On this page you find betting tips related to FA Cup.
January 27th, 2012 / Matt - Category:
FA Cup Tips
Derby County V Stoke City
Saturday, 28 January 2012 – 15:00 GMT
FA Cup Fourth-Round
Everyone has come to terms with the fact Stoke City are now an established Premier League club. There is more chance of them qualifying for Europe than getting relegated, as they shown last season when making it all the way to the FA Cup final whilst securing a satisfactory mid-table league finish. So at odds-against to dump out a team situated slap-bang in the middle of the Championship, we’d be mad not to include them in our weekend accumulators…
Possibly. However, it isn’t though they’re in scintillating form. Nor are they presented with the most straightforward of tasks. It’s just two wins from seven following last week’s surprise home defeat to West Brom, with those two triumphs during an otherwise dismal run coming against struggling Blackburn in the top flight and Gillingham of League Two in the FA Cup. We shouldn’t forget what’s on the horizon, either.
In three weeks time, on February 16, Stoke City welcome La Liga hot-shots Valencia to the Brittania for a Round of 32 Europa League tie. Now that is some distraction, even if there are numerous games to be contested before what is arguably the biggest match – certainly most glamorous – in the club’s recent history.
The Potters are also notoriously poor travellers, although they have improved to some degree this season. Just as well, as in the second half of last season – from January through to May (2011) – Stoke failed to record a single away win, losing seven of ten on the road. What’s more, or worse, is that they failed to even score on seven occasions. With all this mind, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that Tony Pulis’ Potters are the most toothless away outfit in the top flight with only eight scored from their eleven outings so far.
Their opponents are Derby County, a club who have faced just about everyone worth their since the turn of the century. They won’t be phased by Premier League opposition. Whether they can compete with them is another question altogether. On current form however, they just might. Their 0-0 stalemate away to Burnley last weekend put an end to their five-match winning streak, but it was yet another clean sheet for a Rams defence which has gone its previous four games without conceding; they’ve shipped one goal in 9 hours of football, and just two in their last five matches at Pride Park, of which all five were in victory.
There is definitely potential for an upset here, especially if Tony Pulis rotates his squad – and I suspect he might. Stoke’s league form has gone worryingly array over Christmas and arresting that slump, as well as preserving some for crucial upcoming games – like the one against Valencia in Europe – are just some of the reasons why Pulis could rest several. I do stress could, as he is one of a select few managers who shows virtually every competition the utmost respect.
Derby are whacking great odds of 5/2 with BetFred to spring a surprise by winning for the sixth consecutive home game. The draw, meanwhile, is 23/10 with Bet365. I consider both exceptional value, as while Derby are in terrific form – especially on their own patch, they do struggle in front of goal, this against Championship opposition, and so may find breaking down an intimidating Stoke rearguard a stiff ask.
Or, we could combine the two and go with Derby on the Double Chance. We’re a winner provided Stoke don’t win then. That’s 7/10 with StanJames. The same firm also offer odds of 10/1 on a goalless draw. Decent shout perhaps considering the point I made above.
Recommended Bet: Derby County Double Chance @ 7/10 StanJames
Value Bet: 0-0 Draw @ 10/1 StanJames
January 17th, 2012 / Matt - Category:
FA Cup Tips
Wolves V Birmingham
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 – 19:45 GMT (LIVE on ITV1)
FA Cup Third Round Replay
Despite the original tie failing to produce a single goal, ITV have boldly decided to persevere and are showing this FA Cup third round replay between Wolves and Birmingham live – and I reckon it could pay dividends second time around.
Both teams cancelled each other out at St Andrews eleven days ago, in what was a dour contest. Birmingham enjoyed the bulk of possession in front of their own supporters, whom could only half fill the stadium for what was/is a West Midlands derby, yet it was Wolves who carved out the better openings and had it not been for Sylvan Ebanks-Blakes’ wastefulness or the width of the post to deny Matt Jarvis, the Premier League side would be through already.
So what makes us think the replay will be any different? Well, for starters Wolves should take a firmer hold of proceedings back at Molineux. The pitch will also make a huge difference. The surface at St Andrews was not conducive for a lively game of football, with the usually simple task of stringing a few passes together made almost impossible on a bumpy pitch.
