FOOTBALL journalist Adam Goodwin (@@AdamGoodwin__) takes a look at Sunday's FA Cup 5th Round fixture between Bristol City and Wolves at Ashton Gate.
Bristol City v Wolves | Sunday 17th February 2019, 13:00 | BT Sport
Bristol City are currently on an unbelievable run, unbeaten in their last 15 and winning their last nine. That run has seenLee Johnson’s side climb into the play-off spots, and another win win could see them reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1973/74.
The most impressive thing about their winning run is the fact they’ve conceded just three goals in that time, with Adam Webster and Chelsea loanee Tomas Kalas starting to form a formidable partnership at the back.
The Robins have won four of their last five cup games against Premier League opposition at Ashton Gate, with their only defeat coming last year when a 96th-minute Kevin De Bruyne goal secured a 3-2 win for Manchester City in the League Cup semi-final.
City clearly like a cup run, but will Johnson have one eye on the Championship play-offs?
Wolves are the fourth best-placed team left in the FA Cup and with the team sat in seventh and well-clear of relegation, perhaps Nuno Espirito Santo will see this as a good opportunity to take his team to Wembley.
Like Bristol City, Wolves are also on a decent run of form, with Nuno’s side unbeaten in their last six games (W4-D2-LO). They were pretty poor against Newcastle last Monday, however, with Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota struggling to break down a solid Magpies defence.
With decent squad depth, Wolves have managed to rotate whilst still keeping a strong starting XI in the last few rounds. John Ruddy will start in goal, with the likes of Romain Saiss, Adama Traore and Ivan Cavaleiro also likely to come into the team.
The betting angle
With both these sides in good form, this should be an entertaining game at Ashton Gate. With Bristol City’s unbelievable defensive record of late, I wouldn’t be too keen on backing Wolves to run riot here and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Robins get something from this game and at least take it to extra-time and penalties.
Bristol City have seen Over 3.5 Goals in just 6/31 (19%) of their games in the Championship and 2/16 (12%) of their home games. Wolves’ games also tend to be low-scoring, with 5/26 (19%) of their games seeing Over 3.5 Goals. I’m going to combine Under 4 goals with Bristol City double chance at 13/10 with Bet365’s Bet Builder.
City are priced up completely wrong in this game and bearing in mind they’ve won their last nine games on the spin, 15/4 seems big – I wouldn’t put anyone off backing them outright.
I’ll also have a small punt on another longer odds bet. Niclas Eliasson has been a bit-part player for City this season but has played a major part in the FA Cup this campaign. He scored the opening goal against Bolton in the last round and also came off the bench to score the equaliser against QPR during the week.
With Wolves’ wingbacks likely to push on, it could be an opportunity for Eliasson to get in on goal. He’s 6/1 to score anytime but in a game that I expect to be low-scoring, I like the look of him to score first at a huge 18/1, also with Bet365.