal in their last six FA Cup games combined.

Bolton v Sunderland (Saturday, 3pm)
Bolton have won just one of their six previous FA Cup ties against Sunderland, with that win coming at this stage of the 1980 competition.

Interestingly, five of the previous six FA Cup ties between the Trotters and the Black Cats have come in Round 3, with Sunderland winning the last 2-1 in 2009.

This will be Bolton’s first FA Cup game against a team from a higher division since the 2000 Final against Aston Villa, where they lost on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

The Black Cats are unbeaten in three FA Cup away games after a run of five consecutive defeats on the road between 2005 and 2010.

Charlton v Huddersfield (Saturday, 3pm)
Charlton defender Leon Cort (hamstring) and full-back Lawrie Wilson (broken nose) are major doubts for the clash against Huddersfield.

The Addicks are also without loanees Dan Seabourne, Rob Hulse and Emmanuel Frimpong who have returned to their clubs.

Jermaine Beckford is available again for Huddersfield after the striker was ineligible for the 6-1 loss at parent club Leicester.

Beckford has scored six goals in his last four FA Cup appearances.

Winger Adam Hammill has not been given permission to play by his club Wolves, but James Vaughan is available.

Charlton and Huddersfield have an equal head-to-head record in the FA Cup; Huddersfield eliminated Charlton from the 1926 competition before the Addicks got revenge in 1958 after a replay.

The Addicks have only lost one of their last 12 FA Cup games at the Valley, winning seven and drawing four.

Huddersfield have scored exactly once in 14 of their last 19 FA Cup away games, though they have netted more than once on only one occasion in this run.

The Terriers are without a win in 10 games in all competitions, drawing five and losing five.

Crawley v Reading (Saturday, 3pm)
Reading manager Brian McDermott has
indicated that new signing Daniel Carrico is unlikely to make his debut
in tomorrow's FA Cup tie against Crawley.

Jason Roberts has returned to training after recovering from a hip problem while Nicky Shorey has overcome a virus.

McDermott is likely to make several changes after playing three Barclays Premier League matches in a week.

On the mend: Jason Roberts (left) is pushing for his first Reading appearance in over a month ahead of the Royal's trip to Crawley

On the mend: Jason Roberts (left) is pushing for his first Reading appearance in over a month ahead of the Royal's trip to Crawley

This will be the first competitive meeting between Crawley and Reading.

Crawley Town have lost both of their previous FA Cup meetings with top flight opponents.

Reading
have won four of their last five FA Cup ties against sides from lower
divisions. However, they were eliminated in the third round last season
by third-tier Stevenage.

The Red Devils have won four and lost just one of their last six home games in the FA Cup.

Reading squad:
Federici, Taylor, Gunter, Cummings, Gorkss, Pearce, Morrison, Mariappa,
Shorey, Harte, McAnuff, Tabb, Karacan, Kebe, McCleary, Robson-Kanu, Le
Fondre, Hunt, Roberts, Pogrebnyak.

Crystal Palace v Stoke (Saturday, 3pm)
Stoke boss Tony Pulis will make changes
for tomorrow's FA Cup third-round clash with Crystal Palace, which could
include a first start in the club's colours for Michael Owen.

The former England striker has made four
substitute appearances since joining the Potters in September, the last
coming in October before he suffered a hamstring injury.

Midfielder Steven Nzonzi is available
after the red card he received in last weekend's 3-3 draw with
Southampton was rescinded while full-back Marc Wilson could return in a
fortnight from a broken leg.

False start: Michael Owen's Stoke career has been ravaged by injury

False start: Michael Owen's Stoke career has been ravaged by injury

The one previous FA Cup clash between the Eagles and the Potters saw Stoke claim a 1-0 home win in Round 3 in 1989.

Crystal Palace have won just one of their last six FA Cup games, including suffering defeat in each of the last three.

After progressing beyond the third round just once from 1995-2005, Stoke City have gone beyond this stage five times in the last seven years.

The Potters have conceded just three goals in their last six away matches in the FA Cup, keeping four clean sheets in that time.

Provisional squad: Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Cameron, Huth, Upson, Wilkinson, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Kightly, Etherington, Jones, Sorensen, Whitehead, Crouch, Jerome, Adam, Palacios, Owen.

Derby v Tranmere (Saturday, 3pm)
The last nine meetings between Derby and Tranmere, all in the Football League, have seen 44 goals scored – an average of 4.89 per game.

