Friday, March 5, 2010


The top sporting action comes from the most prestigious cup competition in British football – The FA Cup. This weekend sees the four Quarter Final matches being played with the winners going to Wembley for the Semi Final games.

Portsmouth v Birmingham City:
This game looks to be an interesting contest, with the match odds not really matching the outright odds. Birmingham City are 11/1 to win the FA Cup compared to Portsmouth’s 20/1, yet Portsmouth are the slight favourites to take victory in this game at 8/5 compared to Birmingham’s 7/4. The match odds are not surprising as Portsmouth have one win in their last six home games, while Birmingham have only won one of their last four away games and have lost their last three away league games. However, the midlands side have been drawn away from home in every round of the FA Cup so far this season and with Portsmouth off-field problems getting worse every week they will feel that they can win this game and reach the new Wembley for the first time.
I recommend backing Birmingham to win this game at 7/4 with more than 2.5 goals to be scored @ 13/10.

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur:
Despite Spurs being joint second favourites with Aston Villa at 4/1 to lift the FA Cup this season they are going to have a tough time in this match as Fulham have won their last five home games and have only lost once in their last seventeen games at Craven Cottage. Spurs away form is inconsistent to say the best – they have only won three of their last ten away games and they came against Wigan Athletic, Leeds United and Blackburn Rovers. Fulham should win this game and are worth a bet to win the FA Cup at 12/1 as their odds will drop once they reach Wembley. recommends backing Fulham to win this game @ 2/1 with both teams to score @ 10/11.

Reading v Aston Villa:
On paper this should be an easy one for Villa, but they’ll still be hurting after losing at Wembley last weekend and Reading are unbeaten in their last eight home games, winning four of their last five. To get this far, Reading have had to defeat two Premier League sides in Liverpool and Burnley and West Bromwich Albion, who are looking good to be promoted back to the Premier League. They will be no pushover for Villa. However, Villa have won two and drawn two of their last four away games, excluding the League Cup final last weekend, and will be looking to bounce back after their heartbreaking loss to Manchester United.

I feel that this game will finish level, so back the draw @ 12/5 with both sides to score @ 10/11.

Chelsea v Stoke City:
Chelsea are at odds of 1/4 to win this match while Stoke are 11/1 to be victorious. Prior to last weekend’s loss to Manchester City, Chelsea had gone forty-one games unbeaten at Stamford Bridge, a run which began in December 2008. Also, Stoke City have not beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 1974. These statistics, along with the fact that Stoke’s last ten away games have seen five losses, four draws and only one victory (against Portsmouth), make the odds seem about right. Being as Chelsea are such huge favourites to win this game, I’m going to back both sides to score in the match @ 11/10 and Chelsea to score in both halves @ 19/20.

See former footballer Steve Claridge talk about all of this weekend’s Premier League action and get his top picks from this week’s Premier League Preview show.

By Antony Jordan

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