FA Cup Football Tips: 8th, 9th & 10th Jan
We ended the year poorly and that pretty much sums up 2020 on the whole – although the tips didn’t do too badly overall.
With that in mind, the fact that this set of games is for the FA Cup Third Round could well be a good thing as we are really mixing teams up here with a lot of games pitting Premier League sides against lower league opponents, a couple of intriguing all-Premier League games and some matches involving lower league sides that look interesting.
I had included in the tips the big Friday night game between Aston Villa and Liverpool… however it now looks like COVID might have put an end to that match as a competition so the tip has been removed.
The remainder of my selections are games from Saturday and Sunday and include Leicester’s trip to Stoke as well as a match where my own team (that I have watched in every game this season) are in action as Tranmere Rovers take on Barnsley (and I think I have a cracking bet for you for that game which could be a nice little winner).
There are a lot of games this week which do look very one-sided (Marine v Tottenham, Crawley v Leeds, Man City v Birmingham, Man Utd v Watford, Chelsea v Morecambe, Everton v Rotherham to name but a few). Of course, we could see a giant killing in one, but in truth I don’t think that is very likely, even if these top teams do rest a few key players.
So with that in mind, here are my tips for this weekend’s FA Cup Third Round pick of the ties.
Football Predictions: Saturday 9th January
The historical record between these two teams is absolutely perfectly balanced, both have won 33 games each, with 35 games drawn, including the last two games between the teams a couple of seasons ago when Stoke were relegated from the Premier League.
Since then, the Potteries side have struggled in the Championship and while things have improved a lot this season under Michael O’Neill, they are still a little way off the pace being set at the top of that table by the likes of Norwich, Bournemouth, Swansea and Brentford. Goalscoring remains a problem for Stoke with just 26 goals in their 23 games so far.
Leicester’s form has been a little erratic at times this season, but they have suffered the worst of those performances at home. Away from home, the Foxes have been generally very good and have earned some verry big wins on the road at the likes of Man City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Even though I expect Leicester to rest a few first team regulars here, I still feel they will have more than enough to get the job done and pick up a win and I fancy them to do that by a 1-0 or 2-0 scoreline.
A few weeks back, Newcastle fans would not have been unduly concerned by facing an Arsenal side badly out of sorts in this all-Premier League FA Cup tie. But since then, the holders have won all three of their last Premier League games while Newcastle have not managed to land a win in any f their last six.
Admittedly the Toon Army have faced Leeds, Man City, Liverpool and Leicester in that run, so that is perhaps a little of the reason why, but Steve Bruce’s men are struggling a little for form and goals at the moment and this is probably not the best time to face an Arsenal side who know this competition is their only realistic hope of domestic silverware.
Mikel Arteta’s men won the cup last season beating Man City and Chelsea in the semifinals and final and they will want to continue their good form with a solid win here against a Newcastle side that has struggled on the road of late losing all their last three games away from home.
With only the FA Cup to play for, I think Arteta will pick a stronger than expected side for this game and as such, I feel that the Gunners will run out relatively comfortable winners by a 2-0 scoreline.
FA Cup Third Round Tips: Sunday 10th January
I’ll admit this was not a fixture that leapt off the page for most fans when the third round draw was made, but I do have some insider information on this game as my son and I are Tranmere fans and we have watched every Rovers game this season on iFollow.
I know the team inside and out and while we were once seasoned giant killers at around the turn of the century, we have struggled since. Our recent form is not great, with one win in five, and we are shipping goals against much lesser teams than Barnsley at a worrying rate.
In contrast, Barnsley have been in great shape in the Championship and could even push on towards the playoffs if they can keep up their current form. Add to that home advantage and against a team that have conceded three or more goals on the road this season on a number of occasions, I can see Barnsley grabbing a few goals here.
As such, I have gone for the Over 3.5 goals market as I can see Tranmere perhaps grabbing a consolation goal but I would expect Barnsley to win this game by at least a 3-1 scoreline and if not more.
*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.