Goals are generally a given at Molineux as well; each of Wolves’ last seven league games at home have featured both teams scoring, while there hasn’t been a goalless draw here since Wanderers drew with Stoke in the Premier League back in April 2010.
We’ve established that there should at least be goals, but who will prosper? I can’t help but feel Birmingham’s best chance has passed them by with that goalless draw at St Andrews, on a terrible pitch which only they are accustomed to playing on. I expect Wolves’ Premier League pedigree to shine through on Wednesday, even though Mick McCarthy has hinted at changes.
Nobody likes to hear that dreaded word – ‘changes ‘ – but it isn’t necessarily alarming where Wolves are concerned. Mick McCarthy has a decent sized squad at his disposal, most of which could easily grade the Championship, and the strength of his squad was there for all to see earlier in the season during the Carling Cup. Wolves reached the Fourth Round before being dumped out 5-2 by Manchester City, but not before putting four past Northampton and five past Millwall with second string teams.
I’m expecting a little better than a second string Wolves starting XI, although McCarthy has hinted that top scorer Steven Fletcher will be rested. That isn’t much of a problem when you have fellow forwards Kevin Doyle and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake hungry to fill in. Both will feel they have a point or two to prove to the manager, but so does the team as a whole having gone eight without a win in all competitions.
Birmingham (29/10 to WIN the match with StanJames) will make the short trip to Molineux buoyed by their emphatic weekend victory over Millwall in the league, scoring six without reply away from home, which does bode well in terms of them at least registering a goal in the replay. However a long, arduous season brought about by their earlier commitments with the UEFA Europa League means this replay is a mere inconvenience for Chris Hughton, the Blues boss whose sole aim this season is to gain promotion back to the top flight.
A home win for me, in what should be a much improved contest than the one eleven days previous.
Wolves to WIN @ 11/10 BetVictor
Both Teams to Score @ 10/11 888Sport
January 6th, 2012 / Matt - Category:
FA Cup Tips
Newcastle United V Blackburn Rovers
Saturday, 7 January 2012 – 15:00 GMT
FA Cup, Third Round
I suspect most will be all over Newcastle this weekend as they prepare to host struggling Blackburn in the FA Cup on the back of their comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Manchester United in the league. However, while the Magpies should host this Third Round tie buoyed by their exploits against the reigning English champions, they do so without two of their most consistent performers this season.
Combative midfielder Cheick Tiote and goal-machine Demba Ba have both earned call-ups from their national teams for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea so will miss Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Blackburn, as well numerous other important clashes in the Premier League.
The absence of both is huge, colossal even, as they’ve arguably been Alan Pardew’s stand-out performers this season. Tiote is a monster in midfield, destroying opposing attacks with his strong, robust challenges, while he can play a bit, too. Ba on the other hand is probably irreplaceable. The Senegalese has 15 for the season, including his stunning strike in Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat of Manchester United at St James’ Park.
When you consider that Ba accounts for just over half of Newcastle’s total goals this season, (15 of 29), you can see just how big a loss he will be. However Tiote stops teams from playing, by destroying attacks whenever possible, and it is his absence which concerns me the most, as he is one the main reasons why Newcastle have conceded so few goals this season, and why his midfield partner, Yohan Cabaye, has looked so good.
Life without the aforementioned duo begins on Saturday, in the FA Cup, against a side who they’ve had mixed fortunes against this season. In the League Cup, at Ewood Park, they were beaten in the most dramatic of circumstances, by a last-gasp extra-time winner from Rovers defender Gael Givet in a 4-3 thriller, but in the league trounced Steve Kean’s men 3-1 at St James’.
The latter does not bode well for visiting Blackburn who, according to their under-fire manager, simply didn’t turn up that day. There have been too many no-shows from them this season, but not so many on the road, however.
Although two of their three league wins were earned at home, back at a volatile Ewood Park, Blackburn have only lost four away from home, which is four fewer than at home. They’ve also scored more goals, 16 in total, three of which coming in their sensational 3-2 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford – that result coming on the back of a hard-earned 1-1 draw at Anfield away to Liverpool.
