The Editors' Betting Battle 2013/14: Round 27 - FA Cup special

Fernandinho could return to Man City's midfield on Saturday
Fernandinho could return to Man City's midfield on Saturday
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Wins for Joe Dyer and Luke Moore in midweek edged them closer to Dan Thomas who saw his selection void when the Everton game was postponed, so on we move to the FA Cup for this weekend's selections in the Editors' Betting Battle...

"With reports suggesting Mourinho will shuffle his pack for Saturday's game, giving a rest to players such as Ramires, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Samuel Eto'o, a price of 2.226/5 for a side as formidable at home as City to win looks extremely attractive, especially if Fernandinho returns to the middle of the park."

Dan Thomas
Back Manchester City to beat Chelsea at 2.226/5
Saturday, 17:15
Live on ITV1

Chelsea's win at the Etihad last Monday caused all sorts of ripple effects. It threw the Premier League title race wide open, reminded newspaper reporters quite how much they love Jose Mourinho and put a seed of doubt in the City players' minds. Maybe football isn't quite as easy after all?

It was certainly a more anxious City than we've been used in recent weeks at Norwich on Saturday, with that disappointing goalless draw coming at the same time Chelsea were steamrollering Newcastle.

Time to back Chelsea again then? Not quite. The Blues themselves stuttered in midweek, dropping two points at West Brom and losing in-form Gary Cahill to injury, while City had a night off after their game against Sunderland fell victim to the weather.

With reports suggesting Mourinho will shuffle his pack for Saturday's game, giving a rest to players such as Ramires, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Samuel Eto'o, a price of 2.226/5 for a side as formidable at home as City to win looks extremely attractive, especially if Fernandinho returns to the middle of the park. 

Dan Thomas 2013-14 P/L: + £24.79


Joe Dyer
Back Nottingham Forest to beat Sheffield United @ 2.3411/8 
Sunday, 15:00

Nottingham Forest have a golden opportunity to make the last eight of the Cup and at 2.3411/8 to win in 90 minutes at Bramall Lane I think they are a decent price to do that. 

Fifth in the Championship, seven points separates Forest from the chasing pack after an unbeaten run of 13 league games

That contrasts markedly with Sunday's relegation-threatened opponents whose 2-0 defeat of Shrewsbury last Saturday was only their second win of the year. 

Both these former Cup winners will be relieved not to be facing Premier League opposition this weekend and both must harbour ambitions of making the quarter-finals. 

But United have the distraction of a relegation fight on their hands while Forest are comfortably in the playoff picture, thanks in part to their excellent away form (just two defeats on the road) and manager Billy Davies has vowed to pick his strongest XI for this Cup tussle. 

I expect the visitors' greater class and greater freedom to see them through and am happy to be taking comfortably better than even money for them to do so.   

Joe Dyer 2013-14 P/L: + £7.30


Mike Norman
Back Over 3.5 Goals @ 4.1 in Sheff Wed v Charlton
Saturday, 15:00

Sheffield Wednesday's 11-game unbeaten run (all competitions) came to an abrupt end on Tuesday night when they lost 0-3 at home to Wigan, despite performing really well by all acounts.

That result leaves Stuart Gray's men still in relegation trouble but they're sitting in 17th currently, nine points above the drop zone, and being one of the teams with momentum in the bottom half I don't see them having a problem remaining a Championship side.

Hopefully that will mean they'll give this FA Cup tie a real go. Their 15 league and cup games on home soil this season have averaged exactly three goals per game so 2.26/5 about Over 2.5 Goals doesn't look the worst bet in the world. But I'll push the boat out slightly and hope for at least four goals when Charlton visit on Saturday afternoon.

The Addicks are in relegation trouble having lost four on the spin but that means one of two things. Either they'll enjoy the break from league football and give it a go at Hillsborough, or Chris Powell will field a relatively weak side that could suffer a heavy defeat.

Either way, I can see goals being scored here.

Mike Norman 2013-14 P/L: - £42.50


Luke Moore

Back Brighton to beat Hull City at 2.6213/8
Monday, 19:45

Brighton will go into this game against Premier League opposition as favourites, which is always a strange one, but the truth of the matter is that Hull are in really poor form and have only won two away games (and scored just nine goals) in the league all season.

Brighton are riding high in the Championship and are pretty decent at home. They've also won their last two games in the league. There should be a good crowd cheering them on at the Amex on Monday night, and memories of famous wins against Newcastle in the cup not too long ago will be fresh in the mind.

The big bonus for Brighton though will be that both Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic are cup-tied for Hull and that leaves one wondering where goals will come from for the Tigers. The Seagulls don't score many, but just one might well be enough for a place in the quarter finals of the FA Cup. I'll be backing the home side to make it happen.

Luke Moore 2013-14 P/L: - £78.30


A £10 bet is placed on each selection on Betfair's Exchange. Profits are calculated before commission.


Editors' Battle P/L

1. Dan Thomas: + £24.79
2. Joe Dyer: + £7.30
3. Mike Norman: - £42.50
4. Luke Moore: - £78.30

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