FA Cup holders Arsenal accounted for Hull in the third round of the competition three weeks ago in a re-run of last year’s final and subsequently handed a trip to Championship Brighton at the next stage, the Gunners are 15/2 with betway to retain the trophy; odds that make them fourth favourites.
Bookies are confident that Arsene Wenger’s men will move a step closer to another trip to Wembley this weekend, BetVictor installing them as 4/7 favourites to eliminate the Seagulls at the first attempt while the hosts are bet365’s 5/1 outsiders to cause an upset and Stan James offer 3/1 about the tie requiring a replay.
The pair met at this stage in the tournament two years ago and on that day Arsenal ran out 3-2 winners, a result that’s 25/1 courtesy of Stan James on this occasion but Chris Hughton’s team aren’t exactly prolific in attack on their own patch, where they’d averaged less than a goal a game in the league at the time of writing so it’s hard to envisage them netting twice against a Gunners rearguard that has managed three consecutive clean sheets.
Indeed, Wenger’s charges are decent value at 7/4 with bet365 to prevail ‘to nil’ at the Amex Stadium, where BetVictor price them at 15/2 to notch twice without reply and at the other end Olivier Giroud, who struck twice in the pair’s last clash, is 10/3 (Skybet) to break the deadlock in this renewal.
Premier League leaders Chelsea are Stan James’s 9/2 favourites to clinch the FA Cup and Paddy Power quote Jose Mourinho’s troops at just 1/8 to advance this weekend, at the expense of League One Bradford. Fresh from an impressive 5-0 success at Swansea last time out, the Blues are 9/10 in Winner.com’s handicaps, when starting two goals adrift of the Bantams and it’s 3/1 at bet365 for Loic Remy to make the most of a probable start by opening the scoring.
Manchester City are also strongly fancied to get through, William Hill making them 1/4 to overcome Middlesbrough, although a better bet at Eastlands is betway’s evens for both teams to get on the scoresheet.
Punters seeking potential upsets should look no further than Villa Park, where Stan James make Championship leaders Bournemouth a generous 2/1 to conquer struggling Aston Villa and on Monday, the same firm go 9/2 about League One Rochdale stunning a Stoke side given an almighty scare by non-league Wrexham in the last round.
Elsewhere, BetVictor chalk West Ham up at an enticing even money to get the better of Bristol City and in the two, Liverpool (1/3, Paddy Power) should ease past Bolton and Winner.com offer 3/5 about Tottenham triumphing in their all-Premier League scrap with Leicester.
Bournemouth to beat Aston Villa – 2/1 (Stan James)
Loic Remy to score first – 3/1 (bet365)
Liverpool, West Ham and Tottenham treble – 10/3 (BetVictor)
Arsenal to beat Brighton ‘to nil’ – 7/4 (bet365)