No Premier League, no problem! Cheeky is back with a host of FA Cup tips. If you like all of Cheeky’s picks, Paddy Power’s Acca Insurance will refund all punters whose 4+ bet accumulators are let down by just a single selection.
Wolves v Crystal Palace
It’s no win in four for Wolves following that breathless 3-3 draw with Brighton last time out, and so I’m not sure they should be 10/11 pokes here. I’ve yet to tire of watching Eberechi Eze’s solo stunner from the weekend, so here’s the plan. We all back him to score first at Molineux and when he does simply chant in unison at the TV:
A great philosopher once wrote
Naughty, naughty, very naughty
Ha ha ha ha ha
He’s Eberechi good.
Boreham Wood v Millwall
Ready your breakfast and eat hearty, for tonight, we dine in hell! The Wood are in the third round draw for the first time ever. They are 13/2 to spring a shock, and have won their last five matches. Millwall of course were finalists in 2004, but this could get very messy for them and an upset is not out of the question.
Chorley FC v Derby County
Wayne Rooney insists Derby won’t be taking this game lightly and giving the old trophy the respect it rightly deserves. In a crazy plot twist however the Championship strugglers have confirmed that “several first-team staff members and players” have tested positive for coronavirus. If the game does go ahead, the Rams could be sitting ducks.
Betting: Chorley & Draw (Double Chance) at 13/5 (Paddy Power)
Manchester United v Watford
The Red Devils head into 2021 firmly in the Premier League title race. Granted, they don’t have that unmistakable aura of a title-winning side but let’s have it right, worse teams have won the league than this United side and I still think the bookies are under-estimating them in the title betting. Will Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer view the FA Cup as a distraction? Almost certainly not, with the United boss saying earlier this week “You play football to win trophies, to get your hands on a trophy — even though when you win that trophy you move on to the next one.” They are not bankers to win any silverware this season of course, but clearly moving in the right direction and can swat aside the Hornets on Saturday.
Arsenal v Newcastle United
Arsenal have an unrivalled recent pedigree in the FA Cup. Indeed it’s mad to think that when Dennis Bergkamp joined the north London giants in 1995, the Gunners had just six FA Cups to their name – fewer than bitter Tottenham. They are now out on their own with 14 wins, and are also the current Cup holders. Mikel Arteta’s men are heavy odds on to beat Newcastle having won their last three matches. The Toon have endured a tough festive campaign and pressure is mounting on Steve Bruce, with the Magpies’ style of play drawing huge criticism under Brucey’s watch.
Chelsea v Morecambe
Morecambe next for a Chelsea side currently on a s**tty run of one win in seven. On Wednesday the League Two side came back from 10-days in isolation. Imagine the scenes if Chelsea lost this game after the Shrimps couldn’t train for 10 days? Frank Lampard knows the drill. He won’t be given unlimited time to save his job at Stamford Bridge but can oversee a very welcome win this weekend. Callum Hudson-Odoi has to start on recent form. And if he does he can inspire the Blues to a romp in west London.
Crawley Town v Leeds United
Crawley are unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions and look a potential banana skin for Marcelo Bielsa’s side here. There’s not a shred of doubt in my mind however that there will be goals in this match. Bielsa’s insistence on all-out-attack in and out of possession, while sticking a Latino middle finger up to defensive rigidity, should be cherished. Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout.
Manchester City v Birmingham City
The Citizens take this competition seriously and last held the FA Cup aloft as recently as 2019. They are 1/9 to see off Birmingham and 3/1 favourites to win the competition this season. Should be routine stuff this at the Etihad with Pep’s mob going nicely again in the league.
Marine v Tottenham Hotspur
The non-league outfit from Crosby face perhaps the biggest day in their history on Sunday as Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur come to town. Absolute f**king choker for Marine of course that the game will be played without fans. But fair play to Jamie Carragher, whose JC23 Foundation have stepped in with financial support after a previous sponsor for the match pulled out. Marine play in the eighth tier of English football and let’s just say the bookies don’t fancy them. Indeed I’ve been writing Cheeky Punt for a lot of years and cannot remember previewing a match where the home side were ever 70/1 to win! I’d be hugely surprised if Jose unleashed Harry Kane and Son Heung-min on the minnows, but even without their star strikers I fancy goals at Rossett Park.
Odds correct at the time of publication. 18+ Please Gamble Responsibly. Visit begambleaware.org