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The Magic of the FA Cup
Magic of the FA Cup
The FA Cup 3rd Round draw always throws up some interesting encounters as the big boys from the Premier League are thrown together with lower league teams, and this year is no exception. Arguably the pick of the potential giant killings is the visit of Championship high-fliers and promotion favourites Leeds United to the Emirates to face managerless Arsenal.
This fixture will see the reunion of Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa and the young star he signed when he was in charge at French side Lille - Nicolas Pepe. The story, if you believe it, is that Bielsa scouted Pepe by watching every Ligue 1 game he played for former club Angers, before checking him out in the flesh and parting with a reputed €10m. This proved to be a wise investment for Lille, as they sold him on two years later to Arsenal for a club record fee of €79m. They weren’t together long at Lille, after Bielsa’s reign came to an abrupt end, but the young forward described the Argentine coach as “special”.
Pepe’s Arsenal career hasn’t been as impactful as the club would have expected given the size of the transfer fee, but perhaps the arrival of a new manager will give him the opportunity to flourish - and maybe he’ll come back to haunt his former coach in the FA Cup.
Elsewhere Chelsea welcome Nottingham Forest to Stamford Bridge. Forest are sitting in the play-off places in the Championship, and should provide a decent test for Frank Lampard’s young side.
Port Vale’s reward for an away win at fellow League 2 side Cheltenham Town is a 35-mile trip North to the Etihad to face Manchester City. Toppling one of Europe’s top sides is never an easy prospect for a side in the bottom tier of the English professional game, but that’s where the magic of the FA Cup comes into its own!
We’ve got a range of hospitality packages available for these three matches - visit www.circuithospitality.com or give us a call on 01454 201210 and we’ll talk you through the options.
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