Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!
Football fans are in for another midweek treat with a plethora of FA Cup replay fixtures set to be played on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week. There are some quality games on the go as well, with Leicester City taking on Spurs in an all-Premier League tie on Wednesday evening while Tuesday evening sees a derby game between the MK Dons and Northampton.
Tuesday 19 January
Mk Dons 9/10
Our first port of call is Stadium MK in Milton Keynes where the MK Dons take on Northampton in a South Midlands derby. The Dons have been on a horrid run of form lately. They have only won one of their last six fixtures in all competitions. They did record a victory last time out however, against a decent Reading outfit. That 1-0 win has moved the Dons two points above the Championship relegation zone.
Their opponents, Northampton, have enjoyed a much better run of form recently. The Cobblers have won four of their last five fixtures with the only blemish to their winning record coming against the Dons in the reverse fixture. Both teams managed to bag two goals apiece in the original tie and I fancy this one will have goals in it as well. With this in mind, I’d strongly recommend backing teams to score at 7/10.
Ipswich Town 37/20
Another cup tie that was filled with goals was the Portsmouth versus Ipswich game. Both sides managed to find the net twice but neither could pull away from their opponent and the game ended 2-2. The hosts for Tuesday night’s fixture have made a solid start to the year. Their first game of 2016 saw the claim a vital 3-0 win over fellow League two side Crawley Town, which moved them into the League Two promotion play-off places. Their league game against Accrington Stanley was called off this weekend due to an excessive amount of snow falling at the Crown Ground, so Pompey should be extremely fresh heading into this one.
Their opponents for Tuesday night seemed to have caught the draw bug since the turn of the year. The Tractor Boys have drawn three out of the four fixtures that they have played in 2016. However, they’ve still managed to score five goals in those four fixtures which is why I recommend backing the both teams to score at 7/10.
Aston Villa 7/20
Our next replay sees an improving Aston Villa outfit take on League Two’s Wycombe Wanderers at Villa Park. After a tumultuous start to 2015/16 Premier League season - that saw Villa end the year with only a solitary win to their names - many were tipping the Villans to have been relegated before March. And even though they still sit at the foot of the Premier League table, things are definitely starting to look a lot less dire for the men from Birmingham. They’ve managed to pick up four points from their last three Premier League games. Those results have seen the Villans move within nine points of safety.
Their opponents for Tuesday evening haven’t had a great start to the year. They’ve lost two of their last three fixtures and are yet to win in 2016. Their last outing saw them lose by a goal to nil against League Two relegation candidates Hartlepool, which is simply not good enough for a side pushing for promotion into League One.
With Villa likely to field a weakened side due to their focus being solely on Premier League survival, this game is proving tough to call. For safety's sake, I’d recommend avoiding the outright win market and instead, opt for the total goals market at over 2.5- yes, which is available at 17/20
Wednesday 20 January
Leicester City 7/4
The tie of the round sees two of the Premier League's high flyers square off at the King Power Stadium. There was much hype surrounding the original tie between the two sides at White Hart Lane. Pundits were predicting a game filled with goals and they weren’t to be disappointed as both sides managed to bang in two goals apiece. With both sides scoring for fun currently, this game is likely to mirror its predecessor.
The hosts come into this match off the back of a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa. While the result will have been a bitter pill to swallow for the Leicester contingent, they can take some solace from the fact that they still occupy second spot on the Premier League table. Their opponents for Wednesday evening are coming off the back of an impressive showing against Sunderland which saw them bang in four goals in front of their home faithful. The result has moved Spurs into the fourth spot on the Premier League standings only four points behind Leicester.
Games between these two sides are notoriously high scoring affairs, so I’d recommend backing the over 2.5 goals market at 8/10.
Our final selected match of the week will see Liverpool host Exeter. The original tie between was an exceedingly entertaining affair that featured four goals and a lot of lapse defending. Reds mentor, Jurgen Klopp fielded a very youthful looking side the last time the two teams met and I suspect the former Dortmund coach will do the same this time around. Fret not though Reds fans, as there are some mesmerizing footballers amongst your youth ranks.
Two players who are likely to play a vital role at Anfield this Wednesday are Brad Smith and Joao Texeira. Smith had an absolute blinder against Exeter in the previous encounter between the two sides. The Australian full back managed to net the equalizing goal that ensured Liverpool would earn a replay. And while Smith stole the headlines, Teixeira's contribution didn’t go unnoticed. The diminutive attacking midfielder was composed with the ball at his feet and threaded some mesmerizing balls through to his forwards, who unfortunately couldn’t capitalize on them.
While Liverpool will be looking for their youngsters to send them through to the fourth round, their opponents will be banking on their experienced campaigners to cause a shock in front of the Kop. Exeter’s 36-year-old striker, Clinton Morrison, gave a youthful Liverpool back four all sorts of problems in the original tie. The Exeter veteran has a surprising turn of pace for his age, and like most players who have spent their careers in the lower divisions, Morrison is well versed in football's dark arts. I expect the burly striker to hassle the Liverpool back four for the majority of the 90 minutes.
Liverpool really should win this one but with the odds rather short at 3/10, I’d recommend backing the Matchbet+Totals market. Take Liverpool to win and over 3.5 goals to be scored at 15/10.
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