Jan 23, 804 days ago

FA Cup Fourth Round preview

FA Cup Fourth Round preview

The FA Cup reaches the last 32 round this weekend and there are some terrific matches to look forward to. Several lower league clubs will fancy their chances of knocking out top flight opposition, not least Cambridge United who host 11-time Cup winners Manchester United.

Keep reading for a preview of all this weekend’s action.

Underdogs dream of giantkilling act

The weekend’s FA Cup action begins on Friday night with a real David and Goliath encounter at the Abbey Stadium. Cambridge United’s reward for beating fellow League Two side Luton Town in the third round was a plum clash with Premier League giants Manchester United.

Unsurprisingly the game is a sellout and Cambridge have a good recent record in knockout competitions. The Us won both the FA Trophy and the Conference play-off final at Wembley in 2014 and took Birmingham to extra time in the Capital One Cup earlier this season.

United will need to be professional to come away with a win and are just 2/9 to progress. If you fancy one of the big Cup upsets of recent years you can back Cambridge at 11/1.

I tipped Rochdale to see off higher league opposition in the third round and they duly obliged with a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest. Keith Hill’s side face Premier League opposition this Monday in the form of Stoke City and this is a potential banana skin for Mark Hughes’ side.

Rochdale sit fifth in League One and have won three matches in a row in all competitions. Whether they can up their game enough to trouble Stoke is another matter but there will be plenty tempted by the 4/1 available on the home side.

Brighton have improved in recent weeks under new boss Chris Hughton and the Seagulls can see how far they have come when they welcome Arsenal on Sunday. Brighton have lost just one in six matches under Hughton and were on a three match winning run before their defeat to Brentford last weekend.

Arsenal were excellent in their win over Manchester City last time out and the FA Cup holders are just 4/7 to win. You can back Brighton to cause an upset at 5/1.

If you’re looking for a potential giantkilling at decent odds then you could do worse than consider Bournemouth at Aston Villa. The Championship leaders have won their last five away matches in all competitions scoring 17 goals in the process and won’t be scared of facing a struggling Villa side.

Paul Lambert’s side have gone 8 hours and 42 minutes without scoring in the Premier League although they did manage a solitary strike to see off Blackpool in round three.  On form this should be a Bournemouth win and they look great value at 2/1.

Birmingham have been excellent under new boss Gary Rowett and are an attractive 13/5 to beat West Brom at St Andrews while Chelsea are just 1/8 to beat Bradford at Stamford Bridge.

Premier League outfits favourites to progress

There are plenty of mid-table Premier League teams dreaming of a decent cup run and perhaps emulating Hull City by reaching this year’s final.

The FA Cup final will take place on Steven Gerrard’s birthday and so there are plenty of incentives for Liverpool to have a good cup run. They face Bolton at Anfield this weekend and are 1/3 to reach round five. Tottenham should see off Leicester at 8/13 while Southampton can keep up their good run of form with a win over Crystal Palace at the same price.

Sunderland have won just one in 12 in the Premier League and could be susceptible to an upset at home to Fulham. Neither team are in great form although a home win could boost the Black Cats’ confidence. Kit Symons’ side look good value at 4/1, however.

Manchester City look a different side without Yaya Toure and there might be a few tempted by the 9/1 available on Championship contenders Middlesbrough to cause an upset on Saturday. Blackburn are 2/1 to knock out Premier League Swansea while League One leaders Bristol City are 3/1 to see off West Ham.

FA Cup Betting

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