Cruise for Reds
Tipster Dave Tindall with his latest betting column and best wagers for this weekend's FA Cup action.
By Dave Tindall
Last Updated: 25/01/13 4:42pm
Attention switches back to the FA Cup this weekend with Millwall v Aston Villa getting us under way on Friday night. After their Capital One Cup exit to Bradford, Villa's fans must be dreading this one - even though Millwall have only won two of their last seven games. Sky Bet think Villa are highly vulnerable though and have priced this up as if it were a Premier League fixture with Millwall 6/4 favourites and Villa 13/8. For me, it's not really a game to bet on. Joint Cup favourites Manchester United host Fulham in Saturday's tea-time kick-off and I can see this being a stroll for the hosts. Fulham let in an average of over two goals per game on the road while United are the Premier League's most prolific goalscorers at home. Looking at the handicaps and Sir Alex Ferguson's men are 15/8 to win by over two goals so that United (-2) looks the bet here. Fulham have won just once in their last seven Premier League outings and required a replay to get past Championship outfit Blackpool in round three so are there for the taking by a United side refreshed from a recent trip to sunny Qatar. As for a possible upset, try Sheffield United at 4/1 to win at Reading. The Blades are fifth in League One and have only lost twice on the road while Reading are more focused on trying to stay in the Premier League.
Sunday's action sees three of the big guns in action with Chelsea at Brentford, Tottenham at Leeds and Liverpool at Oldham. Sky Bet have a 'What If... There Are No Shocks On Sunday' market and make the three Premier League outfits 7/4 to all claim victories. I think those odds are pretty decent to be honest. Chelsea are running out of chances to land silverware this season and Liverpool and Spurs both have the firepower to cruise to victory or get out of trouble. However, there is one bet I like at Elland Road in favour of the hosts, at least that was before Leeds striker Luciano Becchio slapped in a transfer request. The Argentine has netted in seven of his last nine home games and that run includes goals against Premier League opposition Southampton and Chelsea. Four have been the first goal so he looked a good bet at 7/1 to net the opening strike of the tie, just as he did against Chelsea. The advice now is to maintain a watching brief until the teams are named. If he's picked, get stuck in as, don't forget, if he wants a transfer he need to advertise what he's got. A goal would do just that.
* A quick mention of the FA Cup outright market. Man Utd and Chelsea are joint 4/1 favourites to lift the trophy, just in front of Man City at 9/2. It's then 15/2 Spurs, 8/1 Arsenal, 9/1 Liverpool and 10/1 Everton.
The transfer window could still provide some late twists and turns and Sky Bet have a whole series of players priced up to make moves. Man City's Mario Balotelli is just 4/9 to be an AC Milan player before February 1st while the much prized Falcao is 7/1 to join Chelsea and 12/1 to be snapped up by Man City. PSG is considered his most likely destination though although the 11/4 suggests he won't be moving in this window. Liverpool are just 2/9 to land youngster Phillipe Coutinho while Everton's Marouane Fellaini is 11/8 to be a Chelsea player before the window closes. Sky Bet have also priced up David Beckham's next permanent club and make West Ham the clear even-money favourites. QPR are 7/1 and Spurs 12s. A return to Manchester United is 50s! Frank Lampard is set to be on the move this summer and Sky Bet go just 8/15 that he signs for any MLS club before September 1st. Man Utd are second favourites to snare him at 3/1, that price having halved from 6s.
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods - the numbers one and two in the world - were the clear favourites to win last week's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship so it was a huge surprise that both missed the cut. Rory said later we should "blame the Indian not the arrow", implying that it was his rusty form rather than his new Nike clubs which were to blame. Rory is still favourite in just about every ante-post market so we shouldn't be judging him on just one tournament. Abu Dhabi winner Jamie Donaldson has been cut to 4/1 make the 2014 European Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles so is regarded as a serious player now having also won the Irish Open last year and finished seventh in the 2012 USPGA. Welshman Donaldson is 150/1 to win The Masters at Augusta this April, with Rory heading that market at 11/2 ahead of 7/1 Tiger.
* Dave tipped Jamie Donaldson at 55/1 to win last week's Abu Dhabi Championship. Check the golf section for all his weekly betting previews