Instead of building on their shock win at the Theatre of Dreams, Rovers typically went the other way, losing 2-1 at home to Stoke the very next game. Yet another no-show from Steve Kean’s side, although he will at least be encouraged by the return of some key figures. Martin Olsson, Gael Givet, Junior Hoilett – who is unquestionably their most creative player – and goalkeeper Paul Robinson are all back from injuries.
It sounds crazy to oppose Newcastle after their Monday night win over Man United, but that is eactly what I am doing. Blackburn are a lot better away from home and should sniff an upset here, against a Newcastle side beginning a precarious spell without two crucial figures who are integral cogs in their well-oiled machine.
A Blackburn win at 5/1 is huge considering they do have a decent record at St James’ Park; Rovers have won on five of their previous six visits to Tyneside to face Newcastle. They have, however, had a knack of squandering opportunities, as well as some seemingly insurmountable leads, so it could pay to go with the visitors on either the ‘Double Chance’ or ‘Draw No Bet’. The former is 10/3 with Bet365, the latter 11/8 with StanJames.
Recommended Bet: Blackburn Rovers ‘Draw No Bet’ @ 10/3 with Bet365
Final score: 2:1
January 6th, 2012 / Matt - Category:
FA Cup Tips
MK Dons V QPR
Saturday, 7 January 2012 – 15:00 GMT
FA Cup, Third Round
Stadium: MK welcomes Premiership opposition at the weekend, in the form of an ailing QPR whose form over Christmas was dire to say the very least. Neil Warnock’s men picked up just two points from their six December fixtures and, to top it all off, opened their accounts for 2012 with a home defeat to Norwich – their eleventh loss of the season, and their sixth in eight games.
Furthermore, Rangers are now set to be without midfield dynamo Joey Barton. The highly-strung 29-year-old had his appeal for wrongful dismissal rejected by the FA, for an attempted headbutt on Norwich’s Bradley Johnson, and will now serve a three-match domestic ban, which beings immediately with his side’s trip to the MK Dons in the Third Round of the FA Cup.
To be honest, the loss of Joey Barton isn’t massive. He hasn’t contributed for the Loftus Road outfit like many felt he would when he signed from Newcastle on a free transfer in the summer. But his presence alone may have put the frighteners on MK Dons, who are going great guns at the moment and will now take a lot of heart from the absence of the aforementioned.
MK sit prominently in League One, in fourth, having won seven and lost only once in nine league games. They’ve also notched a fair amount of goals during this run too, netting three on Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, away at Leyton Orient and Brentford respectively.
Meanwhile, at home, where they’ve been beaten just once all season (W6 D5 L1), Karl Robinson’s charges have averaged two goals per game. Only Charlton have plundered more goals in League One than the Dons (48 in 24 games), while Preston are the only side to have gone to the Stadium:MK and left with maximum points.
It could also be worth making a note of how MK Dons fared when they last pitted themselves against Premier League opposition? They went and put four past Norwich in a 4-0 whitewash at Carrow Road back in August, in the Second Round of the League Cup. Those same Canaries went and earned a 2-1 success at Loftus Road last Monday. Make of that what you will.
By no means an easy tie, this, for top flight Rangers. Their current form is woeful, but manager Neil Warnock posses far more quality in his ranks than his opposite number and that could prove decisive. Nevertheless, I reckon the lower league outfit will get the very best out of QPR, who will need to be just that on Saturday, at their very best, if they’re to avoid a replay, or worse; elimination!
Recommended Bet: Both Teams to Score @ 7/10 with bWin
Final score: 1:1
January 6th, 2012 / Matt - Category:
FA Cup Tips
Dagenham & Redbridge V Millwall
Saturday, 7 January 2012 – 13:00 GMT
FA Cup, Third Round
No fewer than 48 positions separate Dagenham in League Two from Millwall of the Championship – but will the apparent gulf show at Victoria Road? If the match goes according to recent form, probably not. As while The Daggers sit precariously above the relegation zone in the third tie of English Football, their form over the festive period trumps that of Millwall.