Derby County have managed just nine goals in their last nine home games in the FA Cup, scoring exactly one goal on seven occasions.

Rovers have kept just one clean sheet in their last eight FA Cup clashes with opponents from higher divisions.

The Rams have won just one of their last seven FA Cup matches (W1 D4 L2) against teams from lower divisions.

Fulham v Blackpool (Saturday, 3pm)
Martin Jol plans to
name a strong Fulham line-up in tomorrow's FA Cup third-round tie with
Blackpool, but will have to do without several key players.

Mladen Petric, Damien Duff and Mahamadou Diarra are still injured so will be unable to feature for the west Londoners.

Mark Schwarzer is also sidelined due to a neck problem, while Stephen Kelly (knee) and John Arne Riise (shin) are also missing.

Hitman: Fulham boss, Martin Jol hinted he plans to unleash top scorer Dimitar Berbatov against Championship side Blackpool

Hitman: Fulham boss, Martin Jol hinted he plans to unleash top scorer Dimitar Berbatov against Championship side Blackpool

After winning their first ever FA Cup tie against Blackpool in 1936, the Whites have lost their ensuing three against the Tangerines, with the latest coming back in 1957.

Fulham have lost just three of one last 15 matches in the FA Cup third round (W9 D5 L1). They have won their last four in a row.

Blackpool have progressed past the third round just twice in their last 13 appearances at this stage of the FA Cup.

The Whites have kept five clean sheets in their last seven home games in the FA Cup.

Fulham squad: Stockdale, Somogyi, Etheridge, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Senderos, Briggs, Dejagah, Baird, Sidwell, Karagounis, Kacaniklic, Frei, Richardson, Kasami, Ruiz, Rodallega, Berbatov.

Hull v Leyton Orient (Saturday, 3pm)
Hull and Leyton Orient have met once before in the FA Cup, at this stage of the 1963 competition; The O’s progressed after a replay thanks to a 2-0 away win.

Hull City have won five and lost one of their last six FA Cup ties with lower-league opposition.

Leyton Orient have won seven and lost just two of their last 12 games in the FA Cup.

The O’s have progressed on three of the last four occasions they have reached the FA Cup third round.

Leeds United v Birmingham (Saturday, 3pm)
This will be the fifth FA Cup meeting between Leeds and Birmingham; Leeds have won three of the previous four, including the 1972 semi-final, but did lose the last clash (0-3 in 2005).

Birmingham have already won at Elland Road this season in the league. Leroy Lita scored the only game of the game back in October.

Birmingham have lost five and won just one of their last six FA Cup clashes with sides in the same division.

Since beating Manchester United 1-0 at this stage of the competition in 2010, Leeds have won none of their FA Cup games (D2 L3).

Leicester v Burton Albion (Saturday, 3pm)
Both previous clashes (all competitions) between these midlands rivals have been won by the away team, with the Foxes winning the one FA Cup clash 1-0 in 1985.

The Brewers have already eliminated Leicester from the Capital One Cup this term, winning 4-2 at the King Power Stadium back in August.

Burton Albion have won two and lost five of their last nine FA Cup clashes with teams from higher divisions.

The Foxes have progressed in each of their last five FA Cup ties against lower league opposition, conceding just four goals in six games.

Luton v Wolves (Saturday, 3pm)
Wolves have won both of their previous two FA Cup ties against Luton, winning 2-1 in Round 3 in 1932 and 4-1 in Round 5 in 1960.

Wolves have won both of their FA Cup matches against non-league opponents since November 1986 when they were eliminated by Chorley thanks to a second replay.

Luton have won just three of their last 14 games against teams from a higher division in the FA Cup (W3 D4 L7).

Both teams have scored in six of Luton’s last eight home FA Cup games; with 31 goals being scored in those eight matches.

Manchester City v Watford (Saturday, 3pm)
Manchester City
striker Sergio Aguero (hamstring) will miss this weekend's FA Cup
third-round tie against Watford but controversial forward Mario Balotelli is available after recovering from a virus.

Manager Roberto Mancini, who has been pictured grappling with Balotelli
in a training-ground bust-up, has said the 22-year-old could be on the
bench but forward Samir Nasri is suspended and Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure
and Abdul Razak are on international duty.

Defenders Aleksandar Kolarov and Maicon (both knee) are not yet ready to
return while right-back Micah Richards (knee) and midfielder Jack
Rodwell (hamstring) are longer-term casualties.

