The fourth round of the FA Cup has thrown up some potentially interesting all Premier League ties. However, as the current trend is for many Premier League teams to field weakened teams in the competition, a cursory look at the teams closer to kick-off may be the order of the day if you’re thinking of placing any big bets.
However, it’s impossible to write an article that close to kick-off, so here’s our FA Cup fourth round predictions and free tips for Saturday’s FA Cup matches between Brighton and West Brom, Man City and Burnley, and Newcastle vs Watford.
Brighton vs West Brom (Saturday 3.00)
West Brom will be relishing a trip to Brighton after winning five of their last six away games and, whilst three of those wins came against teams fighting relegation from the Championship, that run also includes victories over fourth placed Sheffield United and ninth placed Swansea.
However, there’s a sneaking suspicion that the gulf in class between the Premier League and the Championship widens each season and Brighton will be disappointed if they can’t send The Baggies packing.
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Brighton’s home record stands up to close scrutiny, with five wins, three draws, and three defeats from 11 home games this season, with those defeats coming against top-six sides. Brighton have also put up solid performances in defeat against Manchester United and Liverpool in their last two games, whilst a 3-1 away victory over Bournemouth in the last round suggested the FA Cup is important to The Seagulls. They also beat West Brom 3-1 at home last season when West Brom were in the Premier League.
There’s no reason why Brighton should be saving themselves either, as they look likely to avoid getting dragged into the Premier League relegation battle this season as they’re seven points clear of the relegation zone. That makes prices around evens or slight odds-on for a Brighton win look decent value.
Brighton vs West Brom Free Tip:
Brighton @ 2.00 BlackType, 1.95 Bet365, SkyBet
Man City vs Burnley (Saturday 3.00)
Pep Guardiola will still be dreaming of the winning the quadruple this season and it’s unlikely he’ll be letting the kids he played on Wednesday night against Burton loose against a Burnley side that hasn’t been beaten in its last five matches.
However, those five matches came against much worse opposition than City, and it’s worth remembering that Burnley lost 5-1 to Everton and 3-1 to Arsenal before that run started. They’ve also lost heavily on their last two visits to the Etihad Stadium, losing 5-0 in the Premier League this season and 4-1 in last season’s FA Cup.
Recent 7-0 and 9-0 wins against Burton and Tranmere also suggest that City won’t be taking it easy and an early goal for City could open the floodgates one more. If that’s the case, Burnley will surely throw caution to the wind in an effort to stay in the competition. So, backing more than 4.5 goals looks the value bet.
Man City vs Burnley Free Tip:
More Than 4.5 Goals @ 2.65 Unibet, 888Sport
Newcastle vs Watford (Saturday 3.00)
Newcastle beat Watford 1-0 at St James’s Park earlier in the season but Watford wasted countless chances and really should have got something out of the game. There’s also a good chance that Newcastle might be tempted to play a weakened team as they are fighting for their Premier League survival and may not want to risk losing some players to injury.
Watford haven’t got those worries, and they look more likely to go on a cup run that Newcastle. So, though the bookies look to have taken a similar opinion by making Watford favourites, it still looks worth backing Watford to win.
Newcastle vs Watford Free Tip:
Watford @ 2.55 Betvictor, 2.53 Marathon