Thursday, January 2, 2020 at 2:16 PM (England)
The FA Cup Third Round is one of the most anticipated weekends in the English soccer calendar. This stage of the competition is renowned for dishing up some exciting ties, and this year is no different.
I've scoured the odds to find some excellent value, so let’s get stuck into the best bets for the FA Cup Third Round.
Preston North End vs. Norwich City – 01/04/20
Championship side Preston host Premier League strugglers Norwich on Saturday. The Canaries are currently bottom of the EPL table, while Preston are just one point outside of the play-offs in the second-tier. Preston have enjoyed a promising season so far, but Norwich will be desperate to avoid relegation. For that reason, I think manager Daniel Farke will field a weakened team in the FA Cup in order to keep key players fresh for important league duties. Given that Preston are the home side in this fixture, 2.20 is a very attractive price.
Pick: Preston North End to Win – 2.20
Manchester City vs. Port Vale – 01/04/20
It’s fair to say that this is one of the mismatches of the round. Man City are third in the Premier League standings, while Port Vale find themselves all the way down in tenth place in League Two. The fourth-tier side will be hopeful of causing an upset, but I can’t see it happening. City have a reputation for blowing smaller teams away in domestic cup competitions, and even if Pep Guardiola does rest a number of his top performers, City still have the ability to score plenty of goals. The gulf between these two teams is massive, so I’m backing the EPL side to notch up a big win.
Pick: Over 4.5 Manchester City Goals – 2.20
Chelsea vs. Nottingham Forest – 01/05/20
Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League, but the Blues have endured a sticky spell recently. Frank Lampard’s men have lost five of their last nine league games and have struggled against some of the top-flight's weaker teams along the way. By contrast, Forest come into this game on the back of three straight wins – lifting the club up to fourth in the Championship standings. Forest boast the third-best defensive record in the second-tier, so they are likely to make things difficult for Chelsea. However, the Blues should win this, and odds of 1.10 for the home win confirm their dominance. Still, given Forest’s impressive defensive record, I don’t think it will be a big win for Chelsea.
Pick: Chelsea to Win and Under 3.5 Goals – 2.21