The FA Cup fourth round weekend is here and England’s elite clubs will be quietly confident of advancing to the next stage of the competition.
With the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea in televised action, I’ve scoured Saturday afternoon’s fixture list in my bid to build a tasty FA Cup four-fold.
With no non-league teams left in the race to reach Wembley, neutrals will be backing those few remaining League Two sides in their pursuit of glory.
Have a read below and check out my best bets ahead of Saturday – Premier League strugglers Swansea City should have enough quality to put fourth tier Notts County to the sword.
MIDDLESBROUGH vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Middlesbrough have been inconsistent at the Riverside Stadium this season, winning nine of their 16 home fixtures in all competitions.
Tony Pulis selected a strong starting line-up for the third round clash with Sunderland and Boro may go all out for the win on Saturday. The home fans will be expecting a big performance on Teesside this weekend.
Brighton left it late to beat Crystal Palace and Chris Hughton’s men were rewarded with a trip to the north east. The Seagulls have won just twice in 14 games and plenty of punters will be steering clear of the Premier League side here.
On home soil, Pulis’ men should have enough to advance to the next round – 23/20 is a decent price.
TIP: Middlesbrough to win @ 23/20
MILLWALL vs Rochdale
The Lions are unbeaten in seven home games, including their 4-1 win against Barnsley in round three. Millwall are not a reliable pick by any means but on home soil, Neil Harris’ side should be strong enough to advance.
The Den faithful will be confident of a comfortable afternoon’s work; 888sport customers can back Millwall at 1/2 to win inside the regulation 90 minutes.
Rochdale have won just once in nine matches – and that was their round three victory over Doncaster Rovers. It is hard to back the visitors on current form and Keith Hill’s men will be up against it from the first minute.
Dale are 23rd in League One and the north west side may be tempted to write this one off as they try to preserve their third tier status.
TIP: Millwall to win @ 1/2
Notts County vs SWANSEA CITY
The hosts have won just three of their last 10 games in all competitions, a poor run of form to say the least. Notts County are second in the League Two table but will need to improve in order to catch Luton Town.
Kevin Nolan’s men will fancy their chances and a big pay day awaits if the home side can force a replay or book their spot in the next round outright.
Choose whatever superlative you want and use it to describe Swansea’s Premier League win against Liverpool. Carlos Carvalhal has been an instant success at the Liberty Stadium and 41/50 is an excellent price for an in-form top flight side against League Two opposition.
Wilfried Bony scored the winner against Wolverhampton Wanderers in round three and he could be the difference maker here. Watch this space…
TIP: Swansea to win @ 41/50
WIGAN ATHLETIC vs WEST HAM UNITED
As expected, Wigan Athletic are challenging near the top of the League One table but an FA Cup run would go down well with supporters.
Fans will recall Wigan’s famous victory back in 2013 and there is a certain affinity between the Latics and this competition. With Will Grigg back on fire, the hosts could cause plenty of problems for the travelling Hammers.
David Moyes has done a decent job since taking over after Slaven Bilic’s departure and West Ham will expect to win this one fairly comfortably. They might not have everything their own way, however.
Wigan were a Premier League club in the not-so-distant past and this could be an entertaining affair. Backing both teams to score might prove prudent and the 17/20 on offer is a fantastic price.
TIP: Both teams to score @ 17/20
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*