An impressive draw earned away promotion-chasing Southend on Monday maintained Dagenham’s eye-catching run, having now gone four unbeaten with two wins – both at home, against Barnet (3-0) and play-off occupants Gillingham (2-1) – and two draws, away at high-flyers Burton (1-1) and Southend (1-1). Therefore confidence should be at an all-time high, with John Still’s men having struggled for the most part this term down in the lower reaches of the division.
Contrastingly, Millwall are in the midst of a retched spell of form that has seen them win just two of their last ten matches – both of which were at home. Monday’s reverse at Bristol City was their second on the spin, and their third consecutive away from home. In fact, The Lions have lost an alarming number of games on their travels this season – nine in total, including a 5-0 loss to Wolves in the League Cup – and are fast approaching eight hours without an away goal.
Millwall are a shade of odds-on to make their superior status tell against Dagenham, but The Lions don’t pack the same roar on the road as they do at The Den and do look mighty exposed on paper.
A Dagenham win is 17/5 (VictorChandler), while the draw is available at 5/2 with several firms. I’m inclined to combine the both. PaddyPower go EVENS on Dagenham ‘Double Chance’, meaning we’re winners so long as Millwall continue their dismal away form and don’t prevail at Victoria Road.
Recommended Bet: Dagenham & Redbridge ‘Double Chance’ (So a home win or draw) @ EVENS with PaddyPower
Final score: 0:0
November 13th, 2011 / Matt - Category:
FA Cup Tips
Saturday’s FA Cup games did not serve me well with only Torquay doing me proud. The two games I boldly predicted goals in contained just one apiece while Barrow crumbled in the final ten minutes at home to Rotherham, this after having the lead for three-quarters of the match. The Gulls were impressive 3-1 win at Chesterfield and although their odds of 3/1 on victory isn’t to be sniffed at, landing one out of four picks makes for dire reading – this after a miserable session on Friday with the Euro 2012 play-offs.
Moving on to Sunday’s billing of FA Cup ties; Conference North side Halifax Town host League One high-flyers Charlton while three-time former winners Sheffield Wednesday go to Morecambe – and I don’t envisage any upset in either.
The Owls are arguably more susceptible; Morecambe sit fifth in League Two, after a solid start to the season, and go into the game unbeaten in five. However the Shrimps have won only won once at the Globe Arena in as many league and cup games, three of which were defeats, conceding eleven in the process.
As for Wednesday, a narrow 3-2 loss away at Carlisle in October remains their only defeat in nine matches; six of those were victories, while away from home they’ve notched two goals or more in four of their previous five.
Even though Morecambe haven’t exactly made the most of home comforts this season, the Globe Arena will be a sell-out and that should enhance their teams’ claims for a Second Round berth. They’ll also take heart from the fact Sheff Wed don’t keep many clean sheets, especially on the road, though their own leaky defence will have Gary Megson’s Owls swooping in for the kill.
The earlier game sees Charlton go to The Shay to face a club rising from the flames in Halifax Town. The Shaymen went under as recently as 2008, with the club crippled by debts, so to even be involved at this stage of proceedings is a real achievement – though one does suspect their fairytale revival will end in tear on Sunday.
A Charlton slip-up would be a real turn up for the books considering how consistent they’ve been this season, and it would require a real lousy performance on their part. The Addicks are bossing matters in League One and have already put five-points between them and their nearest pursuer at the summit, losing just one of seventeen in the league, amassing a league-high 39 goals, 15 coming in their last four games – all of which were victories meaning Chris Powell’s men go into the game seeking a fifth straight win.
So, Charlton should justify strong favouritism, though at 4/9 there are better ways to spend your hard-earned cash. Wednesday should also oust Morecambe, though that one will be closer. The away double pays 2/1 with Ladbrokes, which isn’t great.
With regards to separate bets; goals, goals, goals at the Globe Arena as two teams with leaky back-lines commence batte, while a handsome victory could well be on the cards for Charlton provided they apply themselves correctly.
