Upsetting the odds

By Jamie Casey - Twitter: @skyjamiecasey.   Last Updated: 25/01/13 5:25pm

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Roberto Mancini does not have fond memories of the Britannia Stadium

Roberto Mancini does not have fond memories of the Britannia Stadium

Millwall are one of several lower league teams being heavily backed to dump out Premier League opposition as they host Aston Villa in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday.

The Championship side are actually slight favourites to heap more misery on Paul Lambert's side, who crashed out of the Capital One Cup semi-finals to League Two Bradford on Tuesday.

Villa are 7/4 to travel to The Den and win, but punters have been quicker to back the Lions at 7/5, while the draw (5/2) has not been short of interest from Sky Bet punters.

The large majority of games take place on Saturday, though, with Stoke (7/2) v Manchester City (8/11) at the Britannia Stadium one of the most intriguing ties, although it has the potential to be a coupon-buster due to its 12.45 kick-off time.

Somewhat of a bogey ground for City, the last three meetings between these sides at the Britannia have ended up in a 1-1 draw (6/1), which punters appear not to have picked up on as 3-1 to the visitors has proved the most popular correct score bet at 12/1 ahead of kick-off.

Brighton, who have drawn six out of 14 home games in the league this season, host Arsenal on Saturday having earned the right to compete in the fourth round with a 2-0 win over Newcastle earlier this month.

Gus Poyet's men are 4/1 to dump the Gunners out, but the away side have received the large proportion of the match betting at 4/6 on, particularly since their rampant display against West Ham in mid-week.

Other potential banana skins for Premier League sides include Conference National side Macclesfield (5/1) at home to Wigan (8/15), with Latics boss Roberto Martinez perhaps tempted to field some fringe players.

Elsewhere, Reading have Premier League priorities over a cup run, and Sheffield United have lost only two on the road in League One this season, so may be worth backing for the draw at 3/1, or, if you're brave enough, pop them in your coupon for an away win at 4/1.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are sure to bolster your accumulator at 1/4 on to beat Fulham, as are Chelsea away to Brentford on Sunday at the same price, while Norwich should have enough in them to deal with Luton (9/1) at Carrow Road.

You'd imagine Liverpool should be strong enough to deal with Oldham Athletic, but at 1/5 they're a little too inconsistent to trust, so avoid events at Boundary Park to be on the safe side, with the Reds having struggled to overcome non-league Mansfield in the last round.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Leeds v Tottenham is the most appetising FA Cup game of the day, with Spurs to win 3-1 (11/1) proving the most popular bet in Sky Bet's correct score market, but Luciano Becchio has been well-backed to open the scoring at a generous 7/1.

Leeds are 22/1 to be leading at half-time, only to go on and lose in 90 minutes, just as they did against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals in December, and the same outcome is very much feasible in this encounter at a tasty price.

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Roberto Mancini does not have fond memories of the Britannia Stadium

Upsetting the odds

Millwall are one of several lower league teams being heavily backed to dump out higher opposition in the FA Cup.

Issue 156: 2nd Nov 2012

In this issue we preview the Manchester United v Arsenal clash, look ahead to the ATP World Tour Finals and try your luck at our Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Quiz


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