Sam Hendry with some Fa Cup betting advice for the weekend
After a frantic round of festive fixtures which saw multiple managers complain about the volume and timing of games, the Premier League bosses are sure to shake up their sides for the third round of the FA Cup.
With that in mind I’m going to look at ties which could see three top flight sides upset by those from the lower leagues.
After reaching the Championship play-offs last season, Fulham have failed to hit those heights with their inconsistency leaving them in the bottom half of the table for much of the season.
But their form picked up over Christmas, moving them into the top 10 and they will be confident of taking down a struggling Southampton side.
Their last win came on the 26th of November against Everton, with that being their only triumph in their last 13 outings.
That run has left them 17th, level on points with Stoke, and bereft of confidence. An away trip to an in-form Championship team could spell trouble for the Saints and a Fulham win can be backed at odds of 2/1 (Betfair Sports)
Elsewhere, this year’s League Cup sensation Bristol City travel to face a Watford side who are in not too dissimilar situation to Southampton.
They are part of a group of nine teams from 10th to 18th in the Premier League that are separated by only five points.
While Watford do sit top of that group, that is largely down to their form in the opening two months of the season.
Everton’s overtures to the Hornets manager Marco Silva seems to have unsettled them and despite the wishes of many fans, they are likely to prioritise their top-flight safety over a good cup run.
Sitting an excellent fourth in the Championship and with wins over four Premier League sides under their belt this season, Bristol City can rightly travel to Vicarage Road with confidence and look a decent price at 7/1 with Paddy Power.
Lastly, and perhaps most ambitiously, Luton Town could provide the biggest shock of the weekend from their tie with Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
The fact that they are in League 2 will put off many punters, but Luton have been far and away the best side in that division this season and have only been outscored by Manchester City in English football.
After a financial crisis left them playing non-league football for five years, Luton are on their way back up through the divisions and are set to bring a huge travelling support to St James’.
Newcastle are in that same group of teams in the bottom half with Watford and Southampton and the widely held belief is that Rafa Benitez is getting as much as he can from a Championship-level squad.
If, as expected, he rotates that squad then what will it leave him with problems. Magpies fans are desperate to end a 50-year plus wait for a domestic trophy but a rotation policy and their dreadful home form could leave them waiting another year. Luton can be backed at 6/1 with Bet365 with double chance odds (Luton Draw) of 13/8 with Bet365 also appealing.