Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | FA Cup

Alex Ferguson © Action Images

Hammers await United as FA Cup begins



Having established a seven-point lead in the Premier League over the festive period, Manchester United turn their thoughts to the FA Cup on Saturday when they visit West Ham United in the third round.

Cup-winners a record 11 times, United have not lifted English football's oldest trophy since 2004 and have seen Chelsea dominate the competition in recent years, winning four of the last six tournaments.

West Ham eliminated United from the FA Cup with a stunning fourth-round win at Old Trafford in 2001, and the Hammers could have a survivor from that game on the pitch if Joe Cole's proposed move from Liverpool is completed in time.

United also went out in the fourth round last season, losing 2-1 at Liverpool.

Manager Alex Ferguson has promised to rotate his squad as he seeks to keep his players fresh for the challenges ahead.

"We'll make a few changes for the cup tie," he said after Tuesday's 4-0 win at Wigan Athletic.

"We've got fresh players, though. Young Shinji Kagawa came on against Wigan and Tom Cleverley is fresh as he's not had a lot of football."

United's match at West Ham is one of four all-Premier League ties, alongside West Bromwich Albion's trip to Queens Park Rangers, Arsenal's game at Swansea City, and holders Chelsea's match at Southampton.

Chelsea were stunned 1-0 by bottom club QPR in the Premier League on Wednesday and interim coach Rafael Benitez has admitted that his players are feeling the effects of the gruelling Christmas season.

"I thought they were doing well and I thought that would be fine, but maybe in odd areas we were tired," he said.

"You could see we didn't have the intensity and the pace on the pass and the movement that we were expecting."

Southampton, meanwhile, have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks after a difficult start to the season and avoided defeat for the third successive game by holding Arsenal to a 1-1 draw on New Year's Day.

Manchester City, United's nearest rivals in the league, host second-tier Watford, with the FA Cup one of only two trophies they can now win after elimination from the League Cup and the Champions League.

Mario Balotelli was in line to replace the injured Sergio Aguero at the tip of City's attack, but he may have jeopardised his chances of playing after being pictured in a furious training-ground row with manager Roberto Mancini.

With many of the competition's big names drawn against fellow top-flight sides, the chances of a major upset have been reduced, but seventh-tier Hastings United will hope to pull off a shock at Championship side Middlesbrough.

Romantics will also hope to see Mansfield Town earn a place in cup history when the team from the fifth-tier Conference National host last season's beaten finalists Liverpool on Sunday.

"I have never been to the third round of the cup and not many players get the opportunity to play against Liverpool, so this is extra-special," goalkeeper Alan Marriott told local newspaper the Mansfield Chad.

"We can go out and enjoy it without any pressure and the club should make some money out of it."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Barclays Premier League - Matchday 3: Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool
Tue, 02 Sep @ 05:00
Tue, 02 Sep @ 11:15

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
Where are Kenya's strikers?
I was watching the English Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea on Saturday night and...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Spurs will challenge for the title
It was in my room in Rustenburg, during the last Afcon, that I noticed the style that Mauricio...

John Dykes
United in condemnation
The British football press showed tremendous solidarity this week when they all leaped on the same...

Neil Tovey
Borrowing from best practice
The late Irish scribe and poet Oscar Wilde once famously opined that “youth is wasted on the...

Sunday Oliseh
Man U need more than an 'Angel'
Just two games into the English Premier League and Manchester United are five points (synonymous to...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Good signs for the Reds despite loss
A brace from Stevan Jovetic and a Sergio Aguero stunner ensured that Manchester City took all three...