FA Cup match previews & betting predictions
The first kick off in the cup is the televised game between Luton and Millwall. The home side will be seeking to continue their fairytale run in this competition after seeing off Wolves and then Norwich with 1-0 victories. The vast amount punters backing this game will no doubt think that Luton’s run is likely to end with Millwall appearing good value at evens. However, we frequently see these bigger teams struggling to break down lower opposition, particularly away from home.
Luton are solid defensively but it will be no easy feat scoring past a Championship side’s defence. Luton’s last six out of seven games have seen under 3 goals whereas Millwall have been struggling for goals since Chris Wood’s loan expired; failing to score in three out of their last five. I am predicting a scrappy game here with very little chances created. Try under 2.5 goal, paying around 5/6.
Next up, we have Arsenal v Blackburn. The Gunners are unbeaten in thirty four games against lower ranked sides in the FA cup and the price of 2/7 suggests a home win should be a formality in this one. Arsene Wenger however, is not likely to play all of his first team players in this one with the Champions League clash against Bayern Munich looming next Tuesday. This should set up a more competitive clash than the odds suggest, especially as Blackburn are in good form; winning three out of their last four.
We recommend under 3.5 goals in this one. Arsenal should not be playing their full strength side and generally take a while to get their football in to flow, not scoring in the first half of their last three games. Blackburn may well get on the score sheet but I can see a slow start to this game with Blackburn starting defensively. Arsenal’s last two games have been 1-0 victories and less than four goals in this game, 8/11 seems a generous price.
MK Dons take on Barnsley in a game which could see plenty of goals. MK Dons’s form has slipped dramatically, failing to win in five games. However, they do tend to be involved games that have plenty of goals with four of their last five games having at least three goals.
Championship side, Barnsley are in the relegation zone but it appears new manager Gary Flitcroft is having a positive impact on the tykes; having won four out of their last five games. They managed a goal in their last eleven games yet they are struggle to keep clean sheets away from home. The Dons have scored in 10 of their last 11 home games and with Barnsley’s excellent run of form; I fancy both teams to score in this one, paying roughly 8/11.
Finally, we have the game between Oldham v Everton. The Lactic’s beat Everton’s rivals Liverpool in the last round but achieving a double victory against Premiership opposition is probably too much to ask. Oldham used their strength and guile to overcome Liverpool’s young side and it paid off. However, Oldham’s recent form is very poor; In their last thirteen games they have lost nine games conceding over an average of two goals per game.
Everton’s manager, David Moyes has stated his intent to attempt to win the FA cup. He has fielded a strong side in every FA cup round including the away game at League 2 side Cheltenham where the Toffee’s won 5-1. With Oldham’s defensive vulnerabilities, I would think a strong Everton side will win this game and to extract value from the game I would suggest going for Everton: HT/FT at around 5/6.
12:45 Luton v Millwall – under 2.5 goals 5/6
15:00 Arsenal v Blackburn – under 3.5 goals 8/11
15:00 MK Dons v Barnsley – both teams to score 8/11
18:00 Oldham v Everton – Everton HT/FT 5/6
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