It’s the football FA Cup 4th round this weekend and BetVictor Brand Ambassador Michael Owen is here to provide his best bets ahead of the action.
Under 2.5 goals
Chorley v Wolves 0-1
What a day this will be for Chorley! Of course, they got through against a decimated Derby side in the 3rd round, however, you still need to go out and do it on the pitch and they certainly did that so all credit to them.
There will still be a buzz about the place, and I think the visitors will have to be patient. This has the makings of a great cup tie, but I do think Wolves have got the know-how to get there in the end. With that in mind, I’m going for a narrow win for the Premier League side.
Southampton to win
Southampton v Arsenal 1-0
I think both these sides will fancy their chances of a cup run, so we could see near full strength sides at St. Mary’s.
Arsenal have certainly turned the corner. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang notched a double against Newcastle last Monday and that will come as such a welcome sight to Gunners followers.
Southampton have suffered a bit in recent weeks with a few absentees. At full strength they work as an excellent unit. Ralph Hasenhüttl will again have his side well drilled and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he gave up some territory.
If he does so, I think Southampton have enough on the counter-attack to nick this one in what I’d expect to be cagey affair.
Bournemouth to win -1 goal
Bournemouth v Crawley 3-0
Bournemouth’s form has been patchy in recent weeks, but they come into this as favourites.
Crawley’s result against Leeds in the 3rd round was nothing short of remarkable. A similar performance could see them go close here, however; it is always difficult to replicate those types of results back-to-back in cup competition.
Overall, Bournemouth have been decent this season. They’ve been scoring plenty of goals and I think they’ll have too much for Crawley on the day.
Swansea to win
Swansea v Notts Forest 2-0
Both these sides come into the match in terrific form. Swansea are undefeated in six whilst it’s seven games without defeat for Forest.
This could be tight; however, I’ve watched Swansea a few times this season and when they put it all together, they can be a dangerous side.
The Swans ran out 1-0 winners the last time the sides met in November and I can see the Welshman getting a result again here.
Manchester City to win -2 goals
Cheltenham v Manchester City 0-4
Manchester City have hit form in recent weeks and are now very much gathering momentum on all fronts.
For Cheltenham, this is the glamour tie they would have hoped for. All eyes will be on the Jonny-Rocks Stadium for this one, so it should be a great day for the club.
That said, the task in front of Michael Duff’s side is daunting to say the least. City are likely to make some changes here, but with such strength in depth, I think the visitors will stroll into the next round.
Barnsley v Norwich 1-1
These two face off again after playing each other only a little over two weeks ago. It was Norwich that ran out narrow 1-0 winners that day and I’m expecting another tight match here.
Norwich rested a few of their top players in their 3rd round tie, and if they decide to do that again, I think Barnsley could take this all the way to extra time and possibly penalties.
Millwall to win & btts
Millwall v Bristol City 2-1
Millwall negotiated their way through in what looked a potentially tricky tie against Boreham Wood in round 3. They welcome a Bristol City side that have lost their last three on the road. However, the home side aren’t in fantastic form themselves having lost two of their last four.
I think this could be quite open. Both defences haven’t been at their best in recent weeks, and I could see Millwall winning with both sides scoring.
Brighton to win -1 goal
Brighton v Blackpool 2-0
Blackpool took the scalp of Premier League side West Brom in round 3 and will be aiming for back-to-back triumphs against Brighton.
Unfortunately for Blackpool, Brighton have just hit a bit of form. Last week’s away win against Leeds was a welcome result and one that could give the Seagulls a massive boost.
They’ve played excellent football at times this season, and if they can start converting in front of goal, a cup run wouldn’t be out of the question.
With that in mind, I’m siding with the home side to be in the draw for the next round.
Sheffield United to win & btts
Sheffield United v Plymouth 2-1
Sheffield United’s win in the 3rd round was a perfect springboard as they followed up with their first Premier League win of the season against Newcastle.
They take on a Plymouth side that are playing well. The Pilgrims have won three of their last four and there’s no doubt they have the potential to cause an upset here.
That said, I think this could be a turning point in Sheffield United’s season and fancy them to get through in what should be a good cup tie.
West Ham to win 2-0
West Ham v Doncaster 2-0
West Ham are enjoying an excellent run in the Premier League and will be keen to extend that to the FA Cup. The Hammers have been solid at home this season, and if they continue in that vein, I think they’ll win comfortably here.
Chelsea to win -2 goals
Chelsea v Luton 3-0
Tuesday’s defeat to Leicester means there is mounting pressure on Frank Lampard in the Chelsea hotseat. The FA Cup will come as a welcome distraction and chance to boost confidence after a patchy run of league form.
This is a huge task for Luton, but they do arrive here having won three of their last four. That said, if Chelsea are anywhere near their best, they should win comfortably.
Brentford to win
Brentford v Leicester City 2-1
There are plenty of excellent FA Cup fixtures this weekend and this one is no different. Leicester will have to be wary of this Brentford side. They are excellent going forward and were very unlucky to lose out to Tottenham in the League Cup semi-final earlier this month.
Brendan Rodgers will most likely make some changes here, however, I expect his style of play to remain much the same.
Leicester are well in the race for the Premier League title, so the FA Cup may not be top of their priorities, and with that in mind I just feel this could mean a bit more to Brentford.
I think this could be tight, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Bees made it through.
Fulham to win
Fulham v Burnley 1-0
It’s an all Premier League tie at Craven Cottage as Fulham welcome Burnley. Despite both playing markedly better than they were before Christmas, neither are scoring a huge amount of goals.
Other than a very good away win at the Emirates, Burnley’s recent away form has been poor. With that in mind, I’m going for a narrow Fulham win in a low scoring contest.
Liverpool to win & btts
Manchester United v Liverpool 1-2
For the second time in a week, old rivals Manchester United and Liverpool face-off. This time Old Trafford is the venue with a place in the quarter finals up for the grabs.
With that in mind, we could see quite a change in line-ups and possibly tactics. Last week’s match was a highly tactical affair and out of the two teams, United would’ve probably been happier after 90 minutes.
Now in the cup, I think this could pan out differently. With United at home, I don’t think they’ll be willing to give up as much territory to Liverpool as they did at Anfield. If that materialises and United truly have a go, it could leave the door wide open for Liverpool to capitlise on the counter.
With that in mind, I reckon Liverpool will get through by the narrowest of margins.
Everton to win to nil
Everton v Sheffield Wednesday 2-0
Everton have had a more than satisfactory Premier League campaign, so far. Europe is well within their grasp and I think if you asked most Toffees fans, they’d have high expectations of a decent cup run.
They’ll certainly be put to the test here. Wednesday are undefeated in their last 5 matches, picking up 4 wins and a draw.
Again, this could be another close match. I do, however, feel that Everton have enough quality and if they’re on their game, they should go through.
Spurs to win 3-0
Wycombe v Spurs 0-3
This is a fixture that has a bit of history. I remember a classic cup tie between the two when Spurs were 3-2 down approaching injury time, only to win 4-3. That was back in 2017 and you have to say Wycombe have done exceptionally well to come as far as they have since then.
Now in the Championship, Gareth Ainsworth’s side will be aiming to cause a cup shock. However, Jose Mourinho will know all about Wycombe. His Chelsea side were held to a draw there in the League Cup back in 2007, so he’ll be aware of the threat.
I expect Spurs to make changes again here, but with such strength in depth, I can only see it panning out one way.