Dec 5, 853 days ago

FA Cup Second Round preview

FA Cup Second Round preview

With the Premier League giants entering the Cup draw after this weekend’s ties, the FA Cup second round gives plenty of minnows the chance of ending up drawn against one of the game’s greats. This weekend the likes of Warrington Town, Blyth Spartans, Worcester City and Telford United have the chance to book their place in the third round draw and, perhaps, a trip to Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool.

The FA Cup always throws up some surprise results and so there’s plenty of value in this weekend’s fixtures. Keep reading for our FA Cup second round preview.

Round One giantkillers looking for a repeat performance

After their giantkilling heroics in the first round, Conference North side Worcester City have another chance to take a League scalp this weekend when they travel to Scunthorpe United.

Worcester took 3,220 travelling fans to the Ricoh Arena in round one where they upset 1987 Cup winners Coventry City 2-1. Now, over 2,000 fans will head to Glanford Park for the tie against the League One strugglers.

“Given the support we had at Coventry, I’m not surprised we’ve sold out our allocation,” City boss Carl Heeley told BBC Sport. “The fans were incredible that day. They gave us such a tremendous lift. But what does surprise me is just how quickly we’ve sold out for the Scunthorpe game. It’s a smaller, more compact ground and the atmosphere should be brilliant.”

Worcester are on an excellent run which has seen them climb to 8th in the Conference North after thirteen games unbeaten. They are 7/1 to cause another upset and, having won their last three matches 3-0, are 175/1 to make it four 3-0 wins in a row.

Another non-league side looking to claim a second major scalp are Maidstone United. A late Frannie Collin header gave them a 2-1 win over League Two side Stevenage in round one and the Isthmian Premier League outfit are just 90 minutes away from a potential tie against one of the Premier League big guns.

Maidstone won’t have the advantage of their 3G home pitch against Conference side Wrexham and are 7/2 to win.

The rest of the action

The weekend’s FA Cup action gets underway at Victoria Park where there is a North East derby between Hartlepool United and Blyth Spartans. Hartlepool sit rock bottom of the Football league with just 12 points and this could be an opportunity for the Northern Premier League side to cause an upset.

Spartans have recent FA Cup form. They reached the third round in 2008 only to narrowly lose to then Premiership side Blackburn Rovers and could well cause an upset at 11/2. Robbie Dale has scored in every round of the competition so far this season and is one to keep an eye on in the ‘first goalscorer’ market.

Mansfield Town have won just two of their last twelve matches and so the 10/11 on Cambridge United looks great value. Sheffield United should see off Plymouth at 8/13 while two divisions and 215 miles separates Bradford City and Dartford with the home side just 3/10 to prevail.

Warrington Town’s reward for a win over Exeter City in round one is a trip to Gateshead which guarantees a non-league side in round 3. “Newcastle’s a good night out, so I’ll be worried about my lads” said Warrington boss Shaun Reid ahead of Sunday’s match. Gateshead are 3/10 to win.

Cheltenham Town have won just three of their last 16 matches and it is this poor run that prompted the club to part company with boss Mark Yates, the third longest-serving manager in the Football League. Paul Buckle will hope his side recreate the form that saw them thrash Swindon 5-0 in the last round as they welcome Dover Athletic.

Chris Kinnear’s side knocked out Morecambe in the last round and are 10/3 to cause another upset.

Football Betting

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