Saturday FA Cup 3rd Round Multi
Get stuck into the FA Cup action with this seven-leg multi!
Burnley v Barnsley
It’s always a little tough trying to predict FA Cup results in the early rounds. Managers liberally make changes to their starting line-up, grounds are half-full and there’s a general sense of ‘meh’ surrounding most ties.
However, the show must on, and I start with the glitz and glamour of Turf Moor, where Burnley welcome Barnsley.
With both sides still having plenty to play for – Burnley fighting to survive in the Premier League; Barnsley aiming for promotion to the Championship – you can expect neither manager to take this one particularly seriously.
However, at the odds suggest you surely have to back the Premier League side over the League One outfit. This said, the Clarets suffered a shock defeat to Burton in the League Cup earlier this season, though Barnsley also lost 3-1 in the first round away at Blackpool.
The FA Cup third round is all a bit of a coin toss, but a Burnley victory is a well-priced coin toss.
West Brom v Wigan
Wigan have lost 10 of their 13 away matches in the Championship.
Will their second-string side get anything from their trip to the Hawthorns? I doubt it…
The Latics do have a very rich recent history in the FA Cup – especially against Manchester City – but Paul Cook has bigger fish to fry, and their 3-1 away defeat to Rotherham in the first round of the League Cup may prove to be an accurate omen for this one.
The Baggies have drawn more than they’ve won at home in the last couple of months, but they beat Wigan 2-0 on Boxing Day, so expect a similar scoreline on Saturday.
West Brom will progress.
Bournemouth v Brighton
At evens, Bournemouth are well worth backing to beat Brighton.
Albion’s second XI lost 1-0 at home to Southampton in the League Cup - a surprise considering how strong their home form is in the Premier League - and their last four trips to the Vitality have ended in defeat (once after extra-time in last season’s League Cup).
The Seagulls are poor travellers at the best of times, and when you consider Eddie Howe’s side won three consecutive home matches in this season’s League Cup, before succumbing 1-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, shows they’re a good prospect to win on Saturday.
Accrington v Ipswich
Will this be seen as a giant-killing if Accrington win? Surely not.
Just 12 places separate these two in the Football League pyramid, but it’s Town’s woeful FA Cup record which has made me back a Stanley win/draw double chance.
The Tractor Boys have been knocked out in the third round eight times in-a-row – thrice to lower-league opposition.
Considering the relegation plight they find themselves in (and a number of injuries), I’ll be amazed if Paul Lambert fields anything close to a full-strength team.
Accrington are no mugs, so this is one I’m confident about.
Aston Villa v Swansea
At $4, Swansea are a nice price to beat Aston Villa on Saturday.
Though Dean Smith’s men have made themselves hard to beat of late, they’ve failed to win in four home games (scoring 11 and conceding 12 in the process), so Swansea will surely fancy nicking this.
There’s always a bit of pot luck involved with guessing FA Cup scores in the early rounds, but this all-Championship clash really could go either way. Graham Potter’s side have won three of their last five away games, so they’re not to be counted out.
At such a big price, an away win sees the value of this treble skyrocket.
Derby v Southampton
Derby have already shown they’re up for a proper cup run this season, and I’m backing them to beat Premier League Southampton.
The Rams, though after extra-time, still beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in the League Cup, before succumbing 3-2 against Chelsea despite a brilliant performance.
They look to be a side who relish the big occasion, making them strong ‘cupset’ candidates (again, it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise).
The Saints have undoubtedly improved under Ralph Hasenhüttl, but there’s an unhinged spirit about this Derby side, so I’m plumping for them.
Bristol City v Huddersfield
Calling a Bristol City victory over Huddersfield an ‘upset’ would be a stretch; the Robins may be in the league below their visitors, but Huddersfield have lost eight Premier League matches in-a-row – most recently in crushing fashion against Burnley – which will surely see confidence reach an all-time low.
City are unbeaten in eight, and you have to fancy them on Saturday. Lee Johnson’s side are fairly marooned in mid-table, and are at liberty to play a stronger side than the Terriers; last season’s League Cup semi-final run will also give the team confidence, especially considering they beat Manchester United along the way.
A $2.30 home win is my final pick.