THE eighth and final FA Cup 5th Round fixture is on Monday night when Premier League leaders Manchester City make the short trip to the DW Stadium to face Wigan. Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) shares his best bets.
Wigan v Manchester City | Monday 19th February 2018, 19:55 | BBC1
Man City arrive into this potential banana skin cup tie having already played and disposed of three Football League sides in domestic cup competitions this season, so I do not expect them to take Wigan lightly.
This term Pep Guardiola’s side are still on for a quadruple and are walking the Premier League – they are a mammoth 16 points ahead of second-placed Man Utd and that is due to the homework done on every team they play.
They put out strong sides no matter what the fixture and seem to take nothing for granted, whether they are facing Bristol City or Napoli.
They will have to do the same here of course as Wigan have some excellent recent FA Cup history against them in recent years – winning the FA Cup final against the odds in 2013 and then knocking City out at the Etihad the following year too!
City’s scoring record
Of course, Man City are short odds-on favourites to win this tie with a current best price of 1/6, which is not worth taking on, so let’s see if we can dig deeper into the betting markets to find some better FA Cup betting value.
Man City have scored a whopping 50 goals away from home this season in just 21 matches, with the Cityzens netting at least three goals on their travels in nine of those fixtures – a percentage of 42.8%.
Wigan enter this huge money spinning match for them in a bit of a rut when it comes to their League One form. Paul Cook’s side were runaway leaders until recently, where a current sequence of three wins in eight has seen them overtaken by Shrewsbury – although they do have games in hand on their promotion rivals.
Their defence has been key to their success this season, with just 18 goals conceded in League One, a defensive record bettered by no side in the division. However, they have seemed to lose their way of late in terms of their solidity at the back.
Wigan have conceded five goals in their last two games, which ended in 3-1 and 2-0 defeats to Southend and Blackpool respectively.
Cook said in his post-match interview after the Blackpool game that perhaps he had been too loyal to his first team players during this run, so perhaps he will ring some changes for this one – which could result in improvement, or perhaps miscommunication, between players not used to playing together… we’ll see.
The betting angle
All of this leads me to the Man City to score 3+ goals market. Wigan have been off the boil a little of late, but before this small run of poor performances, they had kept 13 clean sheets at the DW Stadium, including two against Premier League opposition in West Ham and Bournemouth.
One of my Wigan v Man City betting selections will be to oppose the Premier League table-toppers scoring three or more goals at 21/20 with Coral, seeing as City have only achieved this in 42% of their away days this term. I do like those odds.
One to avoid
For a player with 29 goals in 33 games this season, I have found quite an interesting stat – Sergio Aguero has only opened the scoring in two of Man City’s 21 away matches this term. Considering he heads the First Goalscorer market here, with a best price of 3/1, perhaps we can find a better value price elsewhere…
I think that 7/5 (Bet365) on Kevin De Bruyne to net at anytime offers better value. The Belgian international is a machine in terms of games played and he will start this game, with Ilkay Gundogan probably being rested for the returning David Silva.
De Bruyne has scored in his last three cup ties against Football League sides, home and away against Bristol City and in the fourth round of the FA Cup against Cardiff. This gives us 90 minutes for him to score rather than backing Aguero at a bigger price to notch first, where the probability of course, is much lower.