Football: Match-by-match guide to today's fa cup third-round matches

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Oldham v Chelsea

Semi-final: 1913, 90, 94 Cup best W: 1970, 97

Apps: 5 Wins: 3 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 5 Wins: 4

CHELSEA WELCOME back captain Dennis Wise from suspension for today's game at Oldham. Wise has missed the last three games following his sending- off against Everton but is available for selection in Gianluca Vialli's squad for the trip to Boundary Park. Chelsea will be without the suspended Dan Petrescu, Bernard Lambourde, who is suffering with a groin injury, and long-term injury victim Gustavo Poyet. The Uruguayan international will see a specialist on Monday about his ankle injury.

John McGinlay, meanwhile, believes Oldham's notoriously inhospitable climate could aid the Latics in a potential giant-killing act. "Half of Chelsea's side won't know where Oldham is," McGinlay said. "It's not the most welcoming of places when the wind is howling and it's freezing cold."

Oldham manager Andy Ritchie will be without Icelandic international Toddy Orlygsson with a knee injury. Paul Reid and Richard Graham look set to return for the Latics.

Plymouth v Derby

Semi-final: 1984 Cup best W: 1946

Apps: 4 Wins: 1 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 5 Wins: 2

THE Derby County manager Jim Smith's plans for today's FA Cup tie at Plymouth are in tatters with the Rams travelling to Home Park without eight members of their first-team squad. Defender Rory Delap has a torn knee ligament, while Stefan Schnoor, Tony Dorigo, Igor Stimac and Francesco Baiano are also out. Paulo Wanchope and Darryl Powell are both serving a one-match ban and striker Malcolm Christie is cup-tied, but Deon Burton is back after a month's loan with Barnsley and could find himself thrust straight back into the team.The 20-year-old defender Danny Porter has been added to the senior squad for the first time.

Argyle should welcome back midfielder Ronnie Mauge from suspension for the tie as long as he overcomes a back injury. Striker Sean McCarthy (knee) and central defender Mick Heathcote (back) also hope to be fit, but full- back Paul Gibbs is still out with a knee problem.

QPR v Huddersfield

Final: 1982 Cup best W: 1922

Apps: 5 Wins: 3 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 3 Wins: 2

QUEEN'S PARK RANGERS have won only one of their four FA Cup encounters with today's opponents. The London side triumphed 2-1 in Yorkshire in a third-round replay two seasons ago after drawing 1-1 at the first attempt. Huddersfield won the three previous encounters, in 1931-32, 1948-49 and 1983-84.

Today Rangers have two major injury problems. Rob Steiner has an ankle injury, while Mike Sheron is struggling with a hamstring strain. Gavin Peacock could step into the midfield, while Steve Slade and Chris Kiwomya are also on stand-by. Goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko steps straight into the side after completing his pounds 50,000 move from West Ham.

Huddersfield have Chris Beech cup-tied. His fellow midfielder, Lee Richardson, has an ankle injury, while defender Jon Dyson has an Achilles problem. Flu has sidelined strikers Ian Lawson and Delroy Facey and midfielder Simon Baldry.

Rotherham v Bristol R

5th rnd: 1953, 68 Cup best 6th rnd: 1951, 58

Apps: 1 Wins: 0 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 2 Wins: 0

BRISTOL ROVERS player-manager Ian Holloway will decide this morning whether to play with a broken nose. If he rules himself out ex-Chelsea defender David Lee could move forward to play alongside Jamie Shore, who has completed his comeback from a serious knee injury. Fit-again Steve Foster will partner youngster Mike Trought in central defence if Lee switches to midfield. Rob Trees is recalled, but captain Andy Tillson and Marcus Andreasson are still out with long-term injuries.

Rotherham are without striker Rob Scott, who is facing a long lay-off after dislocating a shoulder, and Paul Raven, who is ineligible. Paul Dillon or Neil Richardson could return.

The two teams have never met in the FA Cup, but Rovers have won only twice in 24 league visits to Rotherham.

Rushden & Diamonds v Leeds

1st rnd replay: 1996-97 Cup best W: 1972

Apps: 0 Wins: 0 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 5 Wins: 5

THE LEEDS manager, David O'Leary, faces a selection headache in defence, with captain Lucas Radebe, Martin Hiden, Gary Kelly, Robert Molenaar and David Wetherall all doubtful for the trip to face Rushden & Diamonds at Nene Park today. "There wasn't much in it when Stevenage played Newcastle last season," O'Leary said, "and it'll be the same this time."

