FA Cup: Robins to prosper in Shropshire showdown

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JACK LAMBDEN (@_JackL_) shares his views on the best betting opportunities from Tuesday night's FA Cup replays.

Tranmere v Watford | Tuesday 14th January 2020, 19:45

A resurgent Watford travel north to Merseyside knowing that, should they progress past their League One opponents at the second time of asking, they will play host to a fellow Premier League side in the 4th Round.

Nigel Pearson has revitalised the Hornets’ season, turning them from relegation certainties to prime candidates for top-flight safety. A theme of the team’s play under Pearson has been their intensity early on in games, scoring first in their last six and with an early London derby kick-off on Saturday against Tottenham to contend with, the Golden Boys will want to get the job done early here too.

Coral are offering evens on Watford to be leading after 60 minutes which I’m happy to get behind. The odds suggest a 50% chance of this landing despite the Hertfordshire club leading at this stage of the match in five of their last 6, an 83% occurrence rate, so there’s some value to be had here.

Watford held a 3-0 lead at the hour mark in the original tie before inexplicably conceding three to take the game to a replay but should they get in front again, I’d be confident they will learn their lessons from that match and see the job through.

To back this selection up even more, Tranmere’s goal timing stats suggest they are not fast starters. The Birkenhead outfit have scored 11 goals in the first 60 minutes of matches this season compared to 18 in the last 30 minutes and although last season’s finalists will undoubtably make changes here, I think they’ll be too strong from kick-off for Rovers.

Shrewsbury v Bristol City | Tuesday 14th January 2020, 19:45

Bristol City got back to winning ways on Saturday with a solid display at Wigan, recording only their second victory in eight games in all competitions, a run which has dented their play-off ambitions.

The prize for winning this replay will be a home draw against Premier League champions-elect Liverpool so it is expected that City will start with a strong line-up as they did at Ashton Gate in the first game.

Lee Johnson praised the defensive organisation of his side in the weekend win, getting the team back to basics to earn a clean sheet. There’s plenty of quality in the Robins’ squad, particularly through the spine of the pitch, but they tend to blow hot and cold which leads to inconsistency in results. Should they turn up here, they’ll have too much for a team 30 places below them in the Football League pyramid.

City are the fourth best away side in the Championship, gaining an impressive 22 points on their travels to date in 2019/20 so should not fear a trip to lower league opposition.

With arguably the world’s best side waiting in the wings in the 4th Round, the Robins’ key young players will want another chance to impress again versus top opposition as they have done in seasons gone by, pitting their wits astutely up against the likes of Manchester United and City. Famara Diédhiou, with three goals in four games, will be especially confident of making his mark should the striker be given the nod to start.

Shrewsbury are a good side at the back but are now winless in five games and last season’s top goalscorer Fejiri Okenabirhie is about to be sold to divisional rivals Doncaster so firepower could be lacking for this game and for the rest of the season if the forward is not replaced.

On the above basis, I like getting Bristol City onside to win the match at 7/5 with Bet365.

Best Bets

Tranmere v Watford – Watford to be leading after 60 minutes (1/1 Coral)

Shrewsbury v Bristol City – Bristol City to win (7/5 Bet365)

About Author

I've been betting on football since 2011, a year when I made a fair bit of money on Southampton to win each home game after a New Year's resolution to be more optimistic about my side’s chances. After 21 wins at St Mary’s out of 22, I’d built up a fair pot of money! I enjoy researching (almost!) as much as the winning, using a combination of stats, team news, context and general football knowledge to make my selections. Outside of football, you’ll find me down the pub enjoying a few pints or at a gig most likely if the girlfriend will allow it!

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