I was going to look ahead to the start of Dancing On Ice this weekend, write up to the point when the news broke of Jim Davidson‘s arrest. The controversial comic was due to take his place in the Celebrity Big Brother house but I guess that’s not going to happen now. That’s a great pity, he would have had a whole new audience to offend and it might have spiced up an extremely tired-looking format. Outside of Frankie Dettori, he was about the only ‘celebrity’ I’d actually hear of as well. I’m sorry, I just can’t face going back to Joe Pasquale and Keith Chegwin making fools of themselves now so I’m going to take a quick look at the odds for this season’s FA Cup now that the big boys are involved.
I didn’t take a great deal of notice of the third round draw and my eyes were immediately drawn to the general 66/1 against West Ham United‘s name, until I realised they were playing Manchester United (7/1 with BetVictor). United are 8/1 with Ladbrokes to face Manchester City in the final, and the same firm offer 25/1 against a Liverpool/Everton final. But how can you bet on that with all the luck you’d need in the draw.
Only Everton and Portsmouth have managed to break the monopoly of the Premier League‘s supposed big clubs in recent years and the early value this year looks to lie with Tottenham Hotspur at the general 11/1. Andre Villas-Boas‘ side can mix it with the very best when at full-strength and have been in terrific form over the last couple of months. They have a good record in the FA Cup and their odds are certain to contract after the third round, in which they have a home tie against mid-table League 1 side Coventry City. I’d be a bit wary about the 15/2 with BetVictor and Coral on holders Chelsea. After a shock defeat at home to QPR, they face a tricky tie at improving Southampton (132/1 on Betfair) though it’s hard to knock the Blues’ recent record in the competition. Arsenal are a general 11/1 to end their long wait for a trophy at Wembley in May while you’d imagine Stoke City (50/1 with BetVictor) would be hoping for home draws all the way through to the semi-finals. They are no certainties to get past Championship high-fliers Crystal Palace (250/1 with Betfred and BetVictor) however.