Saturday FA Cup 4th Round Multi
We have a cheeky FA Cup five-leg multi for your enjoyment!
Accrington v Derby
The first leg of our five-fold is at the Wham Stadium, where I’m backing Derby County to progress at the expense of Accrington Stanley.
Frank Lampard’s side overcame Southampton on penalties after a couple of thrilling 2-2 draws to reach the fourth round, while Accrington beat Championship basement boys Ipswich 1-0.
Derby have been fairly inconsistent away from home this season, but it’s clear they raise their game for cup matches; their EFL Cup run, which saw them beat Oldham, Hull and Manchester United is evidence of this – so too are their performances against the Saints.
Stanley have lost three of their last five at home in League One, and at around evens, Derby are a good price to beat a mid-table League One outfit.
Man City v Burnley
I don’t care that Burnley are unbeaten in four Premier League matches, Manchester City will still brush them aside at The Etihad.
Pep Guardiola hasn’t won the FA Cup yet, and considering how strong the side he fielded against Rotherham was, there’s no chance he takes his eye off the ball here.
There’s little denying the Clarets have tightened up recently, but on the evidence of their fortuitous, lacklustre victory over League One Barnsley last time out, a handsome home win is still all I can see.
City has won 13 matches at the Etihad with a -1 handicap this season, and that’s exactly what I’m predicting again.
Shrewsbury v Wolves
Next up, I’m backing Wolves to beat Shrewsbury.
Sam Ricketts’ side are just one point above the League One relegation zone, in what might be the most titanic relegation battle the division has ever seen, so it’s likely their priorities will lie elsewhere.
No such problems for Wolves, however. With no danger of relegation, Nuno Espirito Santo will know his side have a genuinely good chance of winning the whole competition – particularly after beating Liverpool in the previous round – so you can expect him to field close to a full-strength XI.
The hosts have generally been solid at New Meadow this season, although Wolves are likely to have just a little too much for them; this should be a relatively routine away win.
Swansea v Gillingham - 15:00
Was Gillingham’s home win against an unmotivated Cardiff City side really a shock? I can’t imagine too many people were genuinely astounded, let’s put it that way, but it was impressive nonetheless.
Still, I’m backing them to taste defeat against Swansea City at The Liberty. The Gills are another side embroiled in that epic League One relegation battle, while Swansea are currently six points off the Championship’s play-off places.
Graham Potter’s side have hit some form at just the right time for this; they are unbeaten in five matches, most recently beating a very strong Sheffield United outfit at home. Gillingham, meanwhile, have lost three of their last four in the league.
I see the Swans edging this.
AFC Wimbledon v West Ham
In a repeat of their EFL Cup tie back in August, West Ham travel to Kingsmeadow to face AFC Wimbledon.
The Hammers emerged as 3-1 victors on that occasion, and I’m expecting the same outcome on Saturday. The hosts are rock bottom of League One (there’s a running theme with some of the teams in this multi), and are likely to be outclassed by the Premier League side.
There’s always a chance West Ham will throw in a characteristic stinker of a performance – hence why the price is a little longer than it perhaps should be – but they are much more likely to win comfortably. Like with Wolves, Manuel Pellegrini’s men aren’t getting relegated, so expect a strong side to emerge – like the one we saw against Spurs in their final EFL Cup match.
I’m backing an away win to round-off this FA Cup multi.