FA Cup Preview – 25 January 2013

This entry was posted on Friday, January 25th, 2013

The Greatest Cup Competition in the World returns this weekend, with games stretching from Friday night until late Sunday afternoon – potentially longer if ballboys get their way. There are just two all Premier League ties, meaning the final sixteen will have anywhere between two and twelve top flight sides – although we’d be surprised if this was a round full of shocks.

Aston Villa’s players left the pitch in shock after failing to overcome their first leg 3-1 deficit in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night but they can put it right this weekend. Millwall have just three wins in ten – ironically the same as Villa, so don’t be fooled the Premier League side are facing a side in form. Despite obvious recent failings, Paul Lambert’s side have avoided defeat in five of their last seven away games and we’ll take advantage of the markets overreaction against Villa. We’ll lay Millwall on Betfair at 2.5.

Only one side from outside the top division overcame a Premier League side in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup last year – and Brighton can repeat history. Having seen off Newcastle in the 4th Round last year – and the third round this year, they welcome Arsenal on Saturday afternoon. The Gunners have however only exited this grand old competition to Premier League sides under Arsene Wenger and it’d be a huge shock if they bowed out here. Arsenal can build on their 5-1 win over West Ham and at 3/4 with Blue Square we’ll back them to win. Given The Seagulls have only not scored in one of their last seventeen games, both teams to score at 8/11 also looks good value.

QPR went out to 125/1 to win the competition before beating West Brom in their 3rd Round Replay and we expect them to be much shorter by the time they’ve played MK Dons. We think 4/6 at Bet365 is a knocking price against League One opposition. Yes, MK Dons are in reasonable form and lie 7th, but their priority is to get promoted – and don’t forget this is a side which went away to non league Cambridge City in Round 2 and could only draw 0-0. QPR with their new signings will be too strong. We even quite like QPR -1.5 at 7/4 with Bet365.

Leeds advanced to this stage by beating a struggling Birmingham side but in Spurs they face a team with genuine ambitions of winning this trophy. 4/6 at Ladbrokes seems a good price for Spurs, especially when you recall how easily Chelsea smashed five goals in just 36 second half minutes in the Capital One Cup. Middlesbrough also hit six there earlier this year and whilst it may not be a goal-fest, Spurs should advance.

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