The helpless of the FA Cup look for their moment in the sun
London, January 3 (AFP) Manchester City headlines begin their FA Cup campaign on Saturday with their tie at home in the third round against Port Vale, fourth level.
The striking clash of the round, where all matches start a minute late to highlight a mental health campaign, is Sunday's Merseyside derby as the fugitive Premier League leader, Liverpool, Everton, who has shown a remarkable improvement since that Carlo Ancelotti took over.
However, dreamers who cling to the idea of 'cup romance' will have hopes of giant murder feats from those below and here AFP Sport chooses three games to justify the label:
Sheffield United (Premier League) v Fylde (National League) - Sunday (1401GMT kick-off)
The team that does not belong to the league has a great task of traveling to face the Blades that are being released again in the upper level.
The 'Coasters' have defeated other teams that do not belong to the league, Nantwich and Kingstonian in the previous rounds to reach this stage of the competition for the first time, but this is a great step forward for the side in the relegation zone of the fifth level of English football. .
However, United lost to another team in the National League, Barnet, last season at the same stage. Several of the team, including defender Andy Taylor, will be familiar with the hosts who have played for them.
Taylor, who was a United regular in the Championship in 2009 but could not regain his place after 14 months with a serious injury, says they travel with the belief that they can achieve a great shock.
It is one that I remember with great affection, playing at that level in a great stadium. There is always an unease, so you never know, we will be safe, positive and give a good account of ourselves, said the 33-year.
Rochdale (League One) v Newcastle United (Premier League) - Saturday (1231GMT start)
Rochdale may be a humble 18 on the third level, but based on his recent FA Cup record compared to Newcastle, they can harbor genuine hopes of claiming an important scalp.
Rochdale reached the fourth round of the competition in four of the last six seasons, one more than Newcastle. The Magpies travel to Rochdale with their low morale after a 3-0 Leicester home coup, which was their fourth loss in five games.
Adding to manager Steve Bruce's problems is an injury crisis. Four players, including the captain and the most impressive artist of this period, Jonjo Shelvey left during the defeat of Leicester, bringing his total of injured personnel to 11.
Rochdale's young Irish manager, Brian Barry-Murphy, has been praised for his team's playing style and the victory over old activist Bruce could attract more high-profile clubs to the 41-year-old's qualities.
Bruce is pressured to ensure an increase in morale and a much-needed victory.
We had a bad week. We have to fix it and prepare for the FA Cup over the weekend, he said.
Gillingham (League One) v West Ham United (Premier League) - Sunday (18: 16GMT kick-off) The Gills are just three points from the play-off spots and have an impressive recent home run under seasoned Steve Evans - seven wins and a draw in their last eight games at Priestfield Stadium.
Giving the hosts an additional hope of an unease is that the Hammers have been defeated by the lower league opposition in cup competitions last season, the AFC Wimbledon humiliated them 4-2 in the FA Cup, and this period, losing 4-0 against Oxford United in the League Cup.
However, the London team enters the complicated draw in the back of a 4-0 beating against the Bournemouth Premier League teammates in David Moyes' first game in their second spell. Whoever reaches the top may depend on whether Moyes chooses a first-choice team or keeps them fresh for their next league game on Friday of the week at Sheffield United. (AFP) APA APA