The FA Cup fourth round gets underway tonight with two matches. Championship side Watford host London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, while a third team from England’s capital, Fulham, travel to Everton. If you fancy a flutter on a Friday night, here is where we believe profits can be made.
Watford vs Tottenham Hotspur
Watford are going through a tough spell in the Championship right now. Three defeats in their last three league matches sees them hover six points above the relegation zone in eighteenth place. The Hornets were unbeaten in December, winning twice and drawing three times but the losing run began on 2 January in a 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth.
However, Watford will be buoyed by the fact Spurs have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 away matches and there are likely to be a host of changes made to the third placed Premier League team that lines up at Vicarage Road.
Key players Gareth Bale and Scott Parker are doubtful with thigh and hamstring injuries while Younes Kaboul is also struggling with a groin injury. Ledley King is likely to be rested for this match.
We are likely to see a similar side that beat Cheltenham 3-0 in the last round so there could be starts for Carlo Cudicini, Niko Kranjcar, Stephen Pienaar and Roman Pavlyuchenko. I don’t like backing teams at short odds-on away from home but even a weakened Spurs side should have too much quality for Sean Dyche’s team.
Verdict: Tottenham Hotspur @ 1.5 (Coral)
Everton vs Fulham
Everton have been poor this season in the Premier League but the FA Cup could offer some respite for David Moyes’ side. After struggling to hold relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers to a draw on Saturday (as predicted here), they take on a Fulham side who have a wretched record at Goodison Park.
In their last 11 visits, Fulham have lost 10 and drawn just once. The draw came way back in 2004 when Francis Jeffers snatched a last gasp equaliser for a 1-1 final score in an FA Cup fourth round tie. Martin Jol’s team are without an away win in seven attempts and not even top goalscorer Clint Dempsey inspires confidence.
The 15-goal USA international may have blasted a hat-trick against Newcastle United last weekend but he has scored just three times away from Craven Cottage this season.
Expect a low scoring affair tonight too – Everton have not scored two goals in a match involving Premier League opposition since beating Bolton Wanderers 2-0 last November. They also managed the same scoreline against Conference side Tamworth in the last round of the FA Cup. Since the Bolton result, 10 of their 11 matches have featured two goals or less. It’s a similar tale with Fulham – in their last 19 away matches, only three have featured more than two goals.
Everton have offered little in recent home matches but Fulham even less on the road. With home advantage crucial in matches like this, a narrow victory for Everton is the call here.
Verdict: Everton @ 2.15 (Bet Victor)