Derby v Manchester United
Louis van Gaal may have been defiant in Thursday afternoon’s press conference, citing the “awful and horrible” things certain media outlets are writing about him. But should the Red Devils suffer an FA Cup KO to a faltering derby County this Friday night, it will surely be game over. A mate of mine at work, who is a United season ticket holder, advised that the vitriol and abuse LVG received after their 1-0 loss to Southampton was as bad as he has ever heard at Old Trafford. Said mate witnessed one old fella in a flat cap run fully 15 yards down a stand at the final whistle before screaming “You fat Dutch pancake b*stard!” at a clearly rattled Van Gaal following that Saints loss. The big fella has been around the block in a stellar career of highs and lows, but I’ll wager he’s never been called a ‘fat Dutch pancake b*stard’ before. In terms of a result here, I fancy United to scramble over the line at the iPro, but again it won’t be pretty.
Betting: Manchester United to win at evens (Paddy Power)
Colchester v Tottenham
Colchester are bottom of League One and sinking like a stone. Even if Spurs field a few of ‘da yoot’ and the odd fringe player, they should still run through the U’s like a bowie knife through angel cake.
Betting: Tottenham (-1) to win at evens (Sky Bet)
Arsenal v Burnley
Tricky old tie this for the back-to-back FA Cup winners. Burnley have won their last four and are flying at present, smashing Derby 4-1 last time out. The Clarets last won the Cup in 1914. Nice bit of useless trivia for you there. If Monsieur Wenger elects to tinker too much they could come a cropper. Both teams to score at a shade under evens looks an absolute knocking bet under the circumstances.
Betting: Both teams to score at 10/11 (Bet Bright)
Aston Villa v Manchester City
One thing is for certain, neither of these two will want a draw. Villa are scrapping for their lives and City are competing on four fronts still this season. The fact their top boys were involved in an arduous League Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday night tips the balance in Villa’s favour here for me and I know I am leaving myself open to ridicule by tipping up a home win (with both teams scoring). Cue a few wags logging onto the comments page below after 5pm on Saturday to call me a muggy c*nt. After-timers eh? Don’t you just love em’…
Betting: Aston Villa to win and both teams to score at 8/1 (Coral/Stan James)
Bolton v Leeds
The financial noose is tightening at Bolton but how they would love to dump Leeds out here in front of a big crowd then get a plumb draw away to Manchester United. Incredible to think that in 2011 the Trotters were FA Cup semi-finalists. Today they are a side who needed two goes to get past Eastleigh and while I love a bit of FA Cup romance I can see Leeds doing a job on them here.
Betting: Leeds to win at 17/10 (Bet Victor)
Crystal Palace v Stoke
Have boots. Will travel. That’s Emmanuel Adebayor, who has rolled into Palace and immediately made a t*t of himself by claiming he will need to use Google to find out more about his new club. He could go straight in for the Eagles this weekend, but given he has been without a club for five months, and was never the most energetic of souls in his prime, I’d much rather be on Bakary Sako to score in this one.
Betting: Sako to score anytime at 15/8 (Stan James)
Portsmouth v Bournemouth
Can League Two Pompey do for Premier League trendies Bournemouth at Fratton Park? It’s a big ask, and if I am honest I don’t see a shock here. I do however like the look of the classy Junior Stanislas to score first at a very eye-catching 10/1.
Betting: Stanislas to score first at 10/1 (bet365)
Liverpool v West Ham
The Hammers have done the double over Liverpool already this season yet can still be backed at a whopping 3/1 to prevail at Anfield. They’ve scored five, and conceded none against the Reds, who were sh*te again on Tuesday night and needed spot-kicks to get past Stoke City. I don’t know about you but the away win here is making me very, very horny.
Betting: West Ham to win at 3/1 (Bet Victor)
Carlisle v Everton
The Toffees came so close against Man City the other night and but for that dodgy Raheem Sterling line call might have made it to Wembley. Bobby Martinez will have to earn his wages to pick them up after that as the head to Carlisle. Happily the Brunton Park pitch is playable again and snorkel and arm bands won’t be required.
Betting: Kevin Mirallas to score first at 6/1 (bet365)
MK Dons v Chelsea
What is happening at Chelsea? They have endured a terrible season but it seems they are reluctant to do any major business in the transfer window. Matt Miazga? F*ck off! He sounds like a character from Saved by the Bell.
Betting: Chelsea to win to nil at 10/11 (Stan James)