The Stupid Punt section of the Blog is all about highlighting some of those loopy-looking bets at monster odds. All that’s required to make them click is a little bit of brains, a little bit of balls and a massive dollop of luck. If you never have a dream, how will you ever have a dream come true? And here on the Paddy Power Blog we’re all dreamers.
There’s a place in the Punting Hall of Fame at stake if you can pull it off. You are the people who make the crazy look inspired and while you have the bravery to toe the line between ridiculous and optimistic, we can only stand back and applaud.
Here are three of the most outrageous bets we’ve dug out of Paddy’s FA Cup book this week and a few stats to try to back them up.
Correct score: Crystal Palace 4-4 Liverpool
Five punters are on at 325/1
- This fixture has finished in a draw 11 times in 43 games in all competitions – a 26 per cent strike rate – but it has never ended 4-4. The highest scoring draw was that memorable match at Selhurst Park at the end of last season, that Liverpool fans won’t need reminding ended 3-3
- The last time Liverpool conceded exactly four goals in an FA Cup tie was in February 1991. A replay against Everton ended 4-4 at Goodison Park with Everton winning the relayed replay 1-0
- Palace last scored four goals in a home FA Cup tie against Northampton in January 2006. That was in a third round tie and the goalscorers on that day were Michael Hughes, Jobi McAnuff, Andrew Johnson and Dougie Freedman
Alan Pardew has a staggering 71 per cent win rate since joining Crystal Palace, although five punters fancy the Eagles to play out an eight-goal thriller in the FA Cup and take Liverpool to a replay. The 3-3 draw is fresh in the minds of most (not least of all scarred Reds) and these punters are hoping for just a couple more goals on top of a repeat performance to cash in.
Scorecast: Grant Leadbitter to score first and Middlesbrough to beat Arsenal 2-0
One punter has £10 on at 325/1
- Boro and Arsenal have met eight times in the FA Cup before, with Middlesbrough winning just twice. Their first cup victory over the Gunners was a 4-1 win in 1977 and then Garry Macdonald scored the winner in a 3-2 win for Middlesbrough in January 1984
- Arsene Wenger has lost just one FA Cup tie against lower league opposition since he became manager of Arsenal in 1996. That was a 1-0 defeat in the fifth round against Blackburn in 2013, when Colin Kazim-Richards got the deciding goal
- Leadbitter has 11 league goals this season which is his most prolific league campaign of his career. His 11 goals have come from just 38 shots, giving him a fantastic conversion rate of 29 per cent
One very optimistic punter is hoping to pocket more than £3k from this bet, and he’s hoping Grant Leadbitter will be the man to guide Boro to an unlikely victory against Arsenal on Sunday. Middlesbrough might have knocked Manchester City out in the last round, but Arsene Wenger does not lose to lower league opposition very often. That makes this one of the more adventurous punts of the weekend.
Correct score: Preston 0-8 Manchester United
Three punters are on at 500/1
- Manchester United have never beaten Preston 8-0 in 75 meetings between the two sides. Their biggest victory over Preston was a 6-1 win in October 1948 when both Stan Pearson and Charlie Mitten scored braces for the Red Devils
- United’s previous record FA Cup win was an 8-0 victory against Yeovil in February 1949. English striker Jack Rowley scored five on that occasion (although don’t expect Radamel Falcao to pull off a similar feat)
- Preston’s previous record FA Cup defeat was a 6-0 loss away to Charlton in February 1946. The Atticks won the fifth round replay after the two sides had drawn 1-1 at Preston
Louis van Gaal’s side struggled to overcome Cambridge in the last round but that hasn’t stopped three punters banking on an 8-0 hammering of Preston on Monday night. For them to collect United will need to equal their record FA Cup win, while Preston haven’t suffered a loss in the cup anywhere near that heavy for almost 70 years.
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