Space raiders Wigan to shine

Sky Bet's Dale Tempest believes Wigan will pass Millwall to death at Wembley this weekend.

Last Updated: 13/04/13 at 14:04 Post Comment

Wigan should be way too good for Millwall

Wigan should be way too good for Millwall

Dale Tempest may work for a bookmaker these days but he is also a former professional footballer so knows both sides of the betting fence.

Fulham, Huddersfield and Colchester were among his clubs during a 16-year career - he knows exactly how the game is played.

These days in his role as Sky Bet's public relations director - you may have seen him on Sky Sports News - he's very much got his finger on the pulse of the markets.

His regular Friday column explores the mindset of the bookies and highlights the best bets for the weekend's action.

Here is his take on this weekend's two FA Cup semi-finals.

Wigan to beat Millwall at 5/6

Draw-Wigan in HT-FT market at 7/2

Wigan look a massive price to beat Millwall in the first FA Cup semi-final on Saturday. Wigan, in recent times, have a good record against lower-league teams, while Millwall have an awful record against top-flight opposition - they've won just one of their last 13 in such games. At home to Norwich, Wigan struggled to break their opponents down and after that at QPR they looked poor. What a lot of people won't have taken into account though is that the pitch at Loftus Road is one of the smallest around, while their own pitch at the DW Stadium is awful due to the rugby being played on it. We saw what happened when Swansea went up against Bradford in the Captial One Cup at Wembley, where there's a perfect surface these days. Millwall have done well in the FA Cup, don't get me wrong, but they've mainly played against sides that have been easy to be negative against. In the wide open spaces of Wembley, I can see Wigan passing it around for fun and Millwall getting exposed like Bradford were. I'm not comparing like for like - Millwall are clearly a better side - but it's the same principle. Millwall have conceded one goal in the FA Cup this season and have often tried to hold out as long as possible in terms of defence. This is their cup final, so the draw HT-Wigan FT at 7/2 looks a big price. Having said that, my main bet will simply be on Wigan to win the game at 5/6.

Manchester City to beat Chelsea at 5/4

Wigan and Man City to reach the final at 11/8

I watched Chelsea last week against Sunderland and they looked shattered. They are a team who look like they are playing too many games. They may be on this great unbeaten run in the FA Cup but Manchester City look to be peaking for this one - it's all they have to play for. Sergio Aguero is back fit and they showed at Old Trafford on Monday night that they should be ashamed that they are 12 points behind United. While Rafa Benitez would love a cup, I think he'll have his focus on the Europa League, especially now they have drawn Basel in the semis. That will look better on his CV, particularly around Europe, where it's more likely he'll take his next job. 5/4 about City is huge. If you look at the finalists market, 11/8 about Wigan v Man City is another way to play this weekend and something I'll definitely be backing.


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