In FA Cup ties, West Ham actually have the upper hand over Manchester United having registered four victories to the Red Devils’ three across the pair’s eight meetings in the competition. However, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are expected to level matters at Upton Park, Ladbrokes installing them as odds-on favourites at 4/6 to prevail in their third round showdown.
The Hammers are 9/2 via BetVictor to secure safe passage to the next stage and the tie is 14/5 with Stan James to require a replay but the visitors should ultimately prove too strong in what should be an enthralling encounter.
In a clash that looks a banker at 4/6 courtesy of Stan James to produce three or more goals, the same firm offers 7/1 about Manchester United finishing on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline and a case can be made for an away victory by a one-goal margin at 3/1 via Ladbrokes.
Alternatively, BetVictor make the visitors 17/5 to shade it following a level first period, it’s a tasty 8/11 (bet365) for both teams to get on the scoresheet and bet365 also make Javier Hernandez 5/1 to follow up his brace at Wigan by bagging the opener in this one.
The lowest-placed team left in the tournament is Hastings but their cup run is set to come to an end at Middlesbrough where an upset is considered highly unlikely by Betfred at odds of 20/1. Boro’s strength at the Riverside should see them justify odds of 1/8 at bet365 and Tony Mowbray’s men are worth considering in Paddy Power’s handicaps at 11/10 when kicking off a couple of goals in arrears.
Another non-league outfit, Mansfield, go in search of a major shock as they welcome Liverpool to Field Mill but the Reds, at 1/4 courtesy of William Hill can coast to victory so BetVictor’s 13/2 marked against a 3-0 triumph could reap dividends for punters.
Everton try to avoid a banana skin in Monday’s game at Cheltenham, where Hills rate them at 4/11 to get through at the first attempt but the Robins can make life difficult for the Toffees and it might be worth a modest flutter on a success for David Moyes’ men by one (5/2, Skybet) at Whaddon Road.
Sunderland are one of the Premier League teams that looks the most vulnerable, their poor form lending appeal to a Bolton triumph at 9/5 (Coral) as the two square up at the Reebok Stadium. Similarly Peterborough look a touch big at 11/4 with Boylesports to account for stuttering Norwich.
Manchester City are just 1/6 with bet365 ahead of the home clash against Watford, Stan James rating Roberto Mancini’s men at 1/2 to be in front at the end of each half as the Italian boss locks horns with compatriot Gianfranco Zola.
Meanwhile, in a trio of all-Premier League fixtures, BetVictor make Swansea 12/5 to take their tie against Arsenal to a replay back at the Emirates Stadium, Paddy Power mark a safe-looking 7/10 against Chelsea as they head to Southampton and West Brom are 9/5 (BetVictor) to overcome a QPR team whose survival battle is the main priority.
Javier Hernandez to score first – 5/1 (bet365)
Double on Bolton and Peterborough – 17/2 (Coral)
West Brom to beat QPR – 9/5 (BetVictor)
Middlesbrough (-2) to beat Hastings – 11/10 (Paddy Power)