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FA Cup third round: Newcastle focus on top-four challenge after shock loss

Newcastle fell at the first hurdle in their bid for a first FA Cup triumph since 1955 as they were beaten 2-1 by League One Sheffield Wednesday.

The Magpies, who had lost just once this season in all competitions before Saturday's reverse at Hillsborough, will be disappointed with their third-round exit but they are still set for an exciting second half of the season under Eddie Howe.

WhatFA Cup 2022/23
WhereThe final is at Wembley Stadium, London
WhenThe final is on Saturday 3rd June
How to watchSelected matches live on BBC and ITV
OddsManchester City 3/1, Liverpool 6/1, Manchester United 6/1, Arsenal 7/1, Tottenham 8/1

Magpies have swift chance to bounce back 

Josh Windass's brace gave League One Sheffield Wednesday a famous 2-1 victory over high-flying Newcastle in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, leaving the Magpies to focus on their 2022/23 Premier League and EFL Cup campaigns.

Newcastle came into the cup tie at Hillsborough in fine form, keeping six consecutive clean sheets either side of the World Cup break, and manager Howe will expect a positive response to their cup exit.

His side suffered an even bigger shock in the FA Cup this time last year, losing 1-0 at home to 12/1 shots Cambridge United, but they kicked on impressively in the league, finishing 11th having still been in the relegation zone in February.

This season, of course, Newcastle's sights are set far higher. They held Premier League leaders Arsenal to a goalless draw in their last league fixture and are 50/1 To Win Outright with Manchester City 4/7, Arsenal 7/4 and Manchester United 25/1.

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A more realistic target is qualifying for next season's Champions League and Newcastle are 1/1 to finish in the top four. Manchester City and Arsenal are long odds-on to fill two of the top four spots so 1/2 Manchester United, 8/11 Liverpool and 11/4 Tottenham are expected to be the Magpies' direct rivals in that market.

And, despite their defeat to League One Wednesday, Newcastle's dream of lifting a first domestic trophy since 1955 is still alive this term. They are 13/2 third-favourites behind the two Manchester clubs to win the EFL Cup in which they host Leicester in Tuesday's quarter-final.

Newcastle are 13/20 to beat the 17/4 Foxes in 90 minutes as they bid to get their impressive campaign back on track after Saturday's cup upset.

Wounded Villans in need of a reaction

Newcastle's shock defeat at Hillsborough was not the biggest shock of the weekend, however, as Aston Villa went down at home to fourth-tier Stevenage.

In one of the most stunning FA Cup upsets in recent times, Stevenage bounced back from Morgan Sanson's opener to produce the most unlikely turnaround to strike in the 88th and 90th minute to prevail 2-1 at Villa Park.

This shock defeat for Villa comes off the back of a positive run of form under new boss Unai Emery, who has overseen wins over the likes of Manchester United and Spurs since taking charge in November.

In light of this upturn in form, Aston Villa are now 6/4 to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season, and are 10/11 to bounce back from their surprise loss to Stevenage by recording a victory over Leeds at Villa Park on Friday night.

Bournemouth desperate to snap losing streak

While Newcastle turn their attention to the top-four race in the Premier League, two more top-flight clubs knocked out of the FA Cup will be focusing on the scrap for survival at the bottom.

Bournemouth were beaten 4-2 at home by Championship title favourites Burnley in their FA Cup clash on Saturday and the Cherries are 2/5 to be relegated from the Premier League this season.

Gary O'Neil's side have resumed the season with five straight defeats in all competitions, failing to score in four of those games, and Nottingham Forest are another team struggling for goals this term.

Forest, 1/1 to be relegated, were thrashed 4-1 at second-tier Blackpool in the cup although Steve Cooper's men have shown far more defensive resilience in the league recently.

The Tricky Trees' only defeats in their last eight league matches came against leaders Arsenal and in-form Manchester United and they claimed a crucial 1-0 win at bottom club Southampton last time out.

Forest are 8/11 not to be relegated while Bournemouth can be backed at 7/4 in the same market.

Lampard's Toffees are in a sticky situation

Everton, Crystal Palace and Brentford were the losers in all-Premier League third-round ties against Manchester United, Southampton and West Ham and Frank Lampard's Toffees are in serious relegation trouble.

Having narrowly avoided the drop last season, Everton are 11/10 to be telegated and they have slipped into the bottom three after losing four of their last five league matches including a 4-1 home rout by Brighton last time out.

Wolves, who were unfortunate only to draw 2-2 at Liverpool in the FA Cup on Saturday, are also in the relegation zone but they have made a bright start under new manager Julen Lopetegui and are 25/1 to finish in the top half.

Promotion-chasing Wrexham buoyed by cup upset

Sheffield Wednesday were not the only giant-killers in Saturday's FA Cup ties as National League Wrexham pulled off a dramatic 4-3 win at Championship hosts Coventry.

Wrexham, who famously knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup in January 1992, raced into a 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes and were 4-1 up before the hour-mark against a Sky Blues side reduced to 10 men.

However, Coventry scored twice to set up a nervy final 15 minutes for the Welsh visitors, who held on to book their place in the fourth round while they are also aiming to return to the Football League next season.

Wrexham are second in the National League, five points behind Notts County but with two games in hand. They are 8/13 To Win Outright with County 5/4 and Chesterfield, who held in-form West Brom to a 3-3 draw in the cup on Saturday, 20/1.

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