Blackpool v Arsenal
Stepping away from League football, we’re looking at the FA Cup Third Round betting tips. Big time football returns to the seaside town of Blackpool as they host Premier League giants Arsenal at Bloomfield Road on Saturday 5 January with the 5.30pm kick-off shown live on BT Sport. With an increased audience and chance to relive glory days, the Blackpool dressing room will be determined to put in a big performance and pull off a win that would send shockwaves through English football. Do they have any chance of doing the unthinkable? Lovers of the FA Cup will be quick to remind us anything can happen in this competition; however, bookies really don’t fancy their chances and have the home win marked as rank outsiders.
Terry McPhilips’ side can be found down in League One these days, following a fall from grace; however, they have been threatening a comeback for a few years now and are currently knocking on the door of the promotion play-off places. A record of 9-7-7 from their first 23 games places them eighth in the table and within touching distance of the all-important top-six, with a game in hand. Everyone connected to the club, from the board down to the fans, will rate their chances of driving hard for an extended season. They’ll also understand the value of drawing Arsenal at home in the cup as the day will bring a sizeable cheque, whatever the result. The team have a job to do but this will be a day of celebration with a party atmosphere.
Gunners Must Be Professional
On paper this looks a straight forward away win and Arsenal would’ve breathed a sigh of relief when the draw was made as there are far trickier trips to make. Unai Emery is barely through the door, but he’ll be well drilled on the importance of this tournament as it gives Arsenal their best shot at winning a respected trophy this season. A top-four finish and silverware will go down as a huge success for the new gaffer. To have any chance of achieving that, Emery must use his squad wisely, rotating the line-up and bringing in fresh legs. We expect him to do just that for this trip, handing a starting slot to a number of fringe and youth players.
The London club are pushing for a return to the top-four and Champions League places that accompany it and with 19 games on the board heading into the New Year, they showed form of 11 wins and five draws against three defeats, placing them two points off Chelsea in fourth, but 13 off the pace set by leaders Liverpool. Arsenal picked-up a crucial point at Old Trafford last month and followed that with a hard-fought win over Huddersfield; however, they then fell to a shock 3-2 loss at lowly Southampton before stumbling to a 1-1 away to Brighton on Boxing Day. Aubameyang started the scoring on seven minutes and fans thought the flood gates would swing open, but it didn’t happen, Locadia striking to break off a share.
There’s Value To Be Had
Arsenal are hot favourites, as you would expect, and bookmakers are keen to put punters off a bet on the away day, pricing them no better than the 1/4 currently available at Ladbrokes. That may do a job for some in stacked accumulators but it’s a quote that’ll shove most into the specials. Blackpool have been chalked up at 12/1 – also best odds with Ladbrokes – the draw an unlikely 11/2 (Bet365). Two attractive offers, but they’re not good enough to tempt us.
So, where does the value lie? We think the answer is in the stats, as always. Both teams scored in Arsenal’s December trips to Man Utd, Southampton and Brighton and although this is a step-down in the standard faced there, we expect the visitors to field a weaker side. Add both teams to score in the accumulator of the day at a handy 19/17 – best price with Unibet. After more? Try your luck on both teams to score in an Arsenal win at 2/1. That’s top price at 888sport and there’s no better at the time of asking. A bet worth having, in our opinion.
Wolves v Liverpool
The next of our FA Cup Third Round betting tips takes us to Wolves v Liverpool. The game of the round takes place on Monday evening as Premier League duo Wolves at Liverpool lock horns in a 7.45pm kick-off. The locals are well off the pace set by Liverpool in the top-flight; however, they know this is a one-off match where they’ll face a Liverpool side far weaker than the one that turns out most weeks.
The home win has been written off by bookies and if you expect Liverpool to take their eyes off the prize and allow Wolves to snatch a famous victory you can back the underdogs at 15/4 – top price with Unibet. The draw is seen as a more likely outcome by traders with Bet365 sending out an eye-catching 14/5 lure.
Red Hot Favourites
Liverpool have been simply stunning so far this term and didn’t put a foot wrong during the first-half of the season, rhyming off a run of wins to stand as the league leaders and only unbeaten side of the pack after 19 games, showing stats of 16-3-0. They recorded a superb 3-1 win at Anfield over Man United on 16 December, a result that ended the reign of Jose Mourinho. There’s confidence right through the team and boy does it show?
Jurgen Klopp may not send his best 11; however, the team are doing so well at present any player given a chance to shine knows he must hit the ground running if he’s to catch the manager’s eye. That also features in the thinking of bookies who have the visitors marked as hot favourites. There’s a little more value than you may expect, however, with Ladbrokes going 4/5. That’s a bet for us and there’s enough of a price there to ensure it’ll work as a super single or as part of the accumulator of the day. Good luck if following our bets.