By Andrew Robinson
Cheltenham Town go into tonight’s FA Cup clash with Premier League side Everton hoping that they won’t be robbed for the second time in 24 hours.
The club’s training ground was targeted by sticky-fingered thieves this morning, who stole wallets, watches, phones and car key from the dressing rooms.
Not the best preparation for a third round clash against an Everton side that has been one of the surprise packages of the season so far. And when you think about Everton’s recent history in the competition, a training ground robbery will be the last of Cheltenham’s worries this evening.
David Moyes has masterminded two great runs in the competition in the past few seasons taking them to the final in 2009 where they were beaten by Chelsea. Last season they reached the semi-final stage before falling to a demoralising loss against Liverpool.
Their great form, combined with the 67 places that separate the Premier League side from the League Two outfit, means the Toffees are 1/3 favourites with Paddy Power to squeeze through unscathed.
The Robins are in good form as well and currently sit in fourth place in League Two – just outside the automatic promotion spots. Their gaffer Mark Yates is confident that his side can match up to their highly-paid counterparts tonight.
Right at this moment in time we have to go in there with a belief that we can do ourselves proud and believe we can win.
The League Two side narrowly sneaked past Hereford in round two, with an extra-time win away from home in a replay, and the tie is the second season in a row they have faced Premier League opposition. They lost 3-0 to Spurs last season, but they’ll be looking to improve tonight.
Cheltenham’s chairman will be looking to secure a replay and a juicy pay-day at Goodison Park and it’s 4/1 that Cheltenham can force a draw. If there’s a major Cup-set and the Robins win – 8/1 with Paddy Power – they will face the winners of Bolton or Sunderland in the next round.
Everton are many people’s dark horses to win the FA Cup this year and are 10/1 in Paddy Power’s outright winners’ market.