Charlton & Sheffield Wednesday both to WIN @ 2/1 Ladbrokes
Charlton/Charlton (HT/FT) @ 23/20 WilliamHill
Over 3.5 Goals (Morecambe V Sheff Wed) @ 13/8 PaddyPower
November 12th, 2011 / Matt - Category:
FA Cup Tips
The FA Cup begins in earnest this weekend, three months after the official kick-off. The two Sheffield clubs are arguably the biggest names on show in the first round, while there are 27 non-league sides still going strong, all dreaming of still being involved when the draw for the third round is announced – the stage of the competition when the Premier League’s elite enter the fray.
From the north-east of London, Redbridge, who ply their trade in the Isthmian Division One North – the 8th tier of English Football, are the lowest ranked team involved in the competition proper. But there was to be no dream tie, as they drew Oxford City.
Sheffield United (4) and Sheffield Wednesday (3) head the list of former winners, though no club involved in the opening round have appear in more finals than Preston. All three have recently dropped down from the Championship.
Preston host the current leaders of League Two, Southend, at Deepdale while Sheffield United entertain non-league opposition in the form of Oxford City. Wednesday, meanwhile, go to Morecombe for Sunday’s live ESPN encounter.
In terms of potential upsets, or as us FA Cup traditionalists like to call them: giant-killers, look no further than Alfreton (away to Carlisle), Basingstoke (away to Brentford), Corby Town (away to Bristol Rovers), Nantwich Town (away to MK Dons) and Stourbridge (away to Plymouth), with all having to defy sizeable odds if they’re to prolong their FA Cup adventure.
More like hunches. The first round has been a graveyard for many over the years, and there will almost certainly be a few who succumb to the little guys – which is why this competition is so revered.
Uwe Rosler’s Brentford haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders lately, with The Bees having won just once in the league in seven. Their opponents are Basingstoke, from the Conference South, and they have been winning matches of late – and scoring goals. Nevertheless, you’d expect the League Two side to triumph convincingly at Griffin Park, though the underdogs could embarrass them at the back. A potential inclusion in your Goals Galore coupon perhaps? (Both Teams to Score @ EVENS with SkyBet)
Could their be an upset on the cards at Holker Street, where Barrow from the Conference entertain League Two Rotherham? The Millers were outright league leaders at one point this season, however a drastic run of results has seen them plummet down the table at a frightening rate. They’ve won just one of their last eleven league and cup matches and are most definitely susceptible to a shock up against a Barrow side in confident form; the ‘Ziggers’ have lost only one of their previous five in all competitions, winning four on the spin before slumping to a 2-1 defeat away at Lincoln City last weekend. But they have won four on the spin at home, racking up precisely three goals in each of their last two. (Barrow to WIN @ 23/10 with VictorChandler)
Last season this would have been an all-League Two clash. Not now though, as Chesterfield and Torquay reconvene at the B2net Stadium. The Spireites have earned favouritism courtesy of their League One status, but Paul Sheridan’s men aren’t in the best of forms, winning one of their last seven matches, and continue to leak goals like a sieve. The latter predicament leaves them alarmingly exposed against any team who can actually defend, hence why Torquay come across as exceptional value: The Gulls head into the game buoyed by three straight wins in the league, scoring eight and conceding none, and are stellar odds to shut out the favourites. (Torquay to WIN @ 3/1 with 888Sport)
Following a bright opening, someone has seriously dimmed the lights on Hartlepool’s fading campaign. The ‘Monkey Hangers’ were shaping up as genuine play-off contenders in the early stages, after going their first nine matches unbeaten, but they’ve hit a brick wall ever since October burst into life: Mick Wadsworth’s team have won of seven since the beginning of October, conceding sixteen whilst managing a paltry five themselves. Their opponents, though, are in blistering form. Stevenage have won four of their previous five games in an unbeaten sequence that includes back-to-back away successes. They aren’t the best travellers though, so it could pay to back neither side triumphing at Victoria Park. (Draw @ 5/2 with SkyBet)
Luton would regularly make Premier League sweat in the FA Cup, but now their sole focus is returning to the Football League. Now languishing in the Conference, The Hatters play host to League Two Northampton at Kenwilworth Road who themselves, contrastingly, are scraping tooth and nail to maintain their Football League status. The Cobblers lie fourth from bottom in the league and are currently without a win in their last six. But while winning clearly isn’t their bag – they’ve netted seven in three games, scoring goals is and with Luton seeking to make the most of home advantage this could be another ideal Goals Galore pick. (Both Teams to Score @ 4/6 888Sport)
I wish you the very best of luck should you enter the betting minefield that is the FA Cup first round.
