FA Cup 3rd Round Betting Preview 2020

FA Cup 3rd Round Preview – The Road to Wembley Begins for the Premier League Heavyweights

The magic of the FA Cup reaches fever pitch this weekend as all 20 Premier League heavyweights enter the third round proper. Fans are always eager to see giant killings take place, and the draw has pitted a number of big clubs against unheralded opposition. There are also some mouth watering all-Premier League clashes, as Wolves host Man Utd at Molineux and Liverpool take on Everton in an eagerly anticipated Merseyside derby.

Also this weekend the Football Association have taken the step that all third round ties will be delayed by one minute to encourage fans to ‘Take A Minute’ to think about looking after their mental health, as part of the Heads Up campaign. The move will see all 32 ties, excluding replays, kick off one minute later than their traditionally scheduled broadcast and non-broadcast timeslots.

These are the biggest games to look out for during an exciting weekend of action in the world’s oldest club football competition:

Rochdale v Newcastle – 12.31, Saturday 4th January

A poor first half of the League One season has seen Rochdale slump to 18th place in the table and they face a desperate battle against relegation throughout the second half of the season. However, they will enjoy a brief respite when they host Premier League giants Newcastle at the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday. Steve Bruce’s side are nestled in a comfortable mid-table position in the top flight, so they can afford to send a few big guns down to Greater Manchester for this game.

Rochdale v Newcastle Odds & Spreads

Our traders have priced Newcastle at 8/15 to win this game. Rochdale are 19/4 in the football betting odds, while the draw is priced at 3/1.

In the spread betting, Newcastle have been assigned a 0.95-1.15 Match Supremacy Index over Rochdale, while the Magpies also have a Win Index of 17-18.5 with Rochdale at 5.5-6.75.

Newcastle were victims of one of the greatest giant killings of all time when they lost to Hereford in the third round in 1972. Can Rochdale pull off another great upset?

Fulham v Aston Villa – 15:01, Saturday 4th January

Fulham spent more than £100 million after securing promotion to the Premier League in 2018 and they were tipped for a top half finish. However, it proved to be a total disaster as the Cottagers lost 26 games and they were immediately relegated straight back down to the Championship. Aston Villa followed in their footsteps in 2019 after they too secured promotion and spent north of £100 million, leading some commentators to brand them “the new Fulham”. After a reasonably strong start to life in the top flight, Villa have struggled of late and are in the thick of a relegation battle.

It will therefore be fascinating to see these two teams lock horns at Craven Cottage this season. Many of Fulham’s expensive recruits have abandoned ship, but they have a decent team and they are currently fifth in the Championship. They may see the FA Cup as a distraction as they chase promotion, while Aston Villa could also see it as a distraction to their goal of beating the drop, but we should still be in for an entertaining game.

Fulham v Aston Villa – Odds & Spreads

Championship Fulham are the favourites, with a Match Supremacy Index of 0.15-0.35 in the football spread betting. They have a Win Index of 12.5-14, compared to 9.75-11.25 for the Premier League side. In the fixed odds, Fulham are 5/4 favourites, with 19/10 on Aston Villa and 5/2 on the draw.

Wolves v Man Utd – 17:31, Saturday 4th January

Wolves gleefully dumped Man Utd out of the FA Cup in the quarter-finals last season courtesy of second half strikes from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota. This is a grudge match for the Red Devils, whose form had improved considerably before the New Year’s Day defeat against Arsenal.

Wolves v Man Utd – Odds & Spreads

The FA Cup could be their best chance of seizing silverware this season and they will be desperate to beat Nuno Espirito Santo’s men.

However, Wolves have played Man Utd four times since they were promoted in 2018 and they have secured two wins and two draws. Both victories came at Molineux, so they will head into this game full of confidence. Our traders make them the narrow favourites to win it, priced at 6/4, with Man Utd out at 13/8 and the draw priced at 12/5. Over 2.5 goals is 8/11, and under 2.5 goals is 21/20.

Man City v Port Vale – 17:31, Saturday 4th January

FA Cup holders Man City have been handed a home tie against Port Vale as they begin their defence of the trophy. On paper it looks like a simple assignment, but City have also been victims of giant killings in recent years. They lost to Wigan a couple of years ago in the cup, and Pep Guardiola will be wary of another upset.

Last season they beat Rotherham Utd 7-0 in the third round, before thrashing Premier League side Burnley 5-0 in the fourth round and going on to beat Watford 6-0 in the final.

Man City v Port Vale – Odds & Spreads

Guardiola has already conceded that the title race is over, as his side are 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool, so Man City will be desperate to win this tournament again.

They are the heavy favourites to win this game, with a Supremacy Index of 3.75-3.95 over Port Vale. John Askey’s men, who ply their trade in League Two, have a Win Index of just 0.5-1.25, whereas Man City’s is 23.5-24.25.

City are just 1/20 in the fixed odds, while Port Vale are 30/1 outsiders. You can find 17/20 on Man City with a -3.5 Asian handicap, or you could go for Port Vale +3.5 at 10/11.

