Four FA Cup fixtures to bet on this weekend
FA Cup third round day has long been one of the landmark occasions on the English footballing calendar. And although its reputation has slightly diminished in recent years, not even the World Cup break nor the glut of Premier League fixtures has moved it from the traditional first weekend of January. There are some truly mouthwatering games to be played and Best Of Bets previews some of them here…
Gillingham vs Leicester @ 12.30pm Saturday
This game represents possibly the best chance of a genuine ‘giant killing’, with Brendan Rodgers’ side still in patchy form and Gillingham – despite being rock bottom of the football league – likely to boast a capacity home crowd at Priestfield Stadium. The Gills beat Cardiff 1-0 at this stage of the competition in 2019 when the Welsh side were a Premier League outfit and, although the bookies aren’t backing them, could be an outside bet to repeat the dose against the Foxes.
Gillingham to win: 14/1
Crystal Palace vs Southampton @ 12.30pm Saturday
Nathan Jones’ Saints desperately need a win in the cup to generate some momentum, while Patrick Vieira is craving ‘consistency’ at Palace. It could be that the change of pace benefits Southampton in this all Premier League affair, with Vieira likely to ring the changes given the festive period’s hectic schedule. Jones might just get that victory he’s desperate for – it certainly represents a good value bet for punters.
Southampton to win: 10/3
Sheffield Wednesday vs Newcastle @ 6pm Saturday
Newcastle have been outstanding in the Premier League since Eddie Howe took charge (and the Saudi Arabia money starting pouring in). But the one thing the fans on Tyneside crave is a cup run. The trophy drought stretches right back to 1955, although Alan Shearer and company did reach four domestic cup finals in the 1990s. Sheffield Wednesday will boast a vociferous home crowd and are in good form, second in League One. They could easily force a replay.
Bristol City vs Swansea City @ 12.30pm Sunday
The England versus Wales element of Bristol City’s matches against Cardiff and Swansea is always intriguing and, with both these teams ensconced in mid table in the Championship, it’s worth them going all-out in the FA Cup. Both teams play open and attacking football so the game could make for entertaining fare while eating your Sunday lunch. The value bet is on the Swans.
Swansea to win: 29/20