January 18th, 2011 / Matt - Category:
FA Cup Tips
Manchester City V Leicester City
Tuesday, 18th January – 19:45 (GMT) – LIVE on ESPN
At the start of the season, everyone waited with baited breath as to whom would become Man City’s No.1, as Joe Hart and Shay Given battled it out for goalkeeping supremacy at Eastlands. In the end, Mancini opted for form over experience, Joe Hart prevailing over his mentor following an impressive spell in the previous term at Birmingham City, and for the early part it Mancini’s switch of allegiance prove a smart move. However, lately the cracks have started to appear and now the 23-year old England international is under intense pressure to perform on Tuesday night, as City host Leicester in an FA Cup 3rd Round Replay which had it not been for the former Shrewsbury shot-stopper’s second-half howler back at Leicester’s Walkers Stadium, wouldn’t of been required to determine who sails through to the 4th Round.
Following City’s nervous win over Wolves at the weekend, where Mancini’s charges almost threw away a commanding 4-1 lead before eventually sealing a vital win with an ugly 4-3 scoreline, speculation has been growing surrounding Hart’s tenure a City’s primary goalkeeper. Shay Given has been waiting in the wings all season, the Republic of Ireland international being reduced to making just four appearances all season; none of those in a meaningful fixture either.
Hart has now shipped five goals in his last two starts, both against mediocre opposition, and despite Mancini failing to analyze the bigger picture, like how his defense has been so sub-standard of late, the Italian opted to publicly criticise his No.1′s lack of concentration. It was a bizarre move considering we didn’t think Hart put a foot wrong at the weekend, though in the long run it could prove beneficial as now the 23-year old knows he must raise his own level of performance in order to avoid relinquishing the gloves.
On the whole, I don’t think anyone would deny just how quality a keeper Joe Hart is. There have been moments this season where he has produced out-of-this-world saves, this in front of a defense which is regularly chopped and changed by Mancini. Micah Richards, Joeleon Lescott and Jerome Boateng are among those who are constantly in and out of the side, so to say there’s a lack of continuity at the back would be a massive understatement, and to say Joe Hart is vulnerable because of it is putting it lightly.
Nine days ago, when City paid Leicester a visit at their Walkers Stadium, Roberto Mancini watched on in horror as his side were out-fought and out-played for large periods. Though the Citizens would have won the tie outright had it not been for Hart’s blunder, the goal coming when City were in the ascendency, 2-1 up at the time. But, overall, it was a fair result as victory for City would have been criminal.
Leicester began that match at a blistering pace, Sol Bamba scoring on his debut very early on to put the Foxes into the lead. Although they weren’t in front for long, Sven-Goran Eriksson will have no doubt been immensely proud of the character and endeavour of his team in what was an incredibly difficult encounter.
However, while they deserved all the post-match praise for their courageous efforts, you cannot help but think that their window of opportunity has passed them by. Without the support and encouragement they received from the terraces, Leicester probably would have struggled. In fact, we know they would of, as their record on the road is abysmal. Nine defeats from fourteen away matches against Championship opposition this season is disconcerting for Sven, who realises he has a tough job on his hand transforming Leicester’s terrible away tendencies of giving the ball away and allowing themselves to be over-awed by their surroundings and intimidated by their hosts.
I wouldn’t say the City of Manchester Stadium is one of the more hostile venues we’ve seen in the Premiership, a treat for the eyes no doubt, though it has been the hub of so many of Man City’s tidier displays this season. An under-fire Joe Hart has kept seven shut-outs in twelve in the league this season, against sides of top-flight calibre. Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd are among those who have failed to score a single goal at Eastlands this season, so you can see the mountainous task ahead for Sven and his men, whom have failed to score in a third of their away encounters this season, those against Championship opposition.
