MM’s weekend wager: Manchester teams to seal FA Cup progression, but lowly Wigan to lose out at Everton

By Dominic Claeys-Jackson

After the midweek tip of Bolton to beat Blackburn by one goal came in at 3/1, it is time again for MM to help boost your chances of beating the bookies.

Focus this weekend turns to the FA Cup, with all three of Greater Manchester’s Premier League sides in televised action.

Everton vs. WIGAN ATHLETIC, Goodison Park, Saturday 12.45pm

Everton (9/20, Betway); Draw (159/40, Pinnacle); Wigan Athletic (15/2, Bet365)

Wigan Athletic have never progressed beyond the sixth round of the FA Cup – and Everton should ensure that statistic remains intact come this evening.

The Latics have only beaten the Toffees once in eight attempts at Goodison Park and, with one eye on Premier League survival, it should soon be one in nine.

Everton have lost just two of their last 12 FA Cup games at home, while Wigan have won just two of their last 12 FA Cup games against top-flight opposition.

Roberto Martinez’s side will put up a fight however, and with both teams coming into the game in similar form there should be goals for both sides.

In Wigan’s last six away games, only Chelsea have beaten them, while the London club are also the only team to beat Everton in the last six at Goodison Park.

Only one of those twelve games ended under 2.5 goals, reflected in the short-priced 7/10 (Ladbrokes) for the overs.

Everton have both scored and conceded in 13 of their last 17 FA Cup games, and the odds of a repeat are a decent price at 10/11 (William Hill).

Even better is Ladbrokes offer of both teams to score in an Everton win – tempting at 9/4.

If you fancy a longer shot, the Blues have won their last two home games 3-1, and the same outcome can be backed at 12/1 (BetVictor).

Meanwhile, Arouna Kone has scored in both league meetings with Everton this season, and the Ivorian is 10/3 anytime goalscorer (William Hill) and 11/1 first goalscorer (Bet365).

Tip: Both teams to score and Everton to win (9/4, Ladbrokes)

MANCHESTER CITY vs. Barnsley, Etihad Stadium, Saturday 5.30pm

Manchester City (1/7, Ladbrokes); Draw (87/10, Pinnacle); Barnsley (22/1, Betfred)

With the FA Cup perhaps Manchester City’s only realistic chance of silverware this season, a Barnsley upset is unthinkable.

Roberto Mancini’s side are unbeaten in nine FA Cup games against lower-ranked opposition, winning their last four without conceding.

Despite an unhappy recent quarter-final record – losing four of their last five – City are worthy of such short odds.

Barnsley have only won two of their last 11 FA Cup ties against Premier League sides and have reached the quarter-finals just six times, losing five.

The win market clearly offers no return, however, so focus must turn elsewhere – so back Manchester City to win to nil (17/20, Ladbrokes).

City failed to score in just one of their last 18 home FA Cup games, scoring 39, and have kept six clean sheets in their last seven home games.

It may be a one-way goalfest, with over 3.5 goals 5/6 (Betfred) and Manchester City to score at least four goals a scarcely-believable 11/8 (Skybet).

Betway quotes City to win 3-0 as 27/4 favourite, with the 4-0 scoreline at 21/2 – one of the two may be worth a go.

Carlos Tevez – arrested on Thursday on suspicion of driving while disqualified – has scored in his last three games, and is 8/11 (Coral) to make it four.

If you fancy backing him at odds which aren’t so short, you could perhaps try first goalscorer instead at 3/1 (Coral), or a hat-trick at 16/1 (Betfred).

Or you could combine Tevez to score first with a 4-0 scoreline, quoted at 18/1 (Ladbrokes).

Tip: Manchester City to win to nil (17/20, Ladbrokes)

MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Chelsea, Old Trafford, Sunday 4.30pm

Manchester United (5/6, Coral); Draw (124/41, Pinnacle); Chelsea (19/5, William Hill)

Manchester United have a good record against Chelsea in the FA Cup, and should extend it further when these two meet in Sunday’s showcase clash.

The Reds have met the Blues 11 times in the competition, winning eight, and are decent value for the win.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have only lost two of their last 20 FA Cup home games, with Chelsea failing to win at Old Trafford in five FA Cup attempts.

However, Chelsea’s recent record in the competition is superb, with the Blues currently in the longest ever run without defeat after three titles in four years.

Rafa Benitez’s side have lost just one of their last 38 FA Cup games outright, winning 31, and are unbeaten in 27 cup games, excluding penalty shootouts.

It will likely be close, but United have enough to end Chelsea’s proud record – so back them to win by one goal (29/10, Ladbrokes).

Recent meetings between the two have seen goals fly in, with 30 scored in the last six, and 14 of those coming in two games this season.

Over 4.5 goals is 19/4 (BetVictor), with the mammoth over 6.5 goals quoted at 20/1 (Bet365).

Javier Hernandez has scored five in his last six against Chelsea, and is 6/4 first goalscorer (Bwin) and 5/1 anytime goalscorer (William Hill) –

Meanwhile, for Chelsea, Juan Mata has scored five goals and assisted seven in just 10 FA Cup appearances.

Bwin quotes the Spaniard 7/2 anytime goalscorer and 12/1 first goalscorer, with BoyleSports quoting the anytime assist at 10/3.

Tip: Manchester United to win by one goal (29/10, Ladbrokes)

Treble: A very short one, but back over 2.5 goals in all three games above (13/8, Bet365)

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Image courtesy of Yahoo UK, with thanks.

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