Though bookmakers quote 50/1 bar the remaining five Premier League sides winning the FA Cup, nostalgic punters are assured there’ll be at least two non-top flight teams in the sixth round.
There could even be a non-league club, should Luton, priced at 3/1 (Coral) to win on Saturday, overhaul misfiring Millwall (evens, bet365). The pair last met in League One as recently as 2008, but they’ve headed in opposite directions since, yet with the Lions losing six of their last eight Championship matches, this tie is no foregone conclusion. Stan James offer Luton at 5/6 when handed a one goal start, while BetVictor.com post 13/1 about a 1-0 Hatters’ victory.
MK Dons’ duel with Barnsley ensures that another non-Premier League team is guaranteed a place in the last eight. Ladbrokes reckon it’ll be MK Dons, priced at 7/5 by the firm, despite losing each of their last three fixtures, conceding 8 goals in the process. Barnsley, meanwhile, kick off as BetVictor’s 23/10 underdogs, even though they’re unbeaten in seven (six of which have been won), and at 8/1 (bet365) to win 1-0.
Arsenal and Blackburn produced 15 goals in their two league matches last season, a statistic which adds appeal to William Hill’s 2/5 for Saturday’s tie to yield more than 2.5 goals. Could there be an upset? Well, Rovers have lost only once since Boxing Day and the Gunners can be frustratingly inconsistent, but Skybet’s 3/1 for Arsene Wenger’s men to enjoy a two goal margin of victory looks about right.
On paper, Everton should waltz into the fifth round, comfortably beating Oldham, but then, isn’t that what everyone said when Athletic took on a complacent-looking Liverpool a few weeks ago?
Oldham start as underdogs (17/2, BetVictor.com) having lost four of their last five league matches. By contrast, Everton’s 2-0 defeat at Manchester United was only their second reverse in 16 matches, hence their 4/11 (Stan James) price to win. Skybet price the Blues at 15/2 to win 2-1, but at 12/5 (bet365) to win when given a one goal start, Oldham look decent value.
Sunday sees the delayed replay between Chelsea and Brentford take place at Stamford Bridge. Anything other than a comprehensive victory for Rafa Benitez’s men would be a major shock and few punters anticipate Chelsea’s Spanish interim manager having to explain how his team lost afterwards. Indeed, Paddy Power’s even money for Chelsea to win when kicking off with an artificial two-goal deficit has attracted steady support. Stan James quote another 90 minute draw at 7/1, but frankly, that looks like a wager for only the most committed Brentford supporter.
Leeds beat Manchester City 5-2 when the pair last met in the FA Cup 13 years ago, but they’re 17/1 (Betvictor) to repeat that success on Sunday; even the draw is offered at 6/1 by Coral. Yet Leeds saw off Spurs in the last round and Manchester City’s collection of highly-paid players clearly didn’t enjoy the way in which Southampton tore into them last Saturday en route to a comfortable 3-1 victory. Leeds will have taken note and punters anticipating a ‘shock’ can get 19/1 (BetVictor.com) about it finishing 1-1, while Paddy Power offer an enormous 50/1 against Leeds winning 1-0.
Following their unexpected win over Leicester on Tuesday night, Huddersfield welcome Wigan to their Galpharm Stadium for what promises to be a compelling FA Cup tie.
Huddersfield have drawn 6 of their last 11 Championship fixtures, but have proved much more decisive in the Cup, yet they kick off priced as bet365’s 11/4 outsiders. Wigan, by contrast, cross the Pennines rated as 6/5 favourites by Skybet, while Stan James chalk 13/5 against the draw.
The first goal could be crucial – Town are 11/8 (Betvictor) to notch it, while Ladbrokes offer 4/1 about the home side enjoying a one goal margin of victory. Coral post 6/1 about it finishing 1-1, while Paddy Power mark 7/1 against a 2-1 Wigan success.
Manchester United’s 1/4 odds (Stan James) reflect many things, not least the fact that they’ve lost only once in the league at Old Trafford this term. Reading, available at 12/1 to win with Ladbrokes, have recorded only one away victory in the Premier League and are likely to be more concerned about retaining their top flight status. Accordingly, bet365’s 9/1 for United to register a 3-1 win looks like one of the round’s best bets.
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Arsenal (2/7); Everton (4/11); Chelsea (1/6); Man City (1/5); Man Utd (1/4)
A £10 win accumulator on the five (all prices with Stan James) would, if successful, yield winnings of £20.70.