ValueBet’s Joe Whitaker takes a look at the weekend’s FA Cup third round action.
Preston North End were running on empty in the second half on New Year’s Day.
I feel they could do with resting some of the ever-presents and rotate it a bit in today’s FA Cup third-round tie at Wycombe Wanderers.
If Alex Neil does do this, back North End to win 2-0 and Daryl Horgan to score first.
Whilst not your normal Saturday coupon for everyone to dissect, we have entered the business end of the FA Cup and it looks tricky enough for punters.
I have always been a huge fan of the cup and can remember some memorable finals growing up. These days it tends to serve as an insurance policy for Premier League bosses who have no chance of winning anything else. It has worked nicely for Arsene Wenger in particular.
I like to try and pick out what could be a value price, quite often a team playing against one in a league above.
It might sound like a long shot but the stats prove it happens. An example today I like is Blackburn at home to Hull City. Rovers went down last season but it was their early season form that got them relegated.
They have hit the ground running this season and look good value for me against a struggling Hull side in the Championship. Hull have only scored two in their last five and they will find life tough at Ewood. The 6/4 for a home win would be my first selection.
Another home side I like playing a team from the league above is Fulham at home to Southampton.
The Cottagers play some good football on the deck and whilst they have struggled for some consistency this season, they will be bang up for this one.
Southampton can clearly hold their own, as the goalless draw at Old Trafford shows, but at only even money they look far too short a price for me away from home.
To complete an FA Cup weekend treble I’ve headed for what is possibly the tie of the day where struggling Swansea head to Wolves. It is hard to know the mindset of both clubs here. Does new Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal really want a cup run to distract his side from their fight for league status? I think Wolves who look as good as champions in the Championship would welcome a run in the cup as a taster for next season.
Whilst not much value at 5/6 I do fancy the home side to rise to the occasion and show they belong in the top flight. So in Blackburn, Fulham and Wolves its a tasty 14/1 and hopefully may lead to some New Year profit to get stuck into.
All the best, Joe