Middlesbrough v Tottenham – 14:01, Sunday 5th January

This looks like a tricky assignment for Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham side. Middlesbrough recently arrested a dreadful run of form and four wins in a row has seen Boro climb up to 16th in the Championship table. Manager Jonathan Woodgate finally appears to be putting his stamp on the team and they did really well to beat league leaders West Brom 2-0 on the road on 29 December.

Mourinho won the FA Cup during his time at Man Utd and he will be hell-bent on repeating the feat at his new club. Tottenham have not won a trophy in 12 years and the Portuguese manager was brought in to end that barren spell.

Spurs are well off the pace in the league and European glory seems unlikely, so this could represent their best chance of silverware this season. You would therefore expect Mourinho to roll out the big guns for this game, but star man Harry Kane is unavailable for selection after picking up a hamstring injury in the New Year’s Day defeat to Southampton.

Middlesbrough v Tottenham – Odds & Spreads

Tottenham are favourites to progress with odds of 4/7, while Boro are priced at 17/4 to pull off an upset, with 15/4 available on the draw.

Tottenham have struggled defensively all season and Total Goals is available at 2.85-3.05.

Sheff Utd v AFC Fylde – 14:01, Sunday 5th January

The newly promoted Blades are the surprise package in the Premier League this season, sitting pretty in eighth place after a fantastic run of results. They have no fears of relegation and they can afford to devote considerable resources towards enjoying a cup run. Their campaign begins with the visit of the minnows AFC Fylde to Bramall Lane on Sunday. Jim Bentley’s men are languishing in 20th place in the Conference after going six league games without a win, so it is easy to see why they are huge underdogs in this game.

Sheff Utd v AFC Fylde Odds & Spreads

Sheff Utd are 1/11 favourites in the football betting odds, with 8/1 available on the draw and 25/1 on Fylde. Sheff Utd -2.5 Asian handicap is priced at 20/21, while Fylde +2.5 is 3/4 and Fylde +2 Asian handicap is 27/20. In the football spread betting, Sheff Utd are 2.4-2.6 favourites in the Match Supremacy Index and they have a Win Index of 22.75-23.5, compared to 1-1.75 for Fylde.

Liverpool v Everton – 16:01, Sunday 5th January

The latest chapter in the world’s least competitive crosstown derby kicks off again this weekend with Liverpool hosting Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton. The Reds are already all but confirmed as Premier League champions having not lost a league game this season and were recently named as the world’s very best club side.

Thanks mainly to Duncan Ferguson’s impressive run as interim coach, Everton have steered themselves away from relegation worries and are in a much healthier position now.

Liverpool v Everton – Betting Markets

Liverpool are our market favourites, coming into the game with heavy favourite odds of 4/6 against Everton’s 7/2 and a draw’s 3/1 pricing. The last time Liverpool lost at home under Jurgen Klopp was all the way back in April 2017, a remarkable run that is going to take some effort to be knocked over here.

Gillingham v West Ham – 18:16, Sunday 5th January

League One side Gillingham will bid to pull off a major upset when they host Premier League strugglers West Ham at Priestfield on Sunday. The Hammers sacked manager Manuel Pellegrini after they lost nine out of 12 games and slipped dangerously close to the relegation zone. David Moyes has been parachuted in to save the day, and the FA Cup is unlikely to be a priority for the Hammers.

Gillingham are up to 11th in League One after picking up three wins and two draws in their last five games, and they beat Doncaster 2-0 in the previous round, so they head into the game in fine form.

Gillingham v West Ham Odds & Spreads

Our traders still make West Ham the clear favourites to win this tie. They are the 0.85-1.05 goal favourites in the Match Supremacy Index, and their Win Index is 16.5-18, while they are priced at 3/5 in the fixed odds.

Gillingham are 4/1 underdogs and their Win Index is 6-7.5. They have been excellent going forwards of late, and the Hammers have a number of exciting attackers, so neutral fans will hope for an entertaining game. Total Goals is priced at 2.8-3.

Arsenal v Leeds – 19:56, Monday 6th January

Arsenal have decided to recall Eddie Nketiah from his loan spell at Leeds after the exciting youngster received very little playing time under Marcelo Bielsa. The England under-21 striker started up front in Leeds’ 5-4 victory over Birmingham last time out, but Bielsa has generally preferred to go with Patrick Bamford up top. Arsenal will now loan him out to a Championship rival and that adds another degree of intrigue to this FA Cup third round clash.

The Gunners have won the FA Cup three times in the past six years, but they have endured a miserable first half of the Premier League season. Arsenal fans will, however, be encouraged by Wednesday’s 2-0 victory against Manchester United. With top four looking unlikely for the Gunners, Arteta may be targeting the FA Cup this season.

Arsenal v Leeds – Odds & Spreads

Leeds have struggled for consistency a little of late, but they are top of the Championship and they could enjoy the chance to take on a Premier League heavyweight.

Our traders make them 4/1 underdogs for this big Monday night clash, with Arsenal priced at 4/7 and the draw out at 16/5. Arteta’s side currently boast a Win Index of 16.25-17.75 against Leeds’ 6.25-7.5, with Total Goals spread across the game currently priced at 2.85-3.05.

Will the Premier League participants stamp their authority on the third round or will we see upsets galore? – Get all the latest FA Cup betting markets at Sporting Index.

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