Historically, Manchester United and Liverpool are two of the FA Cup’s most successful teams having lifted the famous old trophy a total 18 times between them, so when the pair were plucked in turn from the velvet bag around a month ago, few could dispute the Old Trafford showdown’s status as tie of the round.
Sunday’s mouth watering match-up is odds-on at 4/6 with Coral to go the way of the hosts, which is hardly surprising given the formidable, unbeaten home record of Sir Alex Ferguson’s men and the contrasting away fortunes of the visitors, William Hill’s 9/2 outsiders.
United have also won six out of their last seven home matches against Liverpool and even though both teams could make a few changes, the superior squad of the hosts means they have to be fancied to progress at the first attempt.
Roy Hodgson’s men have managed just six away goals in the Premiership and although two of those came against this weekend’s opponents, it would be no surprise to see United’s mean defence hold firm on this occasion to ensure the hosts prevail ‘to nil’ (6/4, Partybets). Subsequently, a decent case can be made for a 2-0 home success at 13/2 with Paddy Power, while a tally of fewer than 2.5 goals is also worth considering at 1.91 (10/11) courtesy of Betdaq.
Wayne Rooney grabbed his first goal of the campaign from open play at West Brom last weekend and will be well backed at 4/1 with Coral to break the deadlock but Javier Hernandez could be given a run out and is a marginally more attractive first-scorer proposition at 9/2 (Totesport).
Manchester City face former manager Sven Goran Eriksson as they head to Leicester and the Foxes’ strength at home could see them force a replay, a result Stan James offer at 11/4. However, City aren’t the only top flight team that could find the going tough against lower division opposition. Patchy Everton are 9/2 with bet365 to be eliminated at Scunthorpe, the same firm quote in-form Hull at 7/4 to get the better of what will probably be a weakened Wigan while Wolves and Birmingham are 3.0 (2/1) (Betdaq) and 9/5 (William Hill) respectively to go down at Doncaster and Millwall.
Arsenal’s youngsters should have no such trouble, they’re 1/4 with Ladbrokes to be too good for Leeds at the Emirates and there should be no slip-ups from Tottenham (1/4, Betfred), who host Charlton and 1/5 chances Chelsea, as they entertain Ipswich. That trio are available in a treble at around 5/6 with William Hill.
As far as the non-league sides are concerned, Conference high-flyers Crawley aren’t without a chance at 5/2 with Stan James as they tackle Championship outfit Derby, Paddy Power’s 12/5 marked against the draw perhaps the best bet in that tie but Dover’s run is 1.33 (1/3) (Betdaq) to come to an end at Huddersfield and York are unlikely to trouble Bolton, William Hill’s 2/9 favourites.
Man Utd to beat Liverpool ‘to nil’ – 6/4 (Partybets)
Scunthorpe to beat Everton – 9/2 (bet365)
Doncaster to beat Wolves – 3.0 (2/1) (Betdaq)
Treble on Chelsea/Tottenham and Arsenal – 5/6 (William Hill)