Bristol City v Wolves: In-form Robins can avoid defeat
In-form Bristol City can make life hard for Wolves in Sunday lunchtime's FA Cup fifth-round clash, says Dave Tindall...
"The hosts are unbeaten in nine at Ashton Gate, three of those draws and five of the others won by a single-goal margin. In other words, they don't demolish teams at home in which case I'd rather have the draw running for me."
Bristol City v Wolves
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FA Cup victories over Huddersfield in round three and Bolton in round four form part of a superb nine-match winning run for in-form Bristol City.
The seven Championship wins in that spell have lifted them to fifth place and just eight off pacesetters Leeds.
As well as being one of England's hottest teams, the Robins are also no strangers to recent Cup success.
Last season, they claimed a string of Premier League scalps (Watford, Stoke, Crystal Palace and Man Utd) before taking a 1-0 lead away to Man City in the first leg of the semi-finals.
They eventually lost 5-3 on aggregate but, with that campaign fresh in the memory, they're dangerous opponents for Wolves.
In terms of recent head-to-heads, the pair played out a 3-3 draw at Molineux in the Championship last season, with Wolves grabbing a last-gasp 3-2 win at Ashton Gate so there was very little in it.
Will Wolves go for it?
Wolves are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2003 having been eliminated at this stage by Cardiff and Chelsea - both losing finalists - in 2008 and 2017 respectively.
The men from the Black Country knocked out an admittedly second-string Liverpool in round three and then needed two stabs at beating Shrewsbury, drawing the initial tie 2-2 before edging the replay 3-2 at Molineux.
Since losing 3-0 at Man City in mid-January, they too are on a good run with 10 points out of 12 in the Premier League lifting them to seventh.
With relegation not an issue, this is a great chance, in theory, to go all out for some silverware.
We see this so many times though and Nuno Espirito Santo may view it through a different lens. Wolves have 39 points but that's 11 behind sixth and plenty of sides could still overtake them if they take their eye off the ball in the Premier League and focus too much on the FA Cup.
Wolves too short at odds-on
Despite going to the Championship's hottest team, Wolves are still very clear favourites, odds-on in fact, at [1.92].
Bristol City are a tempting [4.8] to go through at the first attempt while it's [3.55] for The Draw and a Molineux replay.
Immediately, it seems as if City are the play at that price but I do want to give respect to Wolves. Even when they rotate a little, there's some quality in the squad so this is definitely a step-up for the hosts.
That said, I think it's one they can make but I'll hedge a little by saying City won't lose the game.
Hosts look a play on the handicap
And if, one way or another, I expect City to be in the hat for the sixth-round draw, then the way to play this is to back them on the handicap Bristol City +1 is an attractive [2.06].
The hosts are unbeaten in nine at Ashton Gate, three of those draws and five of the others won by a single-goal margin. In other words, they don't demolish teams in which case I'd rather have the draw running for me.
Doherty could be a Same Game Multi option
In the goalscorer markets, Bristol City are a little tricky as nine of their last 11 home goals have been scored by different players.
For Wolves, the interesting candidate is Matt Doherty, who scored three goals across the two ties with Shrewsbury and has five in his last 16.
Looking at the Same Game Multi, Doherty to score in a draw is just under 33/1.
Raul Jimenez to net in a draw is over 12/1 although there's no guarantee he'll start.
Wolves won their only previous FA Cup encounter with Bristol City, winning 1-0 in the fourth round in 1972-73.
Dave Tindall's P/L, 2018/19
Back Bristol City (+1) at [2.06] (2pts)