Up for the Cup
Tipster Dave Tindall with his outright tips for the FA Cup and best wagers for third round weekend.
By Dave Tindall
Last Updated: 04/01/13 4:23pm
Since Wimbledon's shock FA Cup win in 1988, only once has the trophy been lifted by a side outside of Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton. It suggests there isn't much mileage in looking too far down the betting when trying to select this year's winner. Having not won this tournament since 2004, I think it's the turn of Manchester United to shine this year and looking at Sir Alex Ferguson's wealth of striking talent the current league leaders have the squad to either steamroller teams or get out of trouble if going behind. Take them at 6/1 - inflated due to a potentially tricky trip to West Ham in R3 - to win the trophy for a record 12th time. My main bet though is on Everton. They were beaten semi-finalists last year and lost in the final in 2009 so have a decent recent record in this competition. They've been in great form this season, are hard to beat and David Moyes is desperate to put his first silverware in the Everton trophy cabinet. Take them at 12/1.
Newcastle are on a horrible run of form and defeat to Everton on Wednesday made it six defeats in seven games. In theory, they look ripe for a giantkilling at the hands of Championship side Brighton but I'm not so sure the hosts should only be 9/5 to pull it off. Brighton haven't won any of their last three home games and have drawn a league-high six in front of their own fans this term. The Magpies aren't as bad as their bare form suggests so take them to earn a draw at 12/5.
Bournemouth have won 12 and drawn four of their last 16 matches which means you have to go back three months to find their last defeat. So how about some 16/5 that they score an upset third round win at Wigan on Saturday? The Latics have lost six out of eight and six home defeats is a Premier League worst this term. Last season they crashed out of the FA Cup against Swindon while earlier this year they were eliminated from the Carling Cup by League Two Bradford so they're not averse to being on the wrong end of an upset - especially if Roberto Martinez rests his top players due to the more pressing concern of Premier League survival.
Despite back-to-back wins, there is still plenty of obvious unrest at Blackburn and you get the sense that they're particularly fragile in front of their home fans. They've lost five times at Ewood Park already this term and Bristol City may just have enough to inflict further misery. The Robins may lie 23rd in the Championship but they've won away at Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday in recent weeks so are worth a punt at 18/5 to win the tie.