One man who will know the task Rushden face is their manager Brian Talbot. Talbot and O'Leary were room-mates the night before the pair won the 1979 FA Cup with Arsenal, 3-2 against Manchester United. Defender Ray Warburton and striker Darren Collins are unavailable through injury, while newcomers Miquel de Souza and American goalkeeper Ian Feuer are both eligible.

Sheffield Utd v Notts Co

W: 1899, 1902, 15, 25 Cup best W: 1894

Apps: 5 Wins: 2 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 4 Wins: 1

FORMER CHELSEA and Everton midfielder Graham Stuart is poised to return for Sheffield United for today's visit of Notts County. Paul Devlin, up against his former club, and Marcelo are almost certain to keep their places up front. Player-manager Steve Bruce could make changes in midfield with Michael Twiss, who came off the bench to score the winner against Huddersfield on Monday, pushing for a start.

Midfielder Andy Hughes is likely to play for Notts County despite a head wound suffered in the game against Reading. Striker Kim Grant, on-loan from Millwall, is not eligible and will be replaced by either Justin Jackson or Tony Garcia. Striker Sean Farrell has not recovered from a torn calf muscle.

Southampton v Fulham

W: 1976 Cup best Final: 1975

Apps: 5 Wins: 2 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 2 Wins: 0

KEVIN KEEGAN, a former Southampton player, returns to The Dell as Fulham manager. With Fulham leading the Second Division and Southampton struggling in the Premiership, a shock could be on the cards.

Southampton will be without Matt Le Tissier, who has a calf strain, and Stuart Ripley, who has a virus. Mark Hughes is likely to replace him in midfield following a two-match ban. Carlton Palmer, Claus Lundekvam and Scott Hiley all face late fitness tests for minor injuries. David Howells, David Hirst and John Beresford all have long-term knee injuries while Francis Benali is not yet fit following a broken arm.

Fulham's Steve Finnan and John Salako have been suffering from flu and may not play, but Wayne Collins has recovered after an Achilles problem.

Southport v Leyton Orient

Quarter-final: 1931 Cup best Quarter-final: 1978

Apps: 0 Wins: 0 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 0 Wins: 0

PAUL FUTCHER, the 42-year-old Southport player-manager, aims to show if you are good enough you're young enough as he tries to help his non-Leaguers into round four of the FA Cup. They face Division Three club Leyton Orient at Haig Avenue, having dumped Mansfield out of the competition in the last round and with hopes high of pulling off another giant-killing.

But, despite his club's fine showing in the Cup, the former Luton and Manchester City defender admitted: "Getting back into the Football League is our priority. Halifax have shown it can be done and look at Macclesfield, who are now in the Second Division. Who'd have thought that three or four years ago?"

Orient centre-back Stuart Hicks is available after serving a suspension but is set to miss out with a back injury. Matty Lockwood has shaken off a knock and should feature while striker Carl Griffiths also returns. But fellow forward Steve Watts is cup-tied, having already played for Fisher Athletic.

Swindon v Barnsley

Semi-final: 1910, 12 Cup best W: 1912

Apps: 5 Wins: 2 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 5 Wins: 3

SWINDON TOWN'S hopes of embarking on a good FA Cup run could be hampered by an injury to their leading scorer, Iffy Onuora. He is doubtful after sustaining an ankle injury in Monday's defeat at Bristol City. George Ndah stands by to replace him. Winger Ty Gooden could win a recall after recovering from a hamstring injury, but Scott Leitch serves the final game of a three-match ban.

Bruce Dyer, the Barnsley striker, is still struggling to overcome an abdominal problem and is almost certain to miss out, while youngster Mike Turner is cup-tied. The defender Chris Morgan is also sidelined for the trip to the County Ground as he has flu.

History would appear to offer Swindon little chance of success. The two sides have met three times in the Cup and Barnsley have won on each occasion: 4- 0 in a qualifying round in 1902-03; 1-0 in a semi-final replay in 1911- 12; and 2-0 in a first-round replay in 1922-23.

