After the unbelievable array of results in the last round of the FA Cup it was tempting to go on holiday this week.
On the positive side – at least our major ante-post pick Manchester United are still going strong and look to have a great chance of progressing to the next stage.
With the non-Premier League teams faring so well in the last round it was tempting to play the outsiders again but, in the belief that lightning won’t strike twice, I’ve concentrated my efforts on the three all Premier League clashes.
West Brom vs West Ham
The two sides haven’t met in the FA Cup since 1993 when West Ham progressed into the next round courtesy of a 2-0 away win. The last four corresponding Premier League fixtures have ended 1-2, 1-0, 0-0 and 3-3, whilst the four games between the sides played at West Ham in the same period have produced three draws and one West Ham victory.
Both teams also have plenty of draws in their recent form, West Brom 3 in 8 games and West Ham 6 in 9 games – and a draw certainly looks the value bet here at 12/5.
Draw @ 12/5 (Bet365, BetVictor, Hills)
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool
The two sides last met in the FA Cup in 2002/3 when Liverpool secured a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace. However, in the replay at Anfield Crystal Palace pulled off a shock by winning 2-0.
Palace also have a really decent record against Liverpool in recent times, winning 3-1 at home this season and drawing 3-3 the season before. The other three times Palace have entertained Liverpool this Millennium they have won twice and drawn once.
Palace have also been in pretty good form since the New Year winning five and drawing one of their seven games in all competitions.
Liverpool are on a decent run of their own though and are unbeaten in their last 15 Premier League and FA Cup matches.
The heart says a Palace win (it is the FA Cup), but a better value play is probably to lay Liverpool.
Lay Liverpool @ 2.1 (Betfair)
Aston Villa vs Leicester
The last time Villa and Leicester clashed in the FA Cup was 2001 when Leicester travelled to Villa and secured a 1-0 victory. The last two Premier League games between the clubs were both won by the home team, whilst Villa have won their three previous Premier League home games against Leicester. Dissecting those was a League Cup clash in 2007, which Leicester won.
Villa’s last home win was in December, ironically against Leicester, and they’ve managed three draws and two defeats at home since.
Meanwhile Leicester’s away form hasn’t been too bad; a draw at Liverpool, an FA Cup win at Spurs, and expected defeats against Arsenal and Manchester United.
With Leicester having won their last two cups games against Villa, and their away form, arguably, slightly better than Villa’s home form – they look the value.
Leicester @ 21/10 (BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Hills)