Bournemouth v Brighton

Bournemouth will be hosting Brighton the third round of fixtures of the English FA Cup at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday. The head-to-head between these two teams will most likely be a close encounter since they are only separated by a single point in the Premier League standings. Brighton is currently at the 13th spot in the table, while Bournemouth is at 12th. Neither side will be coming into this match in good form, with both coming out victorious just once in their previous six fixtures throughout the competition.

The visitors have a record of 25 points on the board, winning 7, drawing 5, and losing 9 fixtures throughout the competition. Brighton‘s current form seems to be improving since they remain undefeated in their previous three matches against West Ham, Everton, and even Arsenal.  However, even though both teams almost have similar stats in the Premier League table, Brighton has not yet recorded even one victory against Bournemouth in previous years. Aside from that, a home advantage can also play a big deciding factor on Saturday’s match.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth is currently have a record of 27 points in the Premier League standings. During the last matchday, Bournemouth was defeated by Manchester United in an away fixture. The Cherries were able to make their comeback when they won against Everton in a 1-0 home fixture. In terms of head-to-head matches against the visitors, Bournemouth failed to score against Brighton only twice and the last occurrence was still back in the 2007 season.

Both teams have high hopes in progressing into the later rounds, but there can only be one team who will come out victorious. With 1 win, 2 draws, and 3 losses from their previous six games, Brighton will be heading into Saturday’s FA Cup fixture as the favourites.

Derby v Southampton

Two teams will take on each other for their first match of the FA Cup this season. Southampton will be travelling to Derby County for their FA Cup battle on Saturday, just a few days following their goalless draw at Chelsea. Derby County are fighting for their promotion to the English top flight this season, while the visitors are struggling to survive in the Premier League. Neither teams will head into Saturday’s match in great form but Derby only lost once in their previous six matches which could be quite a challenge for Southampton.

The Rams are currently at the 6th spot in the championship table with a record of 12 wins, 7 draws, and 7 losses in 26 matches played, and they have been scoring at a pretty impressive rate. In their previous five matches in the championship, Derby won and was defeated once in each game. They were held to a 1-1 draw in a home fixture by Middlesbrough just recently.  Moreover, Derby was able to bag a tally of 3-0 against Southampton in a pre-season scrimmage over the summer, however; their last competitive encounter was still back in 2012 when both of these teams were in the race for the Championship.

On the other hand, Southampton is currently struggling in the English top flight this season. The Saints are at the 18th spot in the Premier League table, just two positions above the drop out zone and winning just three times in 21 matches played so far throughout the season.  Aside from that, Southampton has a record of having poor away fixtures in the league. However, considering some of the opponents they took on early in the season, they were much bigger compared to Derby County. Despite being at the bottom of the league table, it’s not unlikely for the Saints to come out successful in this match.

Chelsea v Nottingham Forest

Chelsea will be starting their FA Cup campaign when they host Nottingham Forest in the 3rd round fixtures of the competition on Saturday. Chelsea will most definitely be looking forward to move a step closer to retain the trophy they bagged against Manchester United last May. Nottingham Forest, meanwhile, will make the trip to Stamford Bridge after returning to their winning form following their 4-2 success against Leeds United on January 1.

Just recently, Chelsea completely controlled their match against Southampton before a combination of poor finishing, firm defending, and a brilliant goalkeeping from the Saints, ended their fixture in a goalless draw. This result was great for Southampton, but a frustrating one for Chelsea. However, the Blues are currently in the 4th place in the Premier League standings after recording a total of 44 points so far throughout the competition. Although they encountered losses this season, Chelsea really redefined themselves under Maurizio Sarri and has looked much more like their old dominating selves.

Moreover, the Blues have a 100% winning record against the visitors, whether at home or on the road. Nottingham Forest sit at the 7th position in the Championship League table, securing 39 points so far this campaign. They were also strongly tipped for promotion from the Championship during the start of this season. Aside from that, they already encountered success against some Premier League opponents this season, one of them is the 3-2 victory against Newcastle United in the 2nd round of the EFL Cup.

No team has recorded more draws in the Championship fixtures on the road this campaign than Nottingham Forest, which could give them a slight chance of winning this fixture. Although they had their fair share of lucks and misfortunes this season, it’s not entirely impossible that they could come out triumphant against the Blues.

By @EliaasMJ

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