The day I’ve been waiting for…
Convenient fixture dates means for the first time I can kick off a blog by talking about my local side Derby County. Friday night’s game sees the Rams host Leicester in an East Midlands derby that doesn’t quite have the same panache as Derby-Forest, but is still decent enough for a bit of local bite. Derby’s record against the Foxes is pretty shocking – eight defeats in nine games to be exact – going back to November 2010, but Leicester’s away form is just as bad. The Premier League champions are winless on the road this season, so travelling to a side with eight clean sheets in nine home games falls just below genital warts and Djimi Traore in Claudio Ranieri’s January wish list. The heart says a home win, but the head reckons a draw sounds about right, at 21/10 with Ladbrokes.
Cupsets look to be at a premium this weekend, so we’ll stick with local derbies for the time being, this time at Ewood Park, where Blackburn are facing Blackpool. Blackburn are two divisions above their Lancashire rivals, which makes the 4/5 that BoyleSports are offering for a home win all the more appealing. Get on that before it shortens. Meanwhile, Rovers striker Danny Graham has nine goals in his last 12 games, so 11/8 for him to score again on Saturday is well worth a tenner or five.
Oxford United did the business for me in the Third Round with a win at Rotherham, but a home tie with Newcastle is probably a step too far. The Geordies are the best away side in the Championship, and 8/11 for them to dump out an Oxford side without a home win since November is lovely stuff. The double result for Newcastle pays out at nearly 2/1, and is a more reliable tip than the one that was on my last snooker cue. Trust me, that cue won me a lot of bar bets.
Another Championship side I’m backing to peel their way through a potential banana skin is Brighton. The Seagulls face a long trip to Lincolnshire to face Lincoln, funnily enough. While the home side are sitting pretty at the top of the Conference and on a high following a shock win over Ipswich, Brighton don’t strike me as a side that f*ck about. They’ll get the job done, and 3/4 for them to make it into the 5th Round is pretty bangin’.
Millwall are rapidly developing a reputation for knocking out the naff Premier League teams following their upset against Bournemouth a few weeks ago. They have the chance to add to that rep with a home tie against equally uninspiring Watford on Sunday. Form is on the Lions’ side – they’re unbeaten in five whilst the visitors are winless in seven, and have an in-form goalscorer in Lee Gregory. Millwall’s top scorer has four in his last six, which is good enough for me to stick my neck out and back the Gregory wincast at a tasty 7/2.
If reality isn’t to your liking and you fancy a dose of FA Cup magic fairydust, take a look at the cupsets the WantMyBet boys fancy this weekend. Then take a deep breath, and decide staying safe is how you get the money and the girls.
El Capitano’s Tip of the Day: Newcastle to be winning at half time and full time against Oxford, at 7/4 with Ladbrokes.
Cappa’s Acca: £10 on Newcastle, Brighton, Blackburn and Burnley returns £91 with the chaps at BoyleSports. Back it here!
Check out what my fellow tipsters are backing, and bet on your favourites here.