Set-pieces were where Leicester continued to trouble City at the back, with the Citizens deprived of any organisation or communication. No-one had a clue who they were marking so Leicester continued to enjoy free attempts on goal. Lessons should have been learnt so we don’t expect the same errors to crop up on Tuesday, as Hart seek to show his worth by hopefully keeping his side of the bargain in ensuring the likes of Paul Gallagher and Yakubu do not breach the City goal.
Without home support, we suspect Leicester will struggle and before long, once City settle in and take a stranglehold on proceedings, the Foxes will soon enough find themselves out of their depth. I’m sure the several thousand Leicester supporters will beg to differ, while it is the FA Cup after all, home of giant-killings. Victory for Sven’s Leicester really would rate right up there with the biggest despite the two being separated by just one division, although 31 places in all.
Manchester City to WIN to NIL @ 2.35 Coral
Manchester City -1.5 (Asian handicap) @ 2.00 Bet365
Manchester City – 1.36 WilliamHill
Draw – 5.50 VictorChandler
Leicester City – 10.00 SkyBet
December 13th, 2010 / Matt - Category:
FA Cup Tips
Notts County V Bournemouth
Tuesday, 14th December – 19:45 (GMT)
Continuing the trend of same league clashes, Notts County and Bournemouth will do battle for a place in the Third Round of the FA Cup at County’s Meadow Lane, where the reward for the winner will be an exciting and possibly lucrative trip to Wearside to tackle the Premiership’s high-flyer’s Sunderland inside the spectacular Stadium of Light.
After gaining promotion into League One courtesy of clinching the 2009/2010 League Two title, Notts County took all that momentum into this season and began in encouraging fashion. By the end of September they already had four wins under their belts and were comfortably above the relegation zone, with survival very much the target for the club which once, just a couple of years ago in fact, held aspirations of a return to the Premier League. However, results soon started to take a turn for the worse and had it not been for their recent back-to-back successes over Swindon Town and MK Dons, the Magpies would find themselves languishing inside the drop zone ahead of a crucial Third Round FA Cup tie.
With the weather wreaking havoc with lower league fixtures, Notts County were delighted to hear that their weekend fixture with MK Dons would go ahead after spending the last fortnight training mainly inside and without a competitive match in sight. So the match itself came at the perfect time, ahead of Tuesday’s crunch clash with fellow promoter’s Bournemouth, as not only did they boost their fitness levels they also enhanced their position in the table with another, their second in succession, league victory. Manager Paul Ince is now hoping his side’s recent bout of league wins will be the catalyst for a strong run of form over a busy December month of league and cup fixtures.
Like County, Bournemouth, who finished second behind Notts County in last season’s League Two, made a stunning start to life in League One and were quickly showing us all that they weren’t willing to saviour their fifteen minutes of fame upped in grade. So much so that fans are even discussing the possibility of promotion, and so they should. Just five defeats in their first nineteen league matches, as well as eight impressive victories, is the form of a play-off contenders at the minimum.
However, and this is the biggest, fanciest but you’ll probably ever see, Bournemouth’s Dean Court has provided the foundations for their successful first half of the season, with results elsewhere proving less impressive and actually leading to a great deal of concern. Of their eight victories in the league this term, only one has come away from home and that was against relegation favourites Tranmere. But there have been promising signs that The Cherries are developing as travellers, with manager Eddie Hower having seen his players work tremendously hard on improving their away fortunes and the results have been promising. Their 2-2 draw away to Leyton Orient last month was their fourth successive away draw in the league and although some would see that as a negative rather than a positive, considering the Cherries are renowned for their away flaws and the fact two of the four stalemates were against two of the league’s leading players in Sheffield Wednesday and runaway leaders Brighton, we reckon it’s a run not to be sniffed at.
As far as this competition goes, Notts County made light work of their First Round assignment, despatching of Conference National side Gateshead with a 2-0 win at Meadow Lane, meanwhile Bournemouth were involved in a 5-3 thriller, which they won of course, as a Josh McQuoid hat-trick ensured Tranmere weren’t going to upset the odds.
Betting Assessment: As soon as this draw was made, goals was the first thing which sprung to my mind. The pair have already played out a thriller of a contest in League One this season, with Bournemouth the hosts then in an enthralling 3-3 draw at Dean Court. Both clashes last season, down in League Twon, produced at least three goals, and with the pair proving to be just as prolific in front of goal this season when upped in grade, with Bournemouth right up there with the highest scorers in the league, we reckon Tuesday’s contest at Meadow Lane could turn out to be another cracking encounter between two sides who just love to score goals.
