FOOTBALL BETTING: Live on ITV1: 13:30
Arsenal face a tricky FA Cup fourth round tie at Stoke at lunchtime then Man City travel to Scunthorpe at 4pm. Chris Hutcheon forecasts an away double.
Stoke City V Arsenal: Live ITV1: 13:30
Stoke City have never beaten Arsenal in the FA Cup, which means they must once more draw upon their famed tenacity if they’re to emerge victorious against the Gunners on Sunday.
The north London outfit are buzzing at present, having leapt to the top of the Premiership in midweek and it’s difficult to see them coming unstuck at the Britannia Stadium, regardless of whether Arsene Wenger opts to use some of his less experience squad members.
Nevertheless, the home side’s resilience can ensure that it’s a close encounter and a strong case can be made for 888Sport’s 13/5 chalked against a Gunners triumph by a one-goal margin.
Stoke’s power meanwhile, allied with the threat posed by Rory Delap’s huge throw-in suggest that they can trouble Arsenal sufficiently enough to find the net (8/15, Partybets) and this lends appeal to the 10/11 posted by William Hill against both ‘keepers being beaten.
In turn, this could point punters towards Ladbrokes’ 7/1 for a 2-1 away win, especially as the clash looks set to produce three or more goals (evens, Betfred) and contributing to that tally could be in-form Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who is chalked up by Totesport at 15/2 to open the scoring and can also be backed at 21/10 with Victor Chandler to notch at any point.
Scunthorpe United V Man City: Live ITV1: 16:00
Manchester City already have one eye on Wembley having beaten rivals Manchester United in the first leg of the pair’s Carling Cup semi-final on Tuesday and so it’s perhaps not surprising that they are Paddy Power’s 2/5 favourites to make further progress in the FA Cup, as they visit Scunthorpe United.
The hosts are 15/2 with Betdaq to manage something their Manchester namesakes couldn’t and beat Roberto Mancini’s men in what would be a sizeable upset while the Iron are also available at 19/5 (William Hill) to force a replay; but it’s hard to see past a buoyant City; who ran out 5-1 winners when the pair met at Eastlands earlier this season in the League Cup.
A repeat of that scoreline is a tad ambitious at 50/1 with 888Sport, especially as the contest takes place at Glanford Park, but a 2-0 success, rated by Ladbrokes at 6/1 is certainly within the realms of possibility, although the cautious may prefer Partybets’ less specific 7/5 for Mancini’s charges to prevail without conceding.
Man of the moment Carlos Tevez meanwhile, is 7/2 (Betfred) to make yet more headlines, by giving City a 1-0 lead against their Championship opponents.