ESPN ANNOUNCES FA CUP THIRD ROUND TELEVISED MATCHES
ESPN to broadcast three live fixtures, as Merseyside clubs take on lower league opponents, and Arsenal travel to Swansea
2nd Round Replays: Mansfield Town v Lincoln City, Hastings United v Harrogate Town
ESPN will broadcast live and exclusive coverage of three games from the FA Cup Third Round as the nation’s biggest teams enter the knock-out competition. ESPN’s first Third round match will see Swansea v Arsenal on Sunday 6th January, followed by a line-up of two potential giantkillings: Lincoln or Mansfield v Liverpool on Sunday 6th January, followed by Cheltenham or Hereford v Everton featuring on ESPN on Monday 7th January.
ESPN’s first live game of the Third Round sees Swansea welcome Arsenal to the Liberty Stadium on Sunday 6th January, live from 1pm, just over a month after handing them a shock 2-0 home defeat in the Barclays Premier League. The Gunners have lifted the FA Cup 10 times, and four times in Arsene Wenger’s reign, but haven’t reached the final since 2005. Brian Laudrup’s Swans are currently riding higher in the league than Arsenal and will be looking to continue their impressive form over the north Londoners, having beaten them in two out of three meetings since their return to the top flight. This will be the sides’ first meeting in the FA Cup since 1968, a game which Arsenal won 1-0.
That is followed at 3.45pm with Liverpool facing the winners of the Second Round replay between Lincoln and Mansfield. The Conference National sides played out a 3-3 draw this past weekend and both will have extra motivation to win the replay with the prospect of a visit from the Premier League giants. Seven time winners Liverpool reached the final of last year’s competition, falling 2-1 to Chelsea, and Brendan Rodgers will be keen to add to the club’s illustrious history in his first season as manager.
The live and exclusive action closes out on Monday 7th January from 7pm when Everton, winners of the FA Cup in 1995, travel to face Cheltenham or Hereford as they also look to avoid a potential giantkilling. David Moyes’ men last reached the final in 2009, losing 2-1 to Chelsea, while they progressed to the semi-finals last season, losing a Merseyside derby at Wembley to Liverpool. Cheltenham, who currently sit in the automatic promotion places in League Two, made it to the Third Round of the tournament last season, where they lost to Spurs. Hereford are currently in the Conference National and have reached the Fourth Round as recently as 2010/11, knocking out Wycombe Wanderers in the Third Round.
Simon Potter, head of programming and production, ESPN, EMEA, said: “The Third Round of The FA Cup is one of the most highly anticipated weekends of the British football calendar and we’re delighted to be able to share that with our viewers. The draw has thrown up some outstanding fixtures that highlight how truly unique and diverse the FA Cup is. In one weekend, ESPN will bring fans some true David versus Goliath match-ups, as well as an all-Premier League clash with a recent history for shock results.”
2nd ROUND REPLAYS
ESPN also has added its two FA Cup 2nd Round Replays to its schedule on the 12th and 13th December.
Mansfield Town v Lincoln City
Wednesday 12th December, 7:30pm
Hastings United v Harrogate Town
Thursday 13th December, 7:30pm
FA CUP ON ESPN
ESPN will broadcast 25 live and exclusive FA Cup matches this season, from the First Round through to the Final, ensuring fans won’t miss any of the competition’s unique drama and storylines. As well as selected replays through the tournament, the sports media company will televise two matches in the first two rounds, three matches from the third to fifth rounds, two quarter-finals, one semi-final and the FA Cup Final.
ESPN.co.uk, ESPN’s news and information portal, will offer football fans in the UK online coverage of the FA Cup including special features. ESPNFC.com, ESPN’s new multi-platform, multi-language and multi-country global football brand, will provide live scores and match reports, plus access to a network of bloggers. Both sites will also offer video highlights of selected FA Cup matches. On mobile, fans can access all of the best content from ESPN.co.uk via the mobile web, and, from ESPNFC.com via a dedicated mobile app.
|FA Cup Third Round|
|Sunday 6th January|
|FA Cup Live – Third Round – Swansea City v Arsenal
Michu was the hero at the Emirates Stadium in December as his brace secured a surprise 2-0 victory over Arsene Wenger’s underperforming side. Could the distraction of the FA Cup be just what the doctor ordered for Arsenal?
FA Cup Live – Third Round – Lincoln City/Mansfield Town v Liverpool
The Blue Square Premier sides face a replay to determine who will host Liverpool in the third round. Following the arrival of Brendan Rodgers in the summer, Liverpool have started to climb the league table and show they are a match for anyone on their day. But will the Reds passing style suit the surfaces on offer from these conference teams?
|Monday 7th January|
|FA Cup Live – Third Round – Cheltenham Town/Hereford United v Everton
Everton have made an impressive start to the season, but the luck of the draw saw them paired with a tricky away tie at either Cheltenham’s Whaddon Road or Hereford’s Edgar Street – depending on the outcome of their Second Round replay next week. Cheltenham are in a strong position in League Two while Hereford are struggling in the Blue Square conference.