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Which lower league clubs can pull off a fairytale win in the FA Cup?

by Josh Powell | January 4, 2013
IT DOESN'T RAIN IT POURS: Alan Pardew's men have lost nine of the last 11 and could be in a for an FA Cup shock

IT NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS: Alan Pardew could be in a for an FA Cup shock against Brighton

By Josh Powell | Sports writer

Everybody loves an underdog story and here at the Paddy Power Blog we are no different. Whether it’s the geeky kid trying it on with the most popular girl at school, Paul Merson trying to convince us that he is a master of the English language or a lower league side battering one of the Premier League clubs in the FA Cup, we’re well on board.

Here are three teams that have a realistic chance of causing a ‘cupset’ this weekend and why they might be worth a few bob.

Brighton v Newcastle, Saturday 12:30pm, Live on ITV1

Brighton and Hove Albion know exactly what it takes to put out a Premier League club and they know exactly what it takes to put out Newcastle. It is almost 12 months to the day that Gus Poyet’s side beat the Magpies 1-0 at the Falmer Stadium and they could do it again on Saturday.

The Seagulls are flirting with the play-off spots in the Championship and have only lost one of the last seven games at home. Newcastle on the other hand have lost nine of the last 11 league games, have sold Demba Ba to Chelsea and are without Danny Simpson, Hatem Ben Arfa, Stephen Taylor and Yohan Cabaye due to injury. You can expect Alan Pardew to ring the changes and Brighton could take advantage for the second year on the spin.

Poyet’s men are 7/4 to win Saturday’s match or you can back them at 11/10 to qualify for round four.

Wigan v Bournemouth, Saturday 3.00pm

Bournemouth are on fire in League One, going unbeaten in 16 games and taking a whopping 40 points in the process. They are the form team and will travel to Wigan full of confidence after going seven games on the road without loss. There may be 32 league places between the two sides but don’t let that put you off the team in the third tier of English football.

Wigan have lost four of the last five games and slipped into the relegation zone in the Premier League. Another season of survival is the expectation at the DW Stadium and with Fulham away and Sunderland at home coming up, this game probably isn’t a priority for Roberto Martinez. James McCarthy, Franco Di Santo, Maynor Figueroa and Arouna Kone have played a lot of league football already this year so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Wigan rotated their squad.

The Latics were dumped out of the cup by Swindon last year and this is another chance for a lower league club to upset the big boys. Bournemouth are 10/3 to win the game or 7/4 to qualify.

Peterborough v Norwich, Saturday 3.00pm

Plenty of people had Posh down as one of the teams to get relegated from the Championship this year but that might not stop them putting together a decent cup run. Peterborough have won four of the last five league games and have edged away from the relegation zone with some promising performances for Darren Ferguson.

Norwich have lost four league games on the bounce and are likely to be without strike duo Grant Holt and Steve Morison due to injury. Seven of the Canaries’ squad have started each of the last 11 games so Paul Lambert is likely to rotate his men to try to avoid any fatigue.

In front of a sell-out crowd at London Road Peterborough have every chance of causing an upset by winning the match at 13/5 or qualifying for round four at 7/4.

It is 42/1 that all three of these lower league teams do the improbable and win at the weekend and 15/1 that they all end up qualifying for the fourth round of the FA Cup.

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