Newcastle and Everton among five Premier League clubs who look ripe for an FA Cup giantkilling

The FA Cup third round always throws up the potential for shocks, and this year is no different, with Hull City and Cambridge United among those trying to claim a top-flight scalp.

The FA Cup has taken on a slightly different look this year, with many of the Premier League's bigger teams looking like they could really do with winning it.

That won't stop there being shocks, though, because it's the FA Cup and giantkilling is an integral part of the competition.

With that in mind, we take a look at the five Premier League clubs who appear most at risk of making the headlines for the wrong reasons on FA Cup third-round day.

Newcastle (Cambridge United H)

Allan Saint Maximin, Newcastle United vs Leeds United, Premier League

There is little doubt that there is more cause for optimism at Newcastle right now than there has been in quite some time.

Some decent results of late have seen them claw their way back to within striking distance of safety in the Premier League, and the January window should see them significantly strengthen their squad.

The Magpies have had to postpose their last two matches, though, and they are in danger of getting caught cold when they face Cambridge United at St James' Park.

Cambridge are having a solid season in League One and produced a 5-0 away win over Cheltenham a month ago, so they are no one's mugs.

If Newcastle's ranks are as depleted as they have claimed and Cambridge get some early encouragement, there is certainly the possibility of a shock here.

Everton (Hull A)

Dominic Calvert-Lewin looks on for Everton

Hull head into this one on the back of two straight defeats against Nottingham Forest and Blackpool, but before that they were riding a six-match unbeaten run that has turned around their season.

George Honeyman and Keane Lewis-Potter have been leading the charge for the Tigers and they will likely be fancying their chances of causing an FA Cup shock.

Just how great a shock it would actually be is up for debate, of course.

Everton have won just one of their last 12 games and lost eight of them. It's a run that has seen Rafael Benitez come under serious pressure from an understandably furious fanbase.

They have already lost to Championship opposition this season too, with QPR dumping them out of the League Cup in September.

We'll have to wait and see just how seriously Benitez takes the game with regards his team selection. Everton are one of those teams who could really do with delivering something in this competition, so he should be fielding something like his first-choice side.

Even if he does, though, it would take a brave man to back Everton to win any match right now given their form.

Norwich (Charlton A)

Teemu Pukki hides his face as Norwich struggle

Forget FA Cup surprises for a moment, because the biggest surprise of the season so far may well be that Norwich are somehow still in touch in the Premier League.

It is perhaps testament to how bad others have been that Norwich have lost their last five games without so much as scoring a goal yet remain within three points of safety.

Charlton, on the other hand, appear to be going in the right direction. Since Johnnie Jackson took over they have won nine of their 15 games and hauled themselves back into mid-table in League One as well as progressing in the EFL Trophy.

Their last two matches have been a disappointment, though, with them losing both 1-0 to promotion-chasing duo Plymouth and Wycombe.

That said, the mood is a confident one right now at The Valley and they will be relishing the opportunity to rub some salt in Norwich's recently inflicted wounds.

Southampton (Swansea A)

Che Adams looks to the sky

Southampton are one of those teams you struggle to figure out this season. They have won just four matches in the Premier League yet are comfortably clear of the relegation scrap.

They appear to have become the masters of doing just enough yet no more, and that's not written as any kind of criticism. There are plenty of teams below them in the Premier League who would like to be able to say the same.

That, though, does present a few problems in a match such as this one against Swansea.

The Swans are having a disappointing season in the Championship and are currently closer to the relegation zone than they are the play-offs.

However, they still have a decent smattering of quality in their squad and they will relish pitting themselves against Premier League opposition.

Their home form will be a worry given they are winless in three at the Liberty Stadium, but you still suspect Southampton will need to be somewhere near their best to win this one, and that's a gear they haven't found all that often this season.

Crystal Palace (Millwall A)

Jordan Ayew dejected for Crystal Palace

Things could get pretty tasty at The Den in this one, as south London rivals Millwall and Crystal Palace meet in the FA Cup for the first time in 37 years.

Palace will obviously go into the game as the big favourites given their Premier League status, but they are not in any kind of form right now.

They have lost five of their last eight Premier League games, although they have picked up wins against Everton and Norwich.

Patrick Vieira's squad is also depleted by Africa Cup of Nations call-ups, and they will have what is sure to be a fierce atmosphere with which to contend.

Millwall themselves are in patchy form but have a striker bang in form in Tom Bradshaw. The 29-year-old has scored in each of his last five matches, so if Palace are going to avoid a shock here they are likely going to be made to work very hard for it.

READ MORE: Manchester United, Liverpool, and three other clubs who need to win the 2022 FA Cup

Latest news