Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 12°C
# Flutter
5 FA Cup bets to consider this weekend
Pardew to come a cropper on his Palace debut plus more tips that could earn you a few quid.

Blyth Spartans to concede against Birmingham but still win – 14/1

The hosts are languishing in 16th place in the Evo Stick Northern Premier League while their opponents are in mid-table in the Championship. There’s little reason to expect a giant-kill but the minnows have already managed some impressive Cup results – beating Conference outfit Altrincham and then League Two side Hartlepool.

They’ve come a long way and feel a little aggrieved that their hard work hasn’t paid off with a more high-profile fixture. Their midfielder Stephen Turnbull called this fixture an ‘anti-climax’ after the draw was made. So, should they dig deep and manage to keep things reasonably tight, they have a chance.

Soccer - FA Cup - Third Round - Blyth Spartans v Blackburn Rovers - Croft Park Owen Humphreys / PA Archive/Press Association Images The Spartans were narrowly beaten by Blackburn in a 3rd Round clash in January 2009. Owen Humphreys / PA Archive/Press Association Images / PA Archive/Press Association Images

They came from behind against Hartlepool so there’s plenty of pluck and character in the Spartans’ dressing-room. We feel they could do something similar again.

Leicester to beat Newcastle & over 2.5 goals – 11/4

The Foxes are in their best form since September. They’ve taken four points from their last two league games and head into this assignment full of confidence.

Nigel Pearson wants the optimism to continue and despite a cup competition’s extra demands, the hosts will be itching to make the most of the next three matches – all home ties – against Newcastle, Aston Villa and Stoke.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Leicester City - Anfield Peter Byrne / PA Wire/Press Association Images Leicester will be buoyed by their recent upturn in fortunes. Peter Byrne / PA Wire/Press Association Images / PA Wire/Press Association Images

In Newcastle’s last six games, there have been 24 goals so we’re tipping a home win and plenty of entertainment.

Dover to win and hold Crystal Palace scoreless – 13/2

The Conference side have already beaten Morecambe and Cheltenham in the Cup and will fancy taking on a side that’s in transition.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Aston Villa v Crystal Palace - Villa Park Nick Potts / PA Wire/Press Association Images Nick Potts / PA Wire/Press Association Images / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Alan Pardew’s debut in the dugout will ensure a special focus on this fixture but there’s a problem – the side can’t score goals.

Their last two games have finished scoreless while in their last 8 fixtures, they’ve managed to hit the net on three occasions.

We fancy Dover to frustrate the Londoners and grab a winner of their own.

Yeovil to lose 1-4 to Manchester United – 14/1

The League One outfit are struggling while the Premier League side are on an unbeaten run that stretches back ten games.

Louis van Gaal will use his full squad and that means some fringe players will be out to impress. Expect James Wilson to start and his pace will surely trouble the home side though Ryan Giggs will certainly have excelled at some history lessons in recent days and told his manager of the perils of under-strength teams and Cup ties.

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Soccer - FA Cup - Third Round - Manchester United v Exeter City Matthew Ashton / EMPICS Sport Cristiano Ronaldo, David Jones and Gerard Pique troop after after being held to a scoreless draw by Exeter in the FA Cup 3rd Round in January 2005. Matthew Ashton / EMPICS Sport / EMPICS Sport

Giggs wasn’t in the squad when Exeter visited Old Trafford ten years ago and forced a replay.  That day, players like Jonathan Spector, David Jones, Chris Eagles, Eric Djemba-Djemba, David Bellion, Liam Miller and Kieran Richardson were all handed opportunities and failed to deliver.

Expect some big guns to feature and push United to victory (though a clean-sheet is a rare achievement for United these days).

Southampton v Ipswich to end in a draw – 4/1

Cup competitions haven’t been too kind to the Saints so far this season. They lost to Sheffield United in the League Cup last-eight just last month.

But, that result seemed to signal the end of their drop-off. Ever since, they’ve gone four games unbeaten – racking up eye-catching results. They easily swept Everton aside, did something similar to Arsenal a few days ago and held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw on 28th December.

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Ipswich Town v Norwich City - Portman Road Nigel French / PA Wire/Press Association Images Nigel French / PA Wire/Press Association Images / PA Wire/Press Association Images

But as much as they’re in good form, so too are Mick McCarthy’s side. They’re on an 11-game unbeaten run and you have to go back to the 21st October to find the last time they lost a game.

This seems to have ‘stalemate’ written all over it.

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