Water under the bridge: Despite being involved in a training ground bust-up on Thursday, Mario Balotelli is set to be included in the Manchester City squad

Water under the bridge: Despite being involved in a training ground bust-up on Thursday, Mario Balotelli is set to be included in the Manchester City squad

The Citizens and the Hornets have met twice before in the FA Cup; Watford progressed after two replays in 1986 while City won a fourth round game 4-1 at home back in 1997.

Manchester City have won 13 and lost just two of their last 19 FA Cup clashes with sides from the second tier of English football.

Matej Vydra has scored four goals in his last two starts for Watford in all competitions.

Yaya Toure has scored three goals in his last four FA Cup appearances, including the winner in 2011 FA Cup final.

Manchester City squad: Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany,
Nastasic, Clichy, Rekik, Milner, Sinclair, Barry, Garcia, Silva, Tevez,
Dzeko, Balotelli, Evans, Suarez.

Middlesbrough v Hastings Utd (Saturday, 3pm)
Hastings keeper Matt Armstrong-Ford, who has been struggling with a persistent knee problem, is a doubt for the FA Cup clash at Middlesbrough.

Player-manager, Sean Ray has turned his attention to bringing in Jak Alnwick on loan from Newcastle as a replacement.

Otherwise, Ray has no other fitness concerns heading into the game.

Hastings United are making their third appearance in the FA Cup third round but are yet to make it to the next stage; they lost 0-3 to Norwich in a replay in 1954 and 1-2 against Sheffield Wednesday in 1955.

Hastings have never kept a clean sheet against a league side in the FA Cup.

Middlesbrough have not lost to non-league opposition in the FA Cup since February 1912 when they were beaten by West Ham United. In that time, they have won 12 matches and drawn six.

Boro have won three and lost three of their last six home games in the FA Cup.

Millwall v Preston (Saturday, 3pm)
Milwall and Preston have met twice before in the FA Cup, but not since 1948. Preston won that third round tie 2-1 after the Lions had won in Round 2 in the 1903 competition.

The Lions have won their last 12 clashes against opponents from lower divisions, although the last two have gone to replays.

Preston have won three of their last four away games in the FA Cup.
Darius Henderson has struck four times in his last three FA Cup games for Millwall.

Nottingham Forest v Oldham (Saturday, 3pm)
Oldham won their one previous FA Cup clash with Forest 5-1 back in 1913, only in four different FA Cup games have the Latics scored more goals.

Nottingham Forest haven’t scored against Olham in any of their last five meetings in all competitions.

Oldham have won four and lost just one of their last six FA Cup matches.

Three of Forest’s last five FA Cup ties have gone to replays, winning one and losing one of the other two.

Oxford Utd v Sheff Utd (Saturday, 3pm)
Oxford United and Sheffield United are meeting for the second successive FA Cup competition; last season, the Blades won 3-0 on home soil in Round 1.

Oxford have won just one of their last seven FA Cup clashes against teams from higher divisions (W1 D1 L5).

Sheffield United have won their last six games in the FA Cup when the higher ranked team.

The Blades have kept just one clean sheet in their last 15 FA Cup matches.

Back between the sticks: Declan Rudd is poised to make just his second Norwich appearance this season

Back between the sticks: Declan Rudd is poised to make just his second Norwich appearance this season

Peterborough v Norwich (Saturday, 3pm)
Declan Rudd is set to get his chance in goal as Norwich manager Chris Hughton prepares to ring the changes in the FA Cup third-round tie with Peterborough.

Norwich are without injured strikers Grant Holt (hamstring) and Steve Morison (thigh), plus defender Steven Whittaker (hip).

Midfielder Andrew Surman (knee) is back training but unlikely to feature, while Jonny Howson has recovered from a knock suffered against West Ham.

Elliott Ward, Simon Lappin and Jacob Butterfield have all returned from loan spells.

These sides have only met in the League Cup in 1986, when the Canaries advanced in a tight two-legged tie.

Posh have won two and lost four of their last eight FA Cup games.
The Canaries have kept just one clean sheet in their last 18 FA Cup games.

Norwich squad:
Rudd, R Martin, Bassong, Barnett, Garrido, Howson, Snodgrass, Johnson, E
Bennett, Kane, Bunn, Turner, Jackson, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Fox,
Tierney, Tettey, R Bennett, Ward, Lappin, Smith, Butterfield, Steer.