Tottenham v Watford

W: 1901, 21, 61, 62, 67, 81, 82, 91 Cup best Final: 1984

Apps: 5 Wins: 4 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 5 Wins: 2

STEFFEN IVERSEN returns to the Tottenham line-up today for the first time since suffering a fractured jaw against Liverpool on 5 December. He replaces Chris Armstrong, who is suspended for the visit of First Division Watford. There is still no return for the injured defensive duo, John Scales and Ramon Vega, but the long-term injured - Mauricio Taricco, Moussa Saib and Paolo Tramezzani - have all resumed training.

Graham Taylor, the Watford manager, has a near full-strength squad to choose from for the trip to White Hart Lane. Defender Nigel Gibbs and midfielder Clint Easton have been added to the team that drew 1-1 at Carrow Road against Norwich on Tuesday. Centre-half Dean Yates has a knee injury and striker Michel Ngonge has a strained groin, fitness problems which could well keep the pair sidelined.

Tranmere v Ipswich

5th rnd: 1968, 98 Cup best W: 1978

Apps: 5 Wins: 2 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 5 Wins: 3

IPSWICH TOWN will be hoping to repeat their 2-0 First Division victory in September as they prepare for only their second FA Cup meeting with Tranmere. The East Anglian team also won on the latter occasion, winning 2-1 at Prenton Park in the fourth round six years ago.

Bobby Petta, who missed Ipswich's 1-0 defeat at Wolves because of gastric flu, is recalled. Kieron Dyer (thigh) faces a late fitness test, while defender Adam Tanner is back in the squad after a knee injury. Samassi Abou has returned to West Ham after his month on loan, so David Johnson and Richard Naylor lead the attack.

Clint Hill, Alan Mahon, Andy Thompson and David Kelly face late fitness tests for Tranmere. Gary Jones, Dave Challinor and Scott Taylor all expect to be in contention after bouts of flu.

West Ham v Swansea

W: 1964, 75, 1980 Cup best Semi-final: 1926, 64

Apps: 5 Wins: 4 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 1 Wins: 1

RIO FERDINAND has a back problem and is doubtful for West Ham's game with visitors Swansea City today. Manager Harry Redknapp's other injury concerns are Chilean defender Javier Margas, who is returning home for rehabilitation work, Paul Kitson (toe) and Marc Keller (hamstring), but John Moncur and Eyal Berkovic have been passed fit. Neil Ruddock returns to bolster the defence having completed a three-match suspension.

Swansea manager John Hollins should have a near full-strength side. Talented midfielder Richie Appleby, who missed the recent win over Barnet because of an ankle injury, has declared himself fit, while Julian Alsop, Michael Howard and Stuart Roberts also look set to make an appearance at Upton Park.

Wimbledon v Man City

W: 1988 Cup best W: 1904, 34, 56, 69

Apps: 5 Wins: 5 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 5 Wins: 5

GARETH AINSWORTH'S injury lay-off looks set to stretch well into the New Year. The Wimbledon winger had hoped to be back in time for the home FA Cup tie with Manchester City today but that has proved a forlorn hope as his groin injury is not healing as expected. Carl Cort is set to lose out to Carl Leaburn for a striker's place despite grabbing an equaliser after replacing Leaburn at Leeds on Tuesday.

City, in the top flight not so long ago but now languishing in Division Two, will relish the chance to relive old times against a Premiership team. Andy Morrison has recovered from his bout of flu and could return at Selhurst Park. Michael Brown is set to keep his place in midfield, and top-scorer Shaun Goater, who has hit 11 goals this term, should start in attack.

Wrexham v Scunthorpe

6th rnd: 1974, 78 Cup best 5th rnd: 1958, 70

Apps: 4 Wins: 2 3rd rnd form (last 5 years) Apps: 2 Wins: 0

WREXHAM HAVE built a reputation for cup success in recent years, but on League form this season Scunthorpe must have a decent chance of upsetting the odds. While Wrexham languish near the foot of the Second Division, Scunthorpe occupy a play-off place in the Third.

Brian Flynn, the Wrexham manager, is likely to see the game as a welcome relief from his League problems, while his Scunthorpe counterpart, Brian Laws, is relishing the chance to test his side against opposition from a higher division.

Scunthorpe have only one doubt, with centre back Russ Wilcox facing a late fitness test on a foot injury. Scunthorpe's assistant manager, Mark Lillis, said: "Brian Flynn's teams always play football, which suits us, and we won't be looking at their League position."

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