FA Cup preview B-D

Image: Chris Hughton: Birmingham will get Saturday's action underway against Wolves

The FA Cup third round has thrown up some intriguing fixtures, with a West Midlands derby and a meeting between two recent winners among them.

Derby day at St Andrews; Swans tackle Tykes; Blues face Pompey

The FA Cup third round has thrown up some intriguing fixtures, with a West Midlands derby and a meeting between two recent winners among them. There will also be a capital tussle in Dagenham and the prospect of a giant-killing at the Memorial Stadium as fourth tier hopefuls face established top flight heavyweights. Birmingham and Wolves get Saturday's action under way in a lunchtime kick-off at St Andrew's, with local pride as a well as a place in the fourth round draw at stake. Swansea continue to earn plenty of plaudits for the manner in which they have gone about tackling their Premier League challenge this season, but they will be wary of getting caught up in the hype ahead of a trip to Barnsley. Bristol Rovers parted company with manager Paul Buckle on Monday and will be hoping a fresh start brings immediate rewards when they play host to Alex McLeish's Aston Villa. Dagenham & Redbridge will face local rivals Millwall in what promises to be a tasty encounter at Victoria Road.

Ambition

Coventry and Southampton sit at opposing ends of the Championship table, but there will no points on the line when they go head-to-head on Saturday. Derby and Crystal Palace harbour play-off ambitions this season, but those dreams will be put to one side when they do battle at Pride Park. Brighton face non-league opposition in the form of Wrexham, and the Seagulls will be desperate to avoid becoming the latest side to fall foul of the famous magic of the FA Cup. Crawley are absolutely flying in League Two and a home date with Championship strugglers Bristol City will hold no fear for them. Doncaster continue to languish inside the second tier drop zone, but will get the chance to put those problems to the back of their mind when they play host to Notts County. Sunday's action then pitches 2008 winners Portsmouth into action against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues having lifted the trophy in three of the last five years.

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