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Andy Gray exlcusive: Arsenal, Everton, Manchester City, Chelsea and Wigan are my FA Cup bankers

by Sean Goff | February 16, 2013

Andy Gray blog byline

Expert football pundit and analyst Andy Gray joins the The Paddy Power Blog to give his insight on this weekend’s fifth-round FA Cup matches.

Luton v Millwall, Saturday, Live ESPN, 12.45

Luton have lost three of their last four games but were giant-killers in the last round against Premier League side Norwich. Previously the’s beaten Wolves. But I have a feeling that this may be one bridge too far. Millwall are a tough outfit who also dumped Aston Villa out of this competition and won’t want to be another  notch on Luton’s belt. Millwall will do the business for me at even money with Paddy Power.

MK Dons v Barnsley, Saturday, Live 3pm

Barnsley have won six of the last seven while the Dons have lost three of their last four. I don’t know if MK’s league form has been affected by their win over QPR in the last round and they’ll fancy their chances at home. It wouldn’t come as a shock if this game was to end in a draw at 23/10.

Arsenal v Blackburn, Saturday, 3pm

Arsene Wenger has taken the cup competitions pretty seriously this season and I expect he’ll want a result here before they play Bayrn Munich on Wednesday night in the Champions League. Arsenal really have to take it a game at a time now in order to land some silverware and while Blackburn have settled down a bit after all the turmoil of three managers this season – I would be very surprised if Arsenal don’t win this and are priced to do so at 1/3.

Oldham v Everton, Saturday, 6pm Live ITV1

Liverpool’s conquerors in the last round Oldham haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last seven games at Boundary Park. Everton have won their last two away games in this competition beating Cheltenham Town (5-1) and Bolton Wanderers (2-1) and David Moyes’ really wants to win a trophy this season.  The Toffees are away bankers in my book at 1/3. 

If Oldham score first, Paddy Power will refund all losing First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score & Scorecast singles on the match.

Chelsea v Brentford, Sunday, Noon, Live ITV1 (4th-round replay)

Brentford have scored exactly two goals in seven of their last nine games. Paddy Power’s both teams to score betting makes it a 4/5 shot that the home side and the visitors hit the net. Brentford had their chance at Griffin Park and let it slip and Chelsea – who are the holders and gave the FA Cup four times in the last six years – will be that bit too strong for them on Sunday.

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Manchester City v Leeds,  Sunday, 2pm Live ESPN

Roberto Mancini’s side have won seven of their last FA Cup ties to nil. That’s an even money shot and it could be worth taking. City realistically have only the FA Cup to chase this season  unless there’s another Manchester United collapse in the title run-in but I don’t see that happening.

Leeds beat Spurs in the last round but haven’t been playing that well since then. City’s supporters will demand a big performance and I’ll think they’ll get it.  Leeds may raise their game but I expect City to win. They’ll have plenty of supporters at 1/5 in the ‘acca’ market but could prove the value at evens in the to ‘win to nil’ betting.

Huddersfield v Wigan Athletic, Sunday, 3.55pm Live ITV1

The last two head-to-head meetings between theses sides ended 0-0 a decade ago and it’s 9/1 that history repeats itself on Sunday.  I don’t think this will end 0-0 – I think there will be goals. They had a good win away to Leicester in the last round and new manager Mark Robbins has just arrived this week from Coventry.  The team may over-perform in an effort to impress him but it’s unlikely he’ll have had a chance to make an impression just yet. I think Wigan will win this at 6/5 with Paddy Power.

Manchester United v Reading, Monday, 8pm ESPN

Manchester United have won their last nine games in the Barclays Premier League and got a big result away to Real Madrid mid-week. Reading will need to be at their very best and United will need to underperform. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are still chasing the treble but there’s no doubt this Manchester United side will feature many changes to the side that drew in Spain.

The best Reading can get against a changed United side is a draw at 5/1 or for the die-hard Reading fans.

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