Arsenal v Manchester United
Two giants of the English game meet for the 16th time in the world’s oldest knockout competition on Friday night in what should prove a crackerjack match at the Emirates. OK it probably won’t scale the heights of that 1999 semi-final (the joy, the pain, the f**king chest hair) but it will definitely be worth a watch. It’s getting on for five years since the last goalless draw between the two sides and the Red Devils will be looking for an eighth straight win under Ole. Arsenal have won the competition a record 13 times but given United’s recent performances it’s quite surprising to see them chalked up around the 2/1 mark for the win. It’s all about momentum for the visitors surely so don’t expect wholesale changes and if they are close to full strength they can pick off an Arsenal side who could be vulnerable without the crocked Hector Bellerin (out of the season) in defence.
Betting: Manchester United to win at 9/5 (bet365)
Manchester City v Burnley
Burnley are actually on a good run yet can still be backed at an incredible 40/1 to win at the Etihad. I won’t be getting involved after sustaining heavy losses on Barcelona in midweek. It’s been a bad few days actually with my partner walking out on me. She actually left me a note:
‘I’m leaving you because you’re so stupid and bigoted.’
Well I’m not f**king stupid, I’m actually dyslexic. And I can’t help having big toes.
Betting: Manchester City to win 4-0 at 7/1 (Betfair)
Middlesbrough v Newport County
Plucky Newport lit up round three by beating Leicester City amid genuine scenes at Rodney Parade. They head to the Riverside on Saturday to take on a (very dull) Boro side who have just signed John Obi Mikel. The Nigerian of course spent the bulk of his career at Chelsea, where at one point he managed just five (yes, five) shots on target in four Premier League seasons for the Blues. Newport, you have been warned…
Betting: No goalscorer at 11/1 (Betfair)
Newcastle United v Watford
A long and winding FA Cup run is probably pretty low on Newcastle’s list of priorities this season so Watford look a bet at 6/4 to win on Tyneside. The Hornets are flying high in seventh in the Premier League and should have enough strength in depth to continue on the road to Wembley.
Betting: Watford to win at 6/4 (bet365)
Shrewsbury Town v Wolves
Wolves knocked Liverpool out in the last round so surely can be trusted to do a job on lowly Shrewsbury? My short-term goal is to have a thick single on the away win. My longer-term goal is to grow old disgracefully. To ride around in one of those intimidating mobility scooters with the big roofs on and ram it into the back of people’s legs who get on my tits.
Betting: Wolves to win and both teams to score at 12/5 (bet365)
Millwall v Everton
This reeks of FA Cup upset. Everton have been so erratic under Marco Silva and only a proper lunatic would be getting involved in the away win here at odds on. Millwall have a decent record in the Cup in recent seasons and tick plenty of boxes here at 4/1.
Betting: Millwall to win at 4/1 (Betfair)
AFC Wimbledon v West Ham
The outrageous rumours going round last week that Andy Carroll is on his way to Spurs were right up there with the ‘2Pac is still alive and living in Malaysia’ nonsense. He’s not though, is he? He looks a likely starter for West Ham this weekend though having scored in round three and provided he can make it off the team bus without breaking or straining something we are happy to get stuck into him at 4/1 to score first against the Dons. Amazingly Big AC is still only 30 and remains real handful when in the mood, or indeed not on crutches.
Betting: Carroll to score first at 4/1 (bet365)
Crystal Palace v Tottenham
Spurs look to be struggling without arguably their best three players in Harry Kane and Dele Alli (injury) and Son Heung-Min (Asian Cup) so Palace, provided Roy Hodgson doesn’t take the piss in terms of team selection, look a decent price here to win at home.
Betting: Crystal Palace to win and both teams to score at 9/2 (Betfair)
Chelsea v Sheffield Wednesday
The Owls have won their last two and are not entirely without hope against the Blues, who will definitely shuffle their pack again after a busy few weeks. All is clearly not well in the Chelsea camp either with Maurizio Sarri questioning Eden Hazard’s leadership qualities earlier this week and if the London giants are not fully on the ball at the Bridge they could come unstuck.
Betting: Sheffield Wednesday to win at 12/1 (Betfair)