FA Cup Cheat Sheet: Football tips, stats and offers
With the Premier League taking a break this weekend, the FA Cup takes centre stage which means our weekly Cheat Sheet feature will once again be tailored towards the prestigious cup competition.
There are a number of eye-catching fixtures on show, and I've done my research to bring you some informed tips which could be worth following. Shall we get started?
Top three BTTS plays this weekend according to the stats
First, we’re looking at the both teams to score market to try and find you some goals galore value.
My three BTTS tips for this weekend are as follows:
Sheffield Utd v Plymouth @ 10/11
- Sheffield Utd have kept just one clean sheet all season and conceded two vs Bristol Rovers in the last round, edging the win 3-2
- Plymouth are a side in form having won three of their last four games, drawing the other
- The Pilgrims have scored at least one goal in each of their last 8 games so I fancy them to notch again this weekend
Brentford v Leicester @ 4/5
- Brentford have lost just one game since October - the League Cup defeat to Spurs at the start of Jan
- At home, the Bees have scored at least once in each of their last five games (9 goals in total)
- Leicester have scored at least two goals in each of their last four games and are bang in form, I don't see them not scoring here
Everton v Sheffield Wednesday @ 19/20
- Everton have only managed one clean sheet in all comps since December 16th and conceded vs Rotherham in the last round, winning the tie in extra-time
- Sheffield Wednesday are in form at the minute, unbeaten in five - scoring in each of those games at least once. I predict them to give the Toffees a good game this weekend
A 44/1 Anytime Goalscorer Double for the FA Cup third round
Bit of a tough one to call this weekend with so many managers set to rotate their squads, but I reckon these two players could both be in line for starts, and if they are then I fancy them to find the net against their respective opponents.
Usually I'd tip up a treble here but at 44/1 this bet seems like great value with just two selections.
Nicolas Pepe v Southampton - 15/4 to score anytime
- Pepe has struggled for goals this season but a lot of that is due to limited playing time, still a good hit-rate when he has played with 5 in 13 starts (all comps)
- Took 5 shots vs Newcastle in the last round - 1 on target - showing how keen he is to get shots away in the final third, hopefully it pays off against the Saints
Jayden Bogle v Plymouth - 7/4 to score anytime
- Bogle has looked really sharp in recent outings for the Blades and found the net in the last round vs Bristol Rovers
- I think his pace and directness could cause Plymouth plenty of problems here, and can see him finding his way onto the scoresheet again
Over or Under 2.5 goals?
With a lot of bookmakers not providing card markets for a number of games in the FA Cup this weekend, I've replaced Ref Watch with an Under or Over 2.5 goals section.
Chorley v Wolves - Over 2.5 goals @ 1/3
- National League North outfit Chorley have done exceptionally well to make it this far but I see Wolves being far too strong for them here, over 2.5 goals seems like the most sensible play in this weekend's Friday clash in Lancashire
West Ham v Doncaster - Under 2.5 goals @ 11/10
- Over 2.5 goals has only landed once in Doncaster's last four and once in West Ham's last five games, so I'm not anticipating a goal-fuelled classic here
Fulham v Burnley - Under 2.5 goals @ 8/11
- Under 2.5 goals has landed in eight of Fulham AND Burnley's previous nine games in all comps - I'd be amazed if this is anything close to a thriller
Longshot bet of the week
The FA Cup has long been known to produce some of the biggest upsets in football history, and we're certainly hoping for some more shocks as the fourth round is introduced this weekend.
Swansea v Nottingham Forest - draw @ 12/5
- This is always a closely-fought game, with three of the last six meetings between the pair resulting in a stalemate
- Both sides are in solid form - Swansea are unbeaten in six and Forest have lost just one of their previous eight games, so this one should be another tight encounter
Man Utd to beat Liverpool @ 8/5
- United looked the better side when these two met in the PL last weekend, and should have nicked the win late on but missed some good chances
- I predict that Klopp will rest some of his key men to preserve them for their upcoming league games, but I expect Solskjaer to go full strength which could tip the scales at Old Trafford
- Liverpool have not beaten United in a competitive match at Old Trafford since 2014
Crawley or draw v Bournemouth @ 2/1
- Crawley pulled off the shock of the third round when they beat Leeds 3-0, and the side from League Two looked really sharp in that game
- Bournemouth are in poor form at the moment, winless in their last three - losing two of those matches, drawing once