FA Cup Fifth Round Weekend Betting Preview
Some of the biggest sides in English football are out of the FA Cup already, including the holder’s Arsenal and attacking powerhouse Liverpool. There are only three months until the final at Wembley, and four more wins for the competition’s remaining sides to lift the trophy – replays depending, of course. It’s understandable for fans and players alike to start dreaming of cup glory, something which will likely show on the field this weekend.
The bookies’ favourites for the trophy remains Premier League leaders Manchester City, who can be found at 2/1 on most betting sites. They’re competing for a historical quadruple, something which certainly doesn’t seem unfeasible given their current form. There’ll be those that say they’ve been helped by the draw in this round, too. They face League One side Wigan in the final match of the round on Monday night.
Nevertheless, this might not prove as one-sided a tie as it may seem on paper. The Latics are high-flying in League One, currently sitting in second place and in one of the automatic promotion places. They may have lost their last two matches, but they’ll be ready to go against the Premier League giants – just like they were in the third round against Bournemouth and in the last round against West Ham. Both of those matches were at the DW Stadium, and they finished 5-0 on aggregate.
There’s also the fact that City have a Carabao Cup final to prepare for the weekend after, and with Pep Guardiola still on the hunt for his first trophy in England, he’ll be desperate for key players not to pick up knocks – especially after Leroy Sane was injured in the last round against Cardiff. A consequence of that could see a few changes being made.
On top of everything, history is even on the minnow’s side. They beat City in the 2013 Cup final thanks to a late headed winner from Ben Watson, and then knocked them out in the quarter-finals the following year. Can history repeat itself then?
It’s unlikely. But even City’s struggles against Bristol City in the Carabao Cup suggest that they can suffer from over-confidence. And unlikely isn’t always bad in the betting game, with odds for the home side snatching a replay found at tempting 7/1 odds with Bet365. It might be worth a punt considering all the previous factors, and after all, there’s certainly no value backing a City win.
Another potential giant-killing can be found at Spotland Stadium on Sunday night – the home of League One’s bottom side Rochdale. We say potential because 61 football league positions separate them from their opponents Tottenham Hotspurs – however we can’t envisage that potential being fulfilled.
We predicted Tottenham would struggle in their fourth-round away clash against Newport County, and that they did, needing a return trip to Wembley to get past the League Two side. This tie also has its complexities – namely one, the pitch. It was heavily sanded before their last round match with Millwall to ensure the game would go ahead due to heavy rainfall. Obviously that affects both set of players, but the home side holds a slight advantage in being more accustomed to it.
Mauricio Pochettino has already spoken out over his fears of injuries, and none of his players will be wanting to get a knock with a second leg Champions League tie against Juventus coming up. Some players won’t be risked by the Spurs manager, but he won’t allow such a sloppy start to the one that his players gave him against Newport.
Whilst we fully expect Spurs to have the quality to get past Newport, we’re not expecting the goals which the bookies seem to favour. This is the sort of tie in which they’d settle for a low-scoring victory – progress to the next round and return without injuries. They’re not going to push themselves to get more goals, and at most we think they’ll score two. For that reason, back under 2.5 goals at 17/10 with Bet Victor, or a Spurs win and under 2.5 goals at 13/5 with Coral.
Certainly not a giant-killing, but rather an upset could be in store in Yorkshire, as Huddersfield prepare to take on Manchester United. The Terriers have already recorded one historic victory over United in the Premier League this season, ending Jose Mourinho’s side unbeaten start with a 2-1 win. They’ve re-found their mojo in recent weeks, notching back-to-back 4-1 wins. United meanwhile struggled in defeat to Newcastle United last weekend, and look to be in their poorest patch of the season.
United have lost their last two away matches without scoring – they haven’t lost three away in a row without finding the net since 1981. We think they’ll score at the Kirklees Stadium, but the free-flowing home side are also likely to net. Both teams to score is a sensible option at 21/20 with William Hill, whilst a 1-1 draw is a tempting bet at 10/1 with Betfair.
We’re expecting wins for Premier League sides Chelsea and Leicester, so stick them on an acca to finish a fruitful weekend of betting. You can also find out how to bet for free on the Premier League’s action by heading to our free betting page or view our list of the best new betting sites.
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