THE FA Cup returns on Friday as Yeovil Town welcome Manchester United to Huish Park. Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) shares his best bets
Yeovil Town v Manchester United | Friday 26th January 2018, 19:55 | BBC
When Yeovil overcame League One Bradford to reach the fourth-round of the FA Cup, a tie against Man Utd would have been what they hoped for. Fast forward a few weeks, and they host the Red Devils at Huish Park under the lights.
For what it’s worth, Yeovil have played Manchester United three times in their history, losing each of those without scoring a goal. The most recent occasion being in 2015. This time around, the bookies have Yeovil at as long as a 14/1 chance to qualify through the tie.
Jose Mourinho will no doubt have been seething at his sides Quarter-Final elimination in the Carabao Cup, a competition which he is renowned for prioritising. With the league looking done and the Champions League an aspiration, the FA Cup looks a more than achievable way for Utd to get some silverware under their belt.
They will likely make changes but that’s been the case in their other cup games this season too. They beat Derby 2-0 in the previous round, while their Carabao Cup victories were 2-0 and 4-1 wins. The only goal they conceded in those wins was a stoppage-time consolation goal against Burton.
In last season’s FA Cup, two of United’s three victories came to nil. In their Europa League winning campaign last season, eight of nine wins were while keeping a clean sheet. They come into this game having kept five consecutive clean sheets too.
Tough ask for the Glovers
Yeovil have picked up 19 of their 28 league points at Huish Park this season. Darren Way has already spoken of the intense, hostile atmosphere, and condition of the pitch.
It looks like Way will set up his side to have a go too. Earlier this week the Yeovil boss stated, “Sometimes people don’t dream big enough”.
However, Yeovil will be without midfielder Otis Khan, who is their second top scorer this season – he’s been directly involved in 31% (nine goals + five assists) of the Glovers’ 45 goals in the league and two major cup competitions.
This is even further significant when you consider that their third top goalscorer, Olufela Olomola (seven goals) has returned to Southampton after a brief loan spell.
Darren Way’s side will be heavily reliant on Football League journeyman and target-man, Francois Zoko in terms of goals.
The Betting Angle
Yeovil will have the crowd well behind them and the nature of the pitch will probably make the game scrappy, but ultimately United should be too superior.
They’re 5/6 in the ‘Win to Nil’ market and I don’t think that price will be around an hour before kick-off. It implies just a 55% chance and that’ll be my only bet this Friday.
Yeovil v Manchester United – Man Utd to Win to Nil (5/6 Boylesports)