Chelsea accounted for Manchester City’s hundred percent Premier League home record less than two weeks ago but Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who has engaged in a war of words with City counterpart Manuel Pellegrini, has still been keen to emphasise that the big-spending Eastlands oufit remain title favourites and he’ll no doubt insist his team are also outsiders as the teams prepare to renew hostilities in the FA Cup this weekend.
Bookies agree with him, Skybet making Man City 23/20 to gain revenge for their league reverse by eliminating Chelsea from the cup at the first attempt while bet365 post 12/5 against lightning striking twice at the Etihad Stadium and it’s 5/2 with Ladbrokes for the tie to require a replay.
The latter will undoubtedly attract cash given the fact that Mourinho’s tactics were spot on when the teams met earlier this month and BetVictor chalk the clash up at a potentially popular 7/2 to be a score draw. Nevertheless, as it’s a cup tie it could be a more open affair, which will play into the hands of the hosts and bet365 rate City at 3/1 to shade it by a one-goal margin.
Elsewhere, BetVictor price a 2-1 home triumph at 17/2, it’s 9/2 courtesy of Stan James for Pellegrini’s side to nick a tight encounter after a level first half and Alvaro Negredo, who has struck nine times in his last five domestic cup outings, is 13/8 (BetVictor) to find the net at any time.
Also locking horns soon after a Premier League battle are Arsenal and Liverpool. The Reds hammered the Gunners 5-1 on Saturday but as this cup battle takes place at the Emirates Stadium, bookies give Arsene Wenger’s troops the nod.
Ambitious punters can tackle Stan James’s 11/1, marked against a 2-2 scoreline, it’s 7/4 via Skybet for the fixture to produce four or more goals and in-form Liverpool front man Daniel Sturridge is a generous 6/1 (Paddy Power) to break the deadlock.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez comes face-to-face with former club Swansea in another all Premier League scrap on Sunday and his team are odds-on favourites to triumph at 13/20 (betway). The Toffees defeated the Welsh outfit 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium back in December, a result they’re 15/2 with Stan James to replicate on Sunday.
On Monday, Premier League Hull can pick up an away win at a huge-looking 5/2 (Stan James) as they visit Championship Brighton and in the remaining three match-ups, Winner.com quote Cardiff at 11/10 as they prepare to host Wigan, Sheffield Wednesday are also 11/10, this time with Skybet, ahead of their Hillsborough showdown with Charlton and the Owls’ neighbours Sheffield United are 9/4 (BetVictor) to continue their outstanding cup run at the expense of Nottingham Forest.
Man City to beat Chelsea by one – 3/1 (bet365)
Alvaro Negredo to score at any time – 13/8 (BetVictor)
Daniel Sturridge to score first – 6/1 (Paddy Power)
Double on Sheff Wed & Everton – 23/10 (Coral)
Hull to beat Brighton – 5/2 (Stan James)