FA Cup Tips: Tottenham more likely to be breached than Watford

Michel Vorm was denied a clean sheet away to Colchester in the FA Cup fourth round
Michel Vorm was denied a clean sheet away to Colchester in the FA Cup fourth round

Michael Lintorn picks out the best bets in the three FA Cup fifth round matches that aren't being televised...

"Spurs haven’t been shut out or kept a clean sheet in any of their five cup matches as hosts this season."

Recommended Bet: Back both teams to score in Tottenham v Crystal Palace @ 2.021/1

Reading 2.982/1 v West Brom 2.829/5; The Draw 3.211/5
Saturday, 15:00

There is great uncertainty over the outcome, with the Royals initially rated favourites, and the draw has to be considered an enticing bet at 3.211/5. Reading have drawn four and West Brom three of their last six league games, while three of their combined four FA Cup ties this term went to replays.

Brian McDermott's men have drawn their past three Madejski Stadium clashes with clubs from the top two divisions, the latter two both ending goalless, and there is every reason to expect another low-scoring contest, as under 2.5 goal odds of 1.645/8 emphasise.

The Baggies' last four away days - two of which were in the FA Cup - delivered two goals or less, with three of those sliding under 1.5 goals for good measure. You can combine the draw with under 2.5 goals - basically buying yourself 0-0 and 1-1 as a package - for the slightly inflated price of 3.412/5.

Recommended Bet: Back the draw and under 2.5 goals @ 3.412/5

Watford 1.684/6 v Leeds 6.25/1; The Draw 4.03/1
Saturday, 15:00

This preview is going to start with a statement that may be reflected on at 17:00 on Saturday as a moronic tempting of fate, but there is something delightfully reliable about Watford. They have lost all seven matches against the Premier League's top five and won all five against the bottom four.

The Hornets have brought the same mentality into their FA Cup dealings so far, efficiently dismissing a lowly top-flight team (Newcastle) and an improving Championship side (Nottingham Forest), so appear to be an attractive price to fare similarly against Leeds at 1.684/6.

A home clean sheet looks an even better bet at around 2.265/4 given that the Golden Boys won 1-0 in both of the aforementioned FA Cup outings and have conceded just twice in nine league collisions with foes placed sixth or lower at Vicarage Road since promotion, achieving seven shutouts.

Leeds have been able to find goals in the cup due to the fortune of drawing two of the second tier's bottom three, yet they have struggled in the league against a higher calibre of opponent, netting only twice across their last five encounters.

Recommended Bet: Back Watford to keep a clean sheet @ 2.265/4

Tottenham 1.674/6 v Crystal Palace 6.25/1; The Draw 4.1
Sunday, 15:00

As unlikely as it sounds, Crystal Palace at home has historically proven one of the most problematic assignments for Tottenham to ace. Between 1990 and 2013, the fixture occurred at White Hart Lane on eight occasions and their record read W1 D4 L3.

The figures in the Eagles' latest Premier League stint have been a lot better - W2 D1 L0 - but still far from perfect, not least because they were goalless at the break in every showdown and struck a mere three times in total.

Similarly, don't discount the visitors due to going nine league games without a win since Christmas. They are a different beast in the FA Cup, slaying top-half duo Southampton and Stoke at the same time that they were failing miserably in the league.

This writer isn't convinced that Alan Pardew's men will make it a hat-trick, yet fancies them to notch for the sixth match in a row, putting a prior run of five blanks in six behind them. That dry spell was ended by a Jan Vertonghen own goal when the pair met at Selhurst Park last month, and Spurs haven't been shut out or kept a clean sheet in any of their five cup matches as hosts this season.

Recommended Bet: Back both teams to score @ 2.021/1

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