Over 2.5 Goals – 1.91 WilliamHill
Over 3.5 Goals – 3.25 Bet365
Both Teams to Score – 1.80 StanJames
Notts County – 2.38 Bet365
Draw – 3.50 SkyBet
Bournemouth – 3.00 Coral
December 13th, 2010 / Matt - Category:
FA Cup Tips
Hartlepool United V Yeovil Town
Tuesday, 14th December – 19:45 (GMT)
A trip to Watford’s Vicarage Road will be the reward for the winner of Tuesday’s all-League One clash between Hartlepool United and Yeovil Town. However, while the majority of Second Round ties were completed over two weeks ago, this fixture has succumbed to the recent bout of adverse weather conditions on two separate occasions and those involved with both parties are now desperate to Tuesday’s meeting on ahead of a hectic festive period of domestic fixtures.
Three wins in their last four league matches has seen Hartlepool, who are always a prominent player in the League One relegation market, climb the table dramatically in recent weeks and put some invaluable breathing space between themselves and the dreaded relegation zone. Their latest scalps have both come on their travels, the most recent a very impressive 1-0 win over promotion contenders Bournemouth.
Meanwhile Yeovil Town are having a torrid first half to the season and after narrowly avoiding the drop last term, are well on course for a return back down to League Two courtesy of their drastic start to the campaign which has seen them pick up just four wins in eighteen league matches, with The Glovers unfortunately residing in 24th position, bottom of the League One table. Furthermore, Terry Skiverton, the Yeovil manager, hasn’t seen his side win a league fixture in nearly two months as Yeovil’s barren run in League One was stretched to eight games following their 0-0 draw away to Colchester, which was actually a decent result considering they had lost six of their previous seven in the league.
However, like all teams struggling to find their rhythm in the league, Yeovil have used the FA Cup as a haven, a welcome retreat from the everyday sorrows which has accompanied them throughout their 2010/2011 League One campaign. In the First Round The Glovers saw off the challenge of Conference National side Rushden & Diamonds, who have been performing well in their league campaign, whereas Hartlepool required a replay in order to finally end Vauxhall Motors’ dreams of a shock forage into the Third Round, the stage where so many dreams are made.
On form alone, Hartlepool should sail through this Second Round clash and book a date with Championship side Watford. However, as we tend to say in almost every FA Cup preview, the romance of the FA Cup cannot be underestimated and so Yeovil should not be overlooked. The Pools are enjoying a fantastic term to date, with even a bit of consistency creeping into their game, but, as every Hartlepool fan knows, euphoria doesn’t tend to last long at Victoria Park.
Betting Assessment: The form book would strongly suggest a Hartlepool victory, but we’re a firm believer that the underdogs in the FA Cup should never be discounted. In fairness, the two sides aren’t all that different, with Hartlepool still expected to be involved in a scrap for survival come the end of the season, but we can also understand why the bookmakers have priced Yeovil up as they have, with the Glovers arriving at Victoria Park on the back of a woeful run of results. However, there have been enough signs of promise lately to suggest they’re capable of making haste of their outsider price tag, pushing both MK Dons and Charlton Athletic close in recent away league encounters before eventually losing both matches 3-2, while the 0-0 draw they earned at Colchester on Saturday was a very impressive result in its own right.
Yeovil Town to WIN – 4.20 SkyBet
Dean Bowditch (Yeovil) to Score – 3.60 Coral
Disclaimer: With our FA Cup Second Round selections, we’re honest enough to say that we don’t have the world of confidence in our final picks. Because of this, we have tried to provide you with all the raw information needed in order for you to make your own honest assessment, with the Match Odds provided as well at the very bottom of the article. We wish you ll the best should you decide to have a bet on the matches in question; considering it’s the FA Cup, you may well need some.
Hartlepool United – 1.91 Bet365
Draw – 3.60 WilliamHill
Yeovil Town – 4.20 SkyBet