Six teams out to cause an FA Cup shock this weekend
A batch of plucky minnows will be out to make a name for themselves this weekend in the FA Cup first round, which is always a highlight of the footballing calendar.
With valuable prize money up for grabs and plenty of personal pride to play for, the romance of the world’s oldest cup competition is still alive for the players hoping to steal the limelight.
It’s a weekend football fans look forward to every season as there are always plenty of banana-skin ties and shocks in the offing.
Several League One and Two clubs run the risk of an early exit this year – and here we’ve picked out six possible upsets complete with odds and some useful background information if you fancy backing an underdog.
Met Police (7/1 to beat Crawley Town at home)
A crowd of around 3,000 is expected to pack Met Police’s Imber Court ground for the visit of a Crawley side flying high in third in League One.
Met Police, who have three serving police officers in their playing staff, are currently unbeaten at home in the Ryman League Premier Division and manager Jim Cooper is relishing Saturday’s game.
Incidentally, Met Police’s last appearance in the FA Cup first round came back in 1993 when they faced Crawley, a fixture that the Red Devils won.
Slough Town (6/1 to win at Mansfield)
Slough head to Nottinghamshire bidding to extend a seven-game undefeated run in all competitions and to take advantage of Mansfield’s indifferent form.
Three wins from the last nine outings means the Stags are undoubtedly there for the taking, although Paul Cox’s side have not lost at home since the opening day of the season.
Bradford Park Avenue (7/1 to win away at Doncaster)
The Keepmoat Stadium will play host to a Yorkshire derby on Saturday afternoon when Bradford Park Avenue make the short journey down the A1.
Rovers are in form having won six of their last eight games in all competitions, but Avenue are also forging a promotion push of their own in the Conference North and have reached the first round for the second season running.
Arlesey Town (11/1 to defeat Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena)
The biggest game in Arlesey’s history sees them take on the 1987 FA Cup winners, who find themselves in the League One relegation zone.
The Blues, who ply their trade in the Southern League Premier Division, have already progressed through four rounds to reach this stage.
Former Norwich striker Zema Abbey (pictured) is the current player-manager at Arlesey and could feature in Saturday’s game.
Yate Town (11/1 to be victorious at Cheltenham)
Yate have already produced one shock to reach the first round after dumping out Conference Premier leaders Newport County.
A staggering 111 places separate the joint-lowest team in the competition and Cheltenham, who are third in League Two.
The statistics suggest a comfortable home win for the Robins, but this is the FA Cup and form counts for very little.
Boreham Wood (7/2 to beat Brentford at home)
A run of just two defeats all season means Boreham Wood are brimming with confidence ahead of the Brentford’s arrival at Meadow Park.
Striker Omer Riza (pictured) could be the player to watch for the Conference South side after netting five times this term.
The Bees are yet to win on their travels in League One this season and look set for a difficult afternoon in Hertfordshire.
Which of these six teams do you think could surprise a few people this weekend?