We’ve got two live games to have a look at on Sunday. This week, it’s the FA Cup 4th Round.
First up, it’s Chelsea v Newcastle at Stamford Bridge, 13:30 on BT Sport 2, then over to BBC 1 for Cardiff v Man City, which kicks off at 16:00.
It’s hard to see past a home win at the Bridge given Chelsea’s superb record against the Magpies- they’ve won each of the past five against them at home. William Hill’s 5/11 is slightly better than the 4/9 general out there but given Chelsea’s recent struggles in the competition, it doesn’t represent great value.
Chelsea weren’t good enough to beat Norwich over 2 legs and needed penalties after an ill-disciplined effort last time out very nearly cost them their place in the competition. It would be wrong to think Chelsea won’t take this game seriously though- their league challenge has been dead for some time and Antonio Conte will be looking over his shoulder after crashing out of the Carabao Cup against Arsenal earlier in the week.
We’d expect the Blues to field the big guns in this one- and we’re not sure you could say the same about Newcastle. Coach Benitez knows that Premier League survival is the only thing that really matters- and with a huge home game on Wednesday night against Burnley coming up it, would be a surprise if he doesn’t rest a few here. It’s very tight at the bottom of the league with only six points separating Watford in 10th and Swansea in 20th. No doubt that all of Newcastle, just three points off the bottom, will have one eye on Wednesday here.
If Newcastle do indeed go in weakened, it’s prudent to get involved as soon as you can get hold of the team news. If it’s Chelsea first team against Newcastle reserves, 4/9 will absolutely do, and you want to be backing Chelsea -1 with Stan James at 6/5 on the handicap.
The fixture does point towards goals, though. Whichever side Newcastle field will have nothing to lose and may well have a go at Chelsea on Sunday afternoon- which would play into the hosts’ hands. A quick look at the stats also suggests we’ll be in for an entertaining game- five of the last six meetings between the two have had at least three goals in, and Newcastle have netted on each of their last two visits to the Bridge.
To that end, we’ll be having a bet with Coral, who are a stand-out 8/11 for over 2.5 goals in the game.
Moving on to the 4pm game- surprise, surprise, Man City are on TV again. They’re away at Cardiff and make no appeal whatsoever at 3/10 to win the match. Guardiola’s got bigger fish to fry than the FA Cup and whilst it’s true City are still in the hat for all the major competitions this season, if you’d backed them every round of the domestic cups, you’d be in the poor house by now.
Despite getting to the Carabao Cup final, they failed to beat the Wolves or Leicester inside 90 minutes and only beat Bristol City through two stoppage-time winners. Cardiff are flying high in the Championship and whilst they may well be worth a flutter at 11/1 (Coral), as usual with the cup games it’s worth checking the teams first. If Neil Warnock has his first team out- and Pep doesn’t- any double figure quotes about the Welsh side will be too big.
It’s worth remembering that the last time these two met at Cardiff City Stadium, in the Premier League a few years back, Cardiff won 3-2. For those liking history-based bets, Cardiff also turned City over at home the last time they played in the FA Cup- way back in 1994.
It would be a surprise if this, like the Chelsea game, isn’t an open affair as City only know how to play one way and Cardiff, like Newcastle, have nothing to lose. City haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last six matches and with that in mind Bet365’s Evens that both teams score looks to be an excellent bet.
The double of over 2.5 goals in each game pays just over 6/4 and if you fancy a fun bet for Sunday afternoon there are far worse ones you could be having.
As always, best of luck and enjoy the games.
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