FA Cup Betting Tips
Arsenal (3/1) spurned a fantastic opportunity a couple of weeks ago to end the club’s six-year trophy drought and this season’s FA Cup now looks their best opportunity to keep alive their silverware ambitions. In normal circumstances, a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United (5/6) is a mountain too high for Arsene Wenger’s side but with his opposite number keen to freshen up his team in the FA Cup with new talent, Wenger has been gifted a perfect opportunity to play his full-strength side and easily account for the current Premier League leaders.
Okay, that’s in an ideal world. In reality Wenger will once again roll out the deadwood of his squad, whom, this season, have struggled to cope with Leeds United, Huddersfield, Ipswich and Leyton Orient! United manager Alex Ferguson will do similar, but not to the extent of his counterpart, so back Manchester United to win the Half-Time/Full-Time market at 2/1.
Despite playing with a relatively full-strength side throughout the competition, Manchester City (3/10) have stuttered at times against weaker opposition. Their quarter-final showdown with Championship side Reading (8/1) could be another banana skin, considering the Royals made light work of their Premier League opponents Everton in the last round. Complacency is rife in football and no doubt thoughts of a trip to Wembley for the semi-finals is already in the minds of City players so for that reason alone I’m punting Reading at 8/1 to add another famous FA Cup upset to the history books.
Following their Carling Cup success over Arsenal, Birmingham (5/4) go into their quarter-final clash with Bolton (19/10) bidding for cup silverware double. The Blues are goal-shy at St. Andrews but their resolute defending will be enough to hold Bolton at bay. This match-up looks set to be a bore draw so take advantage of the 7/1 on offer for a 0-0 correct score. The remaining quarter-final taking place in the FA Cup sees Avram Grant’s West Ham (11/4) travel to the Britannia Stadium to take on Stoke City (10/11). The Hammers have been impressive throughout their cup run this season and with their league form also showing signs of improvement, Stoke look to have a real test on their hands. I’m weighing in heavily on an away victory!