QPR v West Brom (Saturday, 3pm)
QPR striker DJ Campbell has returned from his loan spell at Ipswich and will feature in tomorrow's FA Cup tie against West Brom.

Midfielder Samba Diakite has departed for African Nations Cup duty with Mali and forward Junior Hoilett is out with a hamstring problem.

Strikers Andrew Johnson (knee) and Bobby Zamora (hip) are sidelined with long-term injuries.

Rare sight: DJ Campbell has scored just one goal since joining QPR from Blackpool in the summer of 2011

Rare sight: DJ Campbell has scored just one goal since joining QPR from Blackpool in the summer of 2011

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke will
check on the fitness of five players ahead of the Loftus Road trip.

Clarke confirmed defenders Jonas Olsson (groin), Steven Reid (ankle) and
Goran Popov (hamstring) plus midfielder Claudio Yacob (hamstring) are
again ruled out.

But he said five other unnamed players were rated doubtful. Midfielder
Youssouf Mulumbu will play his final game before linking up with DR
Congo for the African Nations Cup.

QPR and West Brom have an even head-to-head in the FA Cup; the R’s won a semi-final clash in 1982 before the Baggies won a third round game a year later.

QPR have won none of their last 13 matches in the FA Cup third round (excluding replays) (W0 D8 L5).

When drawn against teams from the same division in the FA Cup, QPR have been eliminated on each of the last nine occasions.

West Brom have won six and lost just two of their last 11 away matches in the FA Cup.

QPR squad: Green, Cesar, Murphy,
Cerny, Onuoha, Hill, Nelsen, Ferdinand, Mbia, Park, Fabio, Traore,
Derry, Granero, Taarabt, Faurlin, Wright-Phillips, Ephraim, Mackie,
Cisse, Campbell.

West Brom squad: Foster, Myhill, Daniels, Jones, Jara Reyes, McAuley, Tamas, Dawson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Thorne, Brunt, Morrison, Gera, Odemwingie, Fortune, Long, Lukaku, Rosenberg, El Ghanassy.

Sheff Wed v MK Dons (Saturday, 3pm)
Both sides have found the net in all six previous clashes between Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons.

MK Dons have never beaten Sheffield Wednesday in all competitions (D4 L2).

Sheffield Wednesday have won their last five FA Cup matches against lower league opposition, scoring 15 goals along the way.

The Owls have reached the Fourth Round of the FA Cup in the last two years, after failing to get beyond the Third Round at any time from 2002-2010.

Southampton v Chelsea (Saturday, 3pm)
Adam Lallana will again miss out when Southampton face Chelsea in the FA Cup tomorrow.

The Saints captain is unavailable for the third-round tie with a knee injury, although right-back Nathaniel Clyne could feature at St Mary's after a knee complaint of his own.

Gaston Ramirez is available to feature despite sustaining a dead leg against Arsenal on New Year's Day.

Zambia international Emmanuel Mayuka leaves for the African Nations Cup after the game.

Three of the four previous FA Cup clashes between the Saints and the Blues have gone to a replay, with Southampton winning all four ties including a Round 3 victory in 1981.

Southampton have lost 14 of their last 18 FA Cup matches against sides in the top flight.

Juan Mata scored four and assisted four goals for Chelsea in the FA Cup last year (from seven appearances).

Frank Lampard has been involved in nine goals (scored five, assisted four) in his last eight FA Cup appearances for Chelsea.

Southampton squad: K Davis, Gazzaniga,
Boruc, Richardson, Stephens, Clyne, Fox, Shaw, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Fonte,
Reeves, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Cork, Chaplow, De Ridder, Ramirez,
Schneiderlin, S Davis, Puncheon, Lee, Lambert, Rodriguez, Mayuka.

Southend v Brentford (Saturday, 3pm)
The one previous FA Cup clash between the Shrimpers and the Bees came back in 1929, when Southend won a first round game 1-0 on home soil.

Southend have already eliminated Brentford from the JP Trophy this season; winning 2-1 on December 4th 2012.

Five of Southend’s last seven FA Cup ties have gone to a replay.
Brentford have conceded just two goals in their last three FA Cup games away from home.

