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FA Cup Saturday preview: South Shields & Alvechurch aim for giant killings

The FA Cup first round continues on Saturday with 33 ties taking place and there is plenty of scope for giant-killing, with non-league clubs looking to get the better of their EFL opponents.

There are five sides from the seventh tier of English football aiming to make it through to round two, while there are also former winners and ex-Premier League clubs involved at this stage of the competition.

South Shields from the Northern Premier League will kick things off against third-tier Forest Green on Saturday lunchtime, but are we in for another magical day in the FA Cup?

Former winners lock horns in round one

WhatBolton v Barnsley
WhereUniversity of Bolton Stadium, Horwich
When14:00, Saturday 5th November
OddsBolton 11/10, Draw 12/5, Barnsley 13/5

At first glance, an all-League One clash between Bolton and Barnsley does not exactly get the FA Cup juices flowing, but this meeting will pit not only two ex-Premier League sides against each other, but also two former winners of this competition.

Bolton have actually lifted the FA Cup on four occasions, although not since 1958, while Barnsley's sole success came all the way back in 1912 when they beat West Brom in the final.

An extended run in this season's FA Cup may not be the priority for either side, as they are both aiming for promotion back to the Championship, but getting one over a divisional rival could set this up to be an entertaining encounter.

Hopefully it will be better than last month's league meeting between the two sides at the University of Bolton Stadium, which ended in a goalless draw - a repeat of that scoreline can be backed at 15/2.

Coalville head to The Valley

WhatCharlton v Coalville Town
WhereThe Valley, London
When15:00, Saturday 5th November
OddsCharlton 2/9, Draw 7/1, Coalville Town 9/1

Another former FA Cup winner in first round action on Saturday will be 1947 champions Charlton, who face a potential banana skin when they welcome seventh-tier Coalville Town to The Valley.

Coalville, of the Southern League Premier Division Central, have made it to the first round of the FA Cup for just the second time in their history after coming through four rounds of qualifying that culminated in them winning away at National League leaders Notts County.

That is a result that should make Charlton sit up and take notice of their semi-pro opponents, who currently sit in the playoff places of their division.

Charlton are ninth in League One, but have taken just a point from their previous two league fixtures, reason enough to give 9/1 Coalville hope of springing what could potentially be the surprise of the first round.

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Cheltenham host the lowest-ranked team left

WhatCheltenham v Alvechurch
WhereCompletely-Suzuki Stadium, Cheltenham
When15:00, Saturday 5th November
OddsCheltenham 2/9, Draw 6/1, Alvechurch 10/1

Alvechurch are the lowest-ranked team left in this season's FA Cup and they face a glamour away trip to League One Cheltenham.

Ian Long's part-timers play in the same division as the aforementioned Coalville, but unlike the Leicestershire outfit, Alvechurch are struggling and currently find themselves in the relegation zone.

The FA Cup has provided some much needed respite for the Church, who did reach the third round of the competition during the 1973/74 campaign, while they booked their place in round one this year with a victory over Worksop in the final round of qualifying.

Cheltenham are themselves teetering just above the relegation zone in League One, but they do have a strong home record, with 13 of their 18 points this season being picked up at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium. Wade Elliott's side should have enough at 2/9 to avoid a cup upset.

Chippenham could make home advantage count

What Chippenham Town v Lincoln City
Where Hardenhuish Park, Chippenham
When 15:00, Saturday 5th November
Odds Chippenham Town 9/2, Draw 3/1, Lincoln City 8/13

There is always extra scope for a giant-killing when a non-league side hosts an EFL rival and that is exactly the case with sixth-tier Chippenham set to welcome League One outfit Lincoln to Hardenhuish Park.

Chippenham are through to the FA Cup first round for only the fourth time and perhaps their focus has been on this tie over recent weeks, as they head into the fixture having lost their last three in the National League South.

Lincoln know all about cup upsets having famously reached the quarter-finals as a non-league club during the 2016/17 season, but the tables could be turned in this fixture, with Chippenham 9/2 to spring a surprise.

Other notable first round fixtures taking place on Saturday include seventh-tier Needham Market's trip to Burton Albion, National League South outfit Taunton's clash with MK Dons and the all non-league encounter involving sixth-tier Buxton and, from the division below that, Merthyr Town.

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