Yay! The FA Cup. On Valentine’s Day Weekend! The romance of the cup meets the romance of being socially pressured into paying hyper-inflated prices for food, drink and bontany that will most likely end in disappointment and a re-activation of your Tinder account. Romance? We’ve got it coming out of loving ears.
And what better way to celebrate all the love than by asking Scottish pundit-man and the world’s most romantic man of 2008, 2009 and 2013, Andy Gray to tell us about the fifth round of the cup? Yes, there are much better ways to celebrate all the love, but we’re having another round of Are You Smarter Than Andy Gray? so deal with it.
It was honours even last time we played with the gap remaining the same. The Paddy Power punters are close, but aren’t quite within touching distance of Andy. That’ll be a relief to some of them. So, after all that, the e-scores on the e-doors are:
Andy Gray 126 – 115 You* (*you plural)
Here we go again. The game is simples. One point is awarded per correct prediction, regardless of the odds associated with it and as we go, we add them all up to see who is smarter. Well, we probably know who is smarter because none of the Paddy Power customers lost their cushy punditry job for making sexually inappropriate remarks, but we want to see who can give the best FA Cup betting tips this weekend. Once more into the crystal-ball gazing.
Andy’s treble: Stoke (v Blackburn), Arsenal (v Middlesbrough) and Manchester United v (Preston) – 19/4
You say: Liverpool (v Crystal Palace), Arsenal (v Middlesbrough) and Manchester United v (Preston) – 16/5
West Brom v West Ham
Saturday 12.45pm – BT Sport 1
It’s a Tony Pulis side taking on a Sam Allardyce side. It could be the Kristen Wiig of football – not conventionally beautiful but still a whole lot of fun.
- West Brom have already become tough to beat under Tony Pulis, but don’t get many goals
- West Ham are decent on the road and will be hard to break down
- They’ll need more than 90 minutes to separate these two teams
Andy’s bets: Draw | 1-1 Draw | Brown Ideye 1st Goalscorer
You say: West Ham | West Ham 2-1 | Saido Berahino
Blackburn v Stoke
Saturday 3pm, Setanta
Blackburn knocked out Swansea in the last round. They’ve got a decent chance of another Premier League scalp against the inconsistent Potters.
- Stoke are settled under Mark Hughes
- Premier League class to show through
- Don’t expect a goal-fest
Andy’s bets: Stoke
You say: Stoke
Derby v Reading
The league table says it’s Derby’s to lose. The fact that they’re probably more interested in getting back to the Premier League gives Reading a chance.
- All comes down to how strong a team Steve McClaren picks
- A weakened Derby should still be good for a draw
Andy’s bets: Derby
You say: Derby
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Saturday 5.30pm – BT Sport 1
In form Liverpool head to a Selhurst Park that hasn’t been good to them in recent times. Alan Pardew will be feeling smug. Smugger than usual that is.
Rodgers has been picking strong teams in the FA Cup
Liverpool have struggled in last two visits to Selhurst Park
Andy’s bets: Draw
You say: Liverpool
Aston Villa v Leicester
Sunday 12.30pm, BBC One
Relegation mud-wrestlers go head to head for a chance to extend a cup run that neither of them really wants. Who will win by going out and who will win and lose by having to play another game in the competition?
A glorious opportunity for Leicester
Foxes impressed against Arsenal
Villa have been failing to perform for a long time
Andy’s bets: Leicester
You say: Aston Villa
Bradford v Sunderland
Sunday, 2.30pm, Setanta
After beating Chelsea in the last round, Bradford will be confident. The fact Sunderland are coming to town probably won’t dent that confidence.
Sunderland are inconsistent but capable of impressive performances
A bridge too far for Bradford
Jermaine Defoe will score if he starts
Andy’s bets: Sunderland
You say: Bradford
Arsenal v Middlesbrough
Sunday 4pm, BT Sport
Arsenal should win this, but they haven’t had the most convincing of weeks. Top of the Championship Boro are on a high after beating City.
Have to respect Middlesbrough after beating Man City
Wenger will make 4/5 changes but should still have too much
Andy’s bets: Arsenal
You say: Arsenal
Preston v Manchester United
Monday 7.45pm – BBC One
United should win this with little fuss, but then again, we said the same thing when they went to Cambridge a couple of weeks back.
- If Utd are mentally right they will have too much
- Pressure on the visitors
Andy’s bets: Man Utd
You say: Man Utd