Long time coming: Benoit Assou-Ekotto hasn't featured for Tottenham since the start of September

Long time coming: Benoit Assou-Ekotto hasn't featured for Tottenham since the start of September

Tottenham v Coventry (Saturday, 3pm)
Left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto has
overcome his knee injury and looks set to make his first Tottenham
appearance in four months tomorrow against Coventry in the FA Cup.

Midfielder Scott Parker is likely to
make his first start of the season and goalkeeper Brad Friedel could
play as manager Andre Villas-Boas looks to rotate his squad following a
tiring festive period.

Winger Gareth Bale is available
following his one-match suspension but defender William Gallas (calf) is
unlikely to feature and Younes Kaboul is out until mid-to-late February
with his knee problem.

This will only be the second FA Cup meeting between Tottenham and Coventry since the famous 1987 Final, when Gary Mabbutt’s own goal earned the Sky Blues a dramatic extra-time win.

Spurs have won both of the other FA Cup ties between these sides, winning 3-1 in 1981 and 2-0 in 2002.

Coventry City have lost eight and won just two of their 13 clashes with top flight sides in the FA Cup.

Jermain Defoe has scored five times in his last six starts in the FA Cup.

Tottenham squad: Lloris, Friedel, Gomes,
Walker, Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Caulker, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto,
Lennon, Sigurdsson, Falque, Townsend, Livermore, Carroll, Mason,
Huddlestone, Parker, Sandro, Dembele, Bale, Defoe, Adebayor.

Wigan v Bournemouth (Saturday, 3pm)
Bournemouth have
little to worry about on the injury front ahead of their trip to Wigan.

The only real selection
dilemma for boss Eddie Howe is which goalkeeper he will select.

Former Peterborough keeper Shwan Jalal played in their victories over
Dagenham and Carlisle in the earlier rounds, but has played second
fiddle to the Cherries' current number one David James in the League.

The one previous FA Cup game between Wigan and Bournemouth was at this stage of the 1986 competition and ended 3-0 to the Latics.

Bournemouth have qualified for the fourth round on three of the last four occasions that they have reached this stage of the competition. However, this is their first appearance in the Third Round since 2005.

Wigan haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last six games against lower league opposition in the FA Cup.

Matt Tubbs has scored five goals in his last three FA Cup appearances.

West Ham v Man Utd (Saturday, 5.15pm – live on ITV1)
Sam Allardyce could be tempted to start Joe Cole for
tomorrow's FA Cup third-round tie against Manchester United at Upton
Park after the midfielder rejoined West Ham from Liverpool on a free transfer on Friday.

Captain Kevin
Nolan and defender James Collins are back from a one-match suspension.

Defender Joey O'Brien is a doubt with a hamstring problem while striker Andy Carroll (knee) and midfielder Mohamed Diame (hamstring) continue their rehabilitation.

Running riot: Ruud van Nistelrooy scores Manchester United's fifth goal in a 6-0 win over West Ham when the sides last met in the FA Cup 10 years ago

Running riot: Ruud van Nistelrooy scores Manchester United's fifth goal in a 6-0 win over West Ham when the sides last met in the FA Cup 10 years ago

Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic are set to bolster Manchester United's defence.

Jones has missed three games with a minor injury while Vidic was rested for the New Year's Day trip to Wigan.

Wayne Rooney (knee) has been ruled out for a further two weeks while Nani (hamstring) will not be considered despite returning to training this morning.

This will be the eighth FA Cup tie between West Ham United and Manchester United, who met in the 1964 semi-finals. West Ham lead the head-to-head 4-3.

The last FA Cup clash between these sides in 2003, however, saw the Red Devils win 6-0 at Old Trafford.

West Ham have won eight and lost just two of their last 13 home games in the FA Cup.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have won four of their last six matches in the FA Cup when away to fellow Premier League teams.

West Ham squad:
Jaaskelainen, Demel, O'Brien, O'Neil, Reid, Tomkins, Vaz Te, Maiga,
Noble, Jarvis, Spence, Joe Cole, Taylor, Collison, Carlton Cole, Lletget, Diarra, Spiegel,
Lee.

Manchester United squad: Lindegaard, De Gea,
Jones, Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evans, Buttner, Evra, Cleverley,
Giggs, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Kagawa, Young, Hernandez, Welbeck,
Van Persie.

Swansea v Arsenal (Sunday, 1.30pm – live on ESPN)
Arsenal reported no fresh injury problems ahead of Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie at Swansea.

