ANOTHER batch of FA Cup ties on Sunday. We asked Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) to pick out his best bets.
Aston Villa v Blackpool | Sunday 15:00
I think the Saturday FA Cup games provide a lot more betting opportunities than Sunday’s but there were a couple of bets that caught me eye.
Aston Villa games tend to be my thing this season. I’ve looked to take them on on a number of occasions this campaign and it’s usually paid off. They face Championship basement boys Blackpool on Sunday and I’ll play the Unders card here.
Neither of these sides do goals to be honest. Blackpool have notched just 18 times in the second tier from 24 matches this season while Aston Villa sit bottom of the scoring charts in the Premier League with a paltry 11 goals in 20 matches.
With Aston Villa 4/9 best price with Coral, Blackpool are clearly seen as inferior, but Villa have a poor record in the FA Cup in recent years. They lost to League One Sheffield United last season and Millwall the year before so I can’t see them running away with this tie.
Amongst the awful results Blackpool have suffered this season, they have raised their game to dispose of Cardiff and Birmingham. I think a win is unlikely here, but I expect a tense, tight affair so Under 2.5 Goals at 5/4 with Ladbrokes looks the call.
Stoke v Wrexham | Sunday 15:00
It’s Premier League against Vanarama Premier here on Sunday and the gulf looks to be massive between these sides.
Stoke have had a superb festive season with wins against Everton and West Brom and a superb draw against Manchester United. How they’re still in the bottom half of the table amazes me!
Mark Hughes’s side have been unlucky with Cup draws recently and I think they can far in this competition if they stay away from the giants. Remember Stoke got to the final of this competition in 2011 and Chelsea and Man City were the sides that knocked them out over the last couple of seasons.
Wrexham sit 14th in the fifth tier after an inconsistent season. The Welsh side have won just two of their last 13 Vanarama games and have won just one away game since September. This looks an enormous task.
There’s no doubt Mark Hughes will play a second-string side on Sunday, but that will still be good enough to punish Wrexham in this fixture. Stoke are starting to play better at the Brittannia now (as we saw on New Years Day) and this could be a tough day for Wrexham. I’ll back Stoke -2 at 13/10 with Paddy Power.
Aston Villa v Blackpool – Under 2.5 Goals (5/4 Ladbrokes)
Stoke v Wrexham – Stoke -2 (13/10 Paddy Power)