Here’s a look ahead at the biggest matches in the FA Cup fourth round this weekend, along with top betting tips for each game.
No doubting the big game of this weekend’s FA Cup fourth round action as Liverpool play host to arch rivals Manchester united in what promises to be an action packed and explosive encounter.
There is always a hostile atmosphere when these two sides lock horns, but it’s going to be even more so in this lunchtime clash (12.45pm, Live on ITV1) in the wake of the fall-out from Luis Suarez’s eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra.
Both clubs have tried to ease tensions in the build-up,with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson pleading for calm in the hope that it is the football that takes centre stage.
The bookmakers make Liverpool favourites at 2.6, but it’s United who I fancy to come out on top at the 3.1 on offer with bet365 – despite the fact that they are battling with a growing list of injuries.
The Red Devils currently have 11 men on the treatment table, and Wayne Rooney is now a doubt to make the staring XI having not trained all week.
But hey have beaten their opponents on eight of the last nine occasions they have been drawn against each other in the competition, and have also only lost one of their last 16 FA Cup ties away from home.
The stats also reveal that e last seven times they have met in the FA Cup, the winning side has won by a single-goal margin so I am going to put up United to win 2-1 as the suggestion for those that like to play the correct score market.
That outcome is a massive looking 13 with Paddy Power.
QPR v Chelsea
Chelsea look a banker bet at 1.67 with Betfred to beat QPR at Loftus Road in a game which has already made the headlines ore than any other this week before a ball has even been kicked.
The Blues have only lost four of their last 35 FA Cup matches away from home, whereas the Hoops have lost 11 of their last 12 against top-flight sides.
Mark Hughes’ side win over MK Dons in the third round replay was their first in the competition since 2001, whereas Chelsea have a terrific FA Cup pedigree having won three of the past five finals.
there is certainly no love lost between the two sides, and much of the build up to this game has focussed on whether John Terry and Anton Ferdinand will shake hands before kick off.
It stems from an alleged racist comment made by Terry towards 26-year-old Ferdinand during the sides’ league clash at Loftus Road on October 23 which Chelsea lost 1-0, but he strenuously denies the charge and the case goes to court next week.
Paddy Power go 1.91 about there being no handshake, and I am pretty sure there won’t be one.
With Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou on international duty for the Ivory Coast in Africa, bookmakers make Dean Sturridge favourite to open the scoring. He is a 5.5 shot with the likes of bet365, Boylesports and Betfred and that looks decent value given that Fernando “how do I score” Torres has been chalked up at the same price.
I fancy Chelsea to win 2-1 and that scoreline is a standout 8.5 with bet365.
On Monday night, Arsenal look a steal at 1.57 to beat Aston Villa at the Emirates if the stats are anything to go by.
The two sides have met nine times in the FA Cup with the Gunners progressing on six occasions.
They have also won five and lost just one of eight home ties in this competition against the Villans, who haven’t won an away tie against a top flight side since 2000.
An even more impressive stat though is that Arsenal have lost only one of 33 matches on their own patch under Arsene Wenger.
On the team news front the Gunners could be boosted by the return of Spanish playmaker Mikel Arteta who missed the game against Manchester United with a groin strain.
On-loan Thierry Henry, who was also missing against the Red Devils due to a calf problem, may also play a part if he passes a fitness test on Saturday.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also likely to keep his place starting XI after a lively showing against United before being controversially substituted late on for Arshavin
The youngster has really impressed me in recent weeks and appeals at the 8 on offer with bet365 to score first. He’s is also get 3 with Paddy Power about him scoring anytime and that looks a decent price given that he will be keen to prove that Wenger’s decision to take him off against United was the wrong one.
For those that like a punt on the correct score, I like the look of Arsenal to win 2-1 at a standout 8.5 with bet365.