Tuesday night sees a host of FA Cup third round replays with teams involved from the top five divisions in the English pyramid system. Generally speaking, FA Cup betting is a minefield so here we go hunting for rewards that are worth the risk.
Leicester City vs Nottingham Forest
There is no doubt about it, Leicester City have underachieved this season. For all their financial clout in the transfer market, they sit fifteenth in the Championship table and have dispensed of one manager this season. It is down to Nigel Pearson, now in his second spell in charge of the Foxes, to pick up the pieces.
Given their league position, it is not surprising the team are inconsistent at home with six wins, three draws but worryingly, five defeats. However, they are in much better shape than their Midlands rivals Forest, who find themselves in the relegation zone this season.
Forest have lost seven on the road this season, winning four times and drawing once. They have scored just 10 goals in this sequence too. But, Forest’s last away trip saw them beat Ipswich 3-1 in the league and given the local derby element of this encounter, Steve Cotterill’s side could snatch an unlikely victory at a big price.
Verdict: Nottingham Forest @ 5.4 (Bet Victor)
Millwall vs Dagenham & Redbridge
Dagenham did their supporters proud when they held Millwall to a goalless draw at Victoria Road but they face a tall order to beat the Lions on their home turf.
Millwall sit just one place and two points above the relegation zone in the Championship and even though they are struggling this season, that’s still a full two divisions above their opponents. The Daggers are not in great shape themselves and are in danger of dropping out of the Football League this season. Only goal difference is keeping them above both Northampton Town and Plymouth Argyle at the bottom of League Two.
Kenny Jackett’s team are in wretched form and were thumped 6-0 at home by Birmingham on the weekend. That said, their home form isn’t that bad with five wins, five draws and just two defeats compared to Dagenham who have lost seven out of 11 on the road. Class should prevail in this one.
Verdict: Millwall @ 1.44 (Boylesports)
Wrexham vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Conference leaders Wrexham arguably got the result of the round when they held Championship side Brighton to a goalless draw at the AMEX Stadium. Despite playing three divisions below Brighton, Andy Morrell’s side could cause an upset on Tuesday night.
Wrexham are in excellent home form, winning 10 of their 14 league matches at home this season and losing just twice. In addition to this, they have scored 26 goals and conceded just nine. They are very tough to beat at the Racecourse Ground.
Putting the obvious gulf in class aside, Brighton have not been great on their travels this season. Gus Poyet’s side have lost seven out of 13 and scored just eight goals. The bookmaker’s smell an upset in this one too hence a best price shorter than 3.0 on a side not even in the Football League.
Verdict: Wrexham @ 2.9 (Ladbrokes)
Bolton Wanderers vs Macclesfield Town
League Two side Macclesfield put in a tremendous performance against Premier League Bolton when they met the first time in the third round. Gary Simpson’s side came from a goal behind to lead their top flight opponents 2-1 with 13 minutes to go before David Wheater equalised to spare the blushes.
Unfortunately, I don’t think there will be an upset this time around. Macclesfield have not won a league match on the road since beating Crewe last October and eight defeats in 11 away fixtures does not inspire confidence.
Bolton are not without their own problems. Owen Coyle’s side have tasted victory at home just once in 10 Premier League matches and lost eight in front of their own fans. This could be a frustrating evening for Wanderers but I expect them to take their place in the fourth round.
Verdict: Bolton @ 1.29 (Coral)
Queens Park Rangers vs MK Dons
The new manager in charge at QPR, Mark Hughes, has his work cut out to ensure the club do not slip back into the Championship at the first attempt. His new side suffered a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday and face confident opposition in MK Dons.
The Dons have won seven in 12 on the road this season and scored 24 goals – the same as League One leaders Charlton Athletic. Currently sitting in fifth place in the league, they won’t be phased by the visit to Loftus Road and could pull off a shock on Tuesday night.
Hughes’ priority is undoubtedly keeping Rangers in the Premier League and he may use this fixture to take a look at some fringe players in his squad. QPR have won just once at home this season and have scored just nine goals in 10 matches – there is no value in backing them at odds-on.
Verdict: MK Dons @ 4.5 (Bet Victor)