JACK LAMBDEN (@_JackL_) shares his views on the best betting opportunities from Wednesday night's FA Cup 5th Round fixtures.
Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City | Wednesday 4th March 2020, 19:45 | BBC
Fresh from lifting the Carabao Cup on Sunday, Manchester City will visit Championship side Sheffield Wednesday on the next step in the pursuit of a treble of trophy wins to close out their season.
The current FA Cup holders have absolutely cruised through seven of their last eight ties in this competition with only Swansea proving any form of opposition when City needed to come from 2-0 down to go through as eventual 3-2 winners following a controversial late winner. City have played five teams from the Championship or below in those eight ties but to score a 36 goals in the process is still mightily impressive.
It’s natural therefore to look towards the goalscorer markets for City’s frontline but the prices are on the short side, perhaps unsurprising when you factor in how bad Wednesday have been of late. Garry Monk’s men, since beating Leeds on 11th January, have won just twice in ten and have taken some heavy beatings at Hillsborough. Monk has bemoaned his player’s repeated individual errors which are proving costly.
In their latest defeat, Wednesday found themselves 3-0 down within 30 minutes, a showing that was greeted by a chorus of boos from the home faithful who are growing more and more impatient by the game. Everything therefore points to a convincing away win here but to find some value, it’s worth combining the outright odds with a second play to get some much better odds.
Gabriel Jesus will surely start this game having come on late in Sunday’s victory at Wembley for Sergio Aguero, the latter of whom suffered a gashed knee so won’t be risked here.
Last season’s joint top scorer in the FA Cup has 7 goals in 7 appearances in the competition and has registered 13 shots on target in his last 6. Therefore, adding Jesus to have 2 or more shots on target to Man City to win gives some nice odds of 114/100 and I’m happy to get a few quid behind that.
Wednesday boss Monk hauled off one his centre-backs – captain Tom Lees – on Saturday and if his defensive unit play as badly again, they could be in for a long, long night.
Tottenham v Norwich | Wednesday 4th March 2020, 19:45 | BBC
Tottenham's bad fortune on the injury front is being compounded by current results. Since beating Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Jose Mourinho's team have won twice in five and lost their last three. There were certainly fortunate elements of the two wins gained over Southampton and Aston Villa so it the current predicament could have been a whole lot worse.
Although Spurs' top four pursuit is far from over, the FA Cup represents one of the likely only saving graces from an otherwise poor season if the team can lift the famous old trophy at Wembley in May.
Spurs fans may have rubbed their hands together when they saw Norwich appear as their opponents in the Firth Round draw but the Canaries should be considered a dangerous proposition. There's no doubting that Norwich are short of Premier League quality in certain areas of the pitch but they have played some decent football at times this season and recorded some surprising results along the way.
Wins over Manchester City and Leicester have made the rest of the league sit up and take notice of this Norwich side and their two games against Spurs this season have been extremely competitive contests, finishing 2-2 and 2-1 in the North London's club favour.
Despite the preconceptions of Jose Mourinho, games involving Spurs since his arrival at the club have been lively affairs with plenty of goalmouth action. Since taking charge, Tottenham's games have averaged 3.08 goals and 14 of the 23 fixtures have seen both teams score and over 2.5 goals land.
It's for that reason that I think that combo with Bet365 is worth backing at 10/11. Norwich have nothing to lose here and will look to hurt Spurs on the counter attack. The home side need to get their supporters back on side so we should (emphasis on should!) see an open contest.
The likes of Steven Bergwijin and Dele Alli appear to have adjusted to playing without a recognised striker fairly well but that lack of focal point in attack means Spurs are losing the ball easily at the top end of the pitch and being caught out at the other end.
Tottenham have managed just 7 clean sheets in 40 matches across all competitions so even if Norwich rotate with their primary goal of Premier League survival in mind, I think they can find the net.