Reserve goalkeeper Vito Mannone has been struggling with a virus, as has midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong, back from his loan spell at Charlton.

Midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) and defender Andre Santos (stomach muscle) are back in training, but not yet match fit.

This will be the fourth FA Cup tie between Swansea and Arsenal, but the first since 1968.

Swansea won the first meeting between the sides in 1926 but have since lost the last two.

The Jacks have won their last two Premier League matches against Arsenal, 2-0 at the Emirates in December and 3-2 at the Liberty Stadium last January.

In 19 previous FA Cup ties with teams from the same division, Swansea have progressed just four times and on neither occasion in the last three years.

Arsenal haven’t failed to make the Fourth Round of the FA Cup since 1996.

Arsenal Squad: Szczesny, Gibbs,
Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna, Podolski, Cazorla, Wilshere,
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta, Walcott, Mannone, Giroud, Ramsey, Gervinho,
Koscielny, Rosicky, Coquelin, Martinez, Arshavin, Jenkinson.

Mansfield v Liverpool (Sunday, 4pm – live on ESPN)
This is only the second time Liverpool and Mansfield have been drawn together in any competition; Liverpool eliminated Mansfield from the 1970/71 League Cup in the other.

Liverpool last faced non-league opposition in this tournament in 2008, when the Reds were forced to come from behind twice in a 5-2 defeat of Havant & Waterlooville.

The Stags have lost just one game in their last 12 in all competitions, winning five and drawing six.

In Daniel Sturridge’s last seven starts in the FA Cup for Chelsea, the forward bagged himself seven goals.

The future: Young Everton prospect, Ross Barkley may be given a chance to impress at Cheltenham

The future: Young Everton prospect, Ross Barkley may be given a chance to impress at Cheltenham

Cheltenham v Everton
(Monday, 7.45pm – live on ESPN)
Everton manager David Moyes will try to
freshen up his side for Monday's FA Cup third-round tie at npower League
Two club Cheltenham.

Left-back Leighton Baines could be in line for a rest as Bryan Oviedo
may be given a run out while midfielders Thomas Hitzlsperger and Ross
Barkley may come into contention for a start.

Forward Kevin Mirallas and defender Seamus Coleman (both hamstring) are
still sidelined, as are Tony Hibbert (calf) and Darron Gibson (thigh).

This will be the first ever competitive meeting between Cheltenham and Everton.

Everton have won three and lost none of their last five FA Cup games on the road.

Cheltenham have progressed just once in their last eight draws against teams from higher divisions; and never against a top flight side (from three ties).

Only once since 1912 have Everton been eliminated by a team from the fourth tier or below. It was by Shrewsbury in 2003 at this stage of the competition.

Everton squad: Howard, Jagielka, Distin, Heitinga, Baines, Oviedo, Naismith, Hitzlsperger, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic, Mucha, Duffy, Barkley, Neville, Anichebe, Vellios, Francisco.

Samir Nasri red card: Manchester City will not appeal

Nasri will serve three-match ban after City decide not to appeal red card for losing his head

|

UPDATED:

15:37 GMT, 31 December 2012

Manchester City have confirmed they will not appeal Samir Nasri’s red card against Norwich.

Nasri was sent off in controversial circumstances for squaring up with his head to Norwich’s Sebastien Bassong in the 4-3 win at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Off: Samir Nasri (right) confronts Norwich City defender Sebastien Bassong

Off: Samir Nasri (right) confronts Norwich City defender Sebastien Bassong

City manager Roberto Mancini was angry at the decision at the time and said this morning that the club had not decided whether to appeal the card and the three-match ban that will come with it.

However, the club have now decided to accept the charge and Nasri will miss tomorrow’s game at home to Stoke, the weekend’s FA Cup tie with Watford and the game at Nasri’s old club Arsenal on January 13.

Early bath: Nasri will now miss City's three games in the league and FA Cup

Early bath: Nasri will now miss City's three games in the league and FA Cup

One of the dangers of appealing a sending off is that the FA can deem the appeal frivolous and add an extra game to the ban. City clearly decided they did not want to risk this.

