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Saturday's best bets1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our team highlight their best Saturday bets, with Matt Brocklebank waiting until the evening card at Kempton and George Pitts looking at Euro 2020 qualifiers.

2

Sporting Life Accumulator

With the international break pausing action in the Championship, we have backed four teams in League One and League Two...

Check out today's Paper Talk3

Paper Talk: £65m Maguire?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives green light on big-money Harry Maguire move and Man City want £105m-rated wonderkid, according to the back pages.

Birmingham City's St. Andrews Stadium4

Birmingham hit with points deduction

Birmingham City have been deducted nine points following a breach of the EFL's Profitability and Sustainability rules.

Neymar celebrates5

Neymar hit with UEFA charge

UEFA have charged Neymar with "insulting acts against a match official" due to social media comments he made after PSG's controversial Champions League defeat to Manchester United.

FA Cup betting preview: Free tips, predictions &best bets for Wolves v Man Utd, Swansea v Man City & Watford v Crystal Palace

Our best bets for the latest FA Cup round
Our best bets for the latest FA Cup round

It's a big day of FA Cup action on Saturday and Paul Higham fancies goals at Watford and Swansea and a potential upset at Wolves.

Recommended bets

1pt Over 2.5 goals in Watford v Crystal Palace at 21/20

1pt Wolves to beat Man Utd at 23/10

For advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Wolves v Man Utd (1955 GMT - BBC One)

Celebrations for Wolves
Wolves can cause an FA Cup upset at Molineux

It's an intriguing battle at Molineux on Saturday night with both of this sides eyeing the trophy at this stage with only Man City above these two in the league left in the FA Cup. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to have injuries to deal with, but that didn't stop them in Paris.

It did hinder them at Arsenal last time out as their away day invincibility slipped away, and Molineux is a tough place to go and play, especially if Romelu Lukaku misses out with a foot injury.

Team selection will be key here but both teams will be as string as possible with the international break coming up soon afterwards, and both know this is a great chance to at least get to a final.

Again, United playing away will see them sit back and try and hit on the break and the first goal could be crucial in what should be a tight one as Wolves still don't score that many goals even in their strong recent home run.

It's a tough one, and again check on the teams, but Wolves are genuinely a good side and in big games against big sides they're really raised their games - making them a decent shout at the price.

Prediction: Wolves 2-1 Man Utd (Sky Bet odds: 10/1)

Best bet: Wolves to win at 23/10

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Opta stats

  • This is the 100th meeting between Wolves and Man Utd in all competitions. Their last encounter at Molineux came in March 2012 in the Premier League, a 5-0 victory for United.
  • Wolves haven’t reached the semi-final of the FA Cup since 1997-98, when they beat Leeds United at Elland Road in that season’s quarter-final.
  • Manchester United are looking to reach the FA Cup semi-final in consecutive seasons for the first time since doing so in 2003-04 and 2004-05 under Sir Alex Ferguson.
  • Manchester United have won nine of their last 10 away FA Cup matches, losing the other in quarter-final in 2016-17 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
  • Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a 100% away win record in the FA Cup, winning twice away from home with Cardiff City in 2013-14 and twice this season with the Red Devils.

Quiz time...

QUIZ: Famous FA Cup Matches
Take our latest football quiz based on famous FA Cup matches

Saturday (1215)

Watford v Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha will stay at Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha is the star of this Crystal Palace side

We kick off a lengthy day of FA Cup action at Vicarage Road with what usually would be a run-of-the-mill Premier League game but this time takes on a whole new complexion with a semi-final place at stake.

Despite Palace still being in the relegation scrap, there’s no holding back now in terms of team selection and both sides will be brimming with confidence with both getting to this stage without conceding a goal.

Playing away will suit Palace, they’re far more effective away from Selhurst Park and have won five of their last seven on the road as playing on the break with the pace of Zaha and Townsend suits them much better.

There’s also far more chance of goals here than if the fixture were reversed with Palace scoring in their last nine away games and Watford managing just four clean sheets at home all season.

If pushed I'd side with Palace (11/5) to win in 90 minutes, or even play it safe with Palace to qualify at Evens, but with a tie so finely balanced I'm ducking the result for the best bet with goals on the menu and over 2.5 looking nailed-on.

Prediction: Watford 1-3 Crystal Palace (Sky Bet odds: 28/1)

Best bet: Over 2.5 goals at 21/20 BetVictor

Opta stats

  • Watford and Crystal Palace have played each other seven times in the FA Cup, most recently in the semi-final in 2015-16, a 2-1 win for Palace.
  • Crystal Palace have lost two matches against Watford already this season, both in the league – they haven’t lost three in a row in all competitions against the Hornets since March 1936.
  • This is Crystal Palace’s eighth FA Cup quarter-final, progressing from four of their previous seven; however, they’ve been eliminated from both quarter-final ties against top flight opposition, losing to Everton in 1906-07 and Leeds United in 1964-65.
  • Neither Watford nor Crystal Palace have conceded a single goal in this season’s FA Cup, with Palace facing twice as many shots (42) as Watford (21).
  • Crystal Palace striker Michy Batshuayi has scored in all three of his previous appearances against Watford, scoring four goals, all in Premier League games while at Chelsea.

Saturday (1720 GMT)

Swansea v Man City

Phil Foden celebrates after scoring against Rotherham
Phil Foden celebrates after scoring against Rotherham

Another Man City game and another hugely prohibitive set of prices with City on a seemingly unstoppable march towards four trophies - and Swansea have little chance of providing any kind of upset given the way Pep Guardiola's side has steamrollered every lower league opposition in cup competitions this season.

Swansea are unbeaten in seven at home, but they've not played a Man City side flying on the back of a 7-0 Champions League victory in any of those. The question here is surely just the margin of the victory and who'll get the goals.

It's a genuine embarrassment of riches for Guardiola, but the main threats and most likely to feature are Gabriel Jesus, Riyahd Mahrez and Phil Foden. Jesus has scored seven in six cup starts this season so is unsurprisingly odds-on even in a score and win double.

The 7/4 on Mahrez to score anytime looks like a decent shout but it's young star Foden who gets the nod this time - he's scored five goals in five domestic cup games again lower league sides and after bagging his first Champions League goal midweek can double-up quickly here.

Prediction: Swansea City 1-4 Manchester City (Sky Bet odds: 14/1)

Best bet: Phil Foden to score anytime at 11/4

Swansea City v Manchester City - Opta stats

  • This is the first ever FA Cup meeting between Swansea and Man City – the Swans are winless in their last 13 games against the Citizens in all competitions (W0 D2 L11).
  • Manchester City have progressed from three of their last four FA Cup quarter-finals (2010-11, 2012-13 and 2016-17), with their only defeat in this time coming against Championship opposition in 2013-14, when they lost 1-2 to Wigan Athletic.
  • Swansea City have been eliminated in six of their last seven FA Cup ties against Premier League opponents, winning the other in January 2014 away at Manchester United.
  • Manchester City have scored at least four goals in each of their three FA Cup games this season – the last team to so in four in a row were also Man City, during the 1925-26 season.
  • Manchester City could become just the second team to win two away FA Cup matches in Wales in a single season, having already won at Newport County – Norwich City beat Rhyl and Newport in the 1950-51 campaign.

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Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our team highlight their best Saturday bets, with Matt Brocklebank waiting until the evening card at Kempton and George Pitts looking at Euro 2020 qualifiers.

2

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Check out today's Paper Talk3

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