London XI 2012: Chelsea dominate our team of the year but there"s ZERO Arsenal stars – Neil Ashton

London XI 2012: Chelsea dominate our team of the year with SEVEN players, but there's ZERO Arsenal stars… and can you guess which Championship tyro gets the nod

|

UPDATED:

11:46 GMT, 31 December 2012

Sportsmail's dream teams

Click below to read:

Jamie Redknapp's team of the season so far

Martin Keown's Arsenal/Spurs XI

Dominic King's Mersey stars of 2012

It's been something of a mixed year for London clubs. The last 12 months have seen Chelsea crowned FA Cup and European champions, but manager Roberto Di Matteo was ditched after a Premier League slump despite that unforgettable May night in Munich.

But the Blues' triumph was bad news for Tottenham, whose Champions League spot was snatched away despite breaking into the Premier League's top four. Meanwhile, West Ham have built on their promotion from the Championship and Fulham continue to enjoy life in the top flight.

But over at the Emirates Stadium, the trophy cabinet remained bare for yet another season. While Arsenal again finished in the top four, Arsene Wenger has come under increasing pressure amid a dip in performances and the loss of another top star, Robin van Persie, to Manchester United.

But whatever the fortunes of their respective clubs, here Sportsmail selects the standout performers from London clubs in 2012. Do you agree Let us know who would be in and out of your team by posting in the comments section below…

Goalkeeper:

Petr Cech

No contest. Saved a penalty in extra-time from former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben in the Champions League final and was the hero with two more in the shoot-out. Best keeper in town.

Petr to the rescue: Cech saves Arjen Robben's penalty in the Champions League final in May

Petr to the rescue: Cech saves Arjen Robben's penalty during the Champions League final in May

Branislav Ivanovic

Ashley Cole (left)

Right-back: Branislav Ivanovic

Tempted to give this to Kyle Walker
as an orthodox right back, but Ivanovic, a natural central defender, is
so tenacious he deserves his place. Next year, Kyle.

Left-back: Ashley Cole

Despite the uncertainty about his
future, he is guaranteed to produce week in, week out. Chelsea will miss
him next season – he’s still the best left-back in the world.

Centre-backs:

Steven Caulker

Given the runaround by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when Sweden played England in November, but he has been outstanding for AVB at Spurs. Young players need encouragement and AVB has provided it.

David Luiz

Just love this guy. Has an outgoing personality on and off the pitch and he’s not afraid to show it. Will develop into one of the best ball playing central defenders in the world under his next manager.

Steven Caulker (left)

Not your average centre-halves: Spurs youngster Steven Caulker (top left) and the gifted David Luiz (below)

David Luiz

Defensive midfield:

What a goal: Ramires sparked Chelsea's incredible Champions League triumph over Barcelona with this chip

What a goal: Ramires sparked Chelsea's incredible Champions League triumph over Barcelona with this chip

Ramires

Has adapted to the physical demands of
the Premier League and has emerged as a key part of Chelsea’s plans for
the long-term future. Just edges in ahead of Sandro and Dembele.

Frank Lampard

Lifted the European Cup as captain for
the first time in Chelsea’s history and fully deserved it after an
outstanding career at Stamford Bridge. One of the game’s great
statesmen.

Crowning glory: Frank Lampard capped his magnificent Chelsea career by lifting the European Cup

Crowning glory: Frank Lampard capped his magnificent Chelsea career by lifting the European Cup

Attacking midfield:

Wilfried Zaha

Any player who can make people wake up on a Saturday morning with childlike excitement at the thought of watching him play merits a place in any team. Have witnessed this kid’s development week in week out and he is some player.

Come and get him: Wilfried Zaha is ready to make the step up from Crystal Palace to a top club

Come and get him: Wilfried Zaha is ready to make the step up from Crystal Palace to a top club

Juan Mata

Will have to play on the right of the front three to accommodate Gareth Bale, but he is comfortable in any position. Chelsea’s player of the year last season, could easily win it this time too.

Gareth Bale

His thrilling runs down the left are becoming part of Tottenham folklore. Unfair reputation for being a diver – most of the time he’s protecting himself from the risk of serious injury. Sensible lad.

Juan Mata

Gareth Bale

Just you try and stop them: The outstanding Juan Mata (left) and Gareth Bale (right)

Striker: Jermain Defoe

His game has matured and is now
equally comfortable isolated up front on his own, or playing alongside
Emmanuel Adebayor. Has scored 10 in the Premier League for AVB and
there is plenty more to come.


Coming of age: Jermain Defoe has matured into a fine goalscorer no matter who he plays with up front

Coming of age: Jermain Defoe has matured into a fine goalscorer no matter who he plays with up front