The action this midweek sees six FA Cup replays taking place as well as one League One fixture. The standout game is League One side Shrewsbury’s trip to Liverpool after the two sides drew 2-2 in Shropshire less than a fortnight ago. Charlie Mullan takes a look at all the fixtures scheduled that should be considered when putting together midweek accumulators.
BTTS: Birmingham v Coventry, Cardiff v Reading, Oxford v Newcastle
We’ve heard about the tenants v landlords tale from the first meeting, so let’s just concentrate on the action on the pitch. These two sides failed to find the back of the net in the first meeting 10 days ago. That was a bit of a surprise given Coventry (49/20) had scored in their 10 games leading up to the fourth-round tie while Birmingham (11/10) had netted in their seven previous games. Both defences came out on top at St Andrew’s that day, but with a fifth-round clash at Leicester awaiting the winner, expect both sides to go for it in this replay.
Since the goalless draw first time around, Birmingham have played once, beating Nottingham Forest 2-1 at home in the Championship on Saturday. The Blues went a goal down in the 18th minute but went into the interval level thanks to Scott Hogan’s leveller three minutes before the break. Kristian Pederson’s winner came 16 minutes from time. Coventry, who play their home games at St Andrew’s, also had to come from behind to win their last League One game. Bristol Rovers took the lead in the 23rd minute, but the lead lasted 15 minutes when Jamie Allen cancelled out Jonson Clarke-Harris’ opener. Liam Walsh’s winner on the stroke of half-time turned out to be the winning goal.
SportPesa are offering odds of 10/13 for both teams to score while Birmingham are 10/19 to qualify to the fifth round whether that be in normal time, extra-time or after penalties. The Championship side are 3/1 to win in normal time with at least one goal for Coventry who are 27/20 to qualify to meet Leicester in the next round and 21/4 to win with BTTS landing.
A home tie with Sheffield United awaits the winner of the replay between Cardiff (20/23) and Reading (3/1). The two sides require a second game after a 1-1 draw in the first meeting. In an explosive start to the game, Cardiff took the lead at the Madejski Stadium through Callum Paterson’s fifth minute opener. Reading wasted little time in restoring parity when Yakou Meite equalised three minutes after Reading fell behind. The Royals held on to force this replay despite having Tom McIntyre sent off nine minutes from time. Since that score draw, the two sides met again in the Championship the following Friday when the result remained the same.
Lightning struck twice for Meite who once again scored in the eighth minute to give Reading an early lead, but Paterson was again the man to find the net for the Bluebirds 20 minutes from time. Another 1-1 draw is trading at 19/4 with SportPesa while a score draw is on offer at 3/1. Goals for both sides is on the market at 5/7 while Cardiff are 13/5 to win with at least one goal for Reading who are 6/1 to win with BTTS landing. Cardiff’s last five games have seen BTTS occur while three of Reading’s last four games have ended 1-1.
Newcastle (1/1) needed a replay to beat Rochdale in the third round and now they need a replay if they are to travel to Championship side West Brom in the fifth round. Credit goes to Oxford (47/20) for going to St James’ Park and getting a creditable 0-0 draw to force this replay in front of a crowd of over 52,221. Steve Bruce’s Premier League side followed up that goalless draw at home to strugglers Norwich on Saturday. Sitting 12th in the table, seven points clear of the bottom three, Bruce might want to go as far as he can in a competition he has enjoyed as a player and as a manager.
As a player, Bruce won the cup twice with Manchester United and as a manager he took Hull City to the final only to lose to Arsenal in May 2014. Oxford warmed up for this replay with a 2-1 home win over Blackpool on Saturday coming from a goal down to do so. Gary Modine gave the visitors a 10th minute lead but two goals from Marcus Browne before half-time helped United claim the win. Both teams to score in this replay is available at 5/7 with SportPesa who are offering odds of 16/5 for a score draw. Oxford are 5/1 to win with at least one goal for the visitors who are 27/10 to win with BTTS landing.
Over 2.5 goals: Tottenham v Southampton, Liverpool v Shrewsbury, Tranmere v Doncaster
Tottenham (2/3) boosted their hopes of a top four finish by beating 10-man Manchester City 2-0 at the New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday. The win will have lifted the confidence within the camp as they continue to cope without their captain and prolific scorer Harry Kane. Kane will hope he will have an FA Cup final to target in May as he continues his rehab following a hamstring injury. New signing Steven Bergwijn made an immediate impact scoring on his Spurs debut after completing his move just days before. Heung-Min Son doubled Spurs’ advantage and they will fancy their chances of beating Southampton (15/4) to set up a fifth-round tie at home to Norwich.
Saints may have lost 4-0 at Liverpool on Saturday, but the score was harsh on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side who were denied a penalty seconds before the Premier League champions-elect scored their first goal. It was the first time in nine that the Saints failed to score. Both teams have the fire power to score goals and after drawing the first leg 1-1, there is a chance this game could see three or more goals scored. The last five meetings Tottenham have hosted, over 2.5 match goals has landed with a total of 20 goals scored. Earlier this season, Spurs won 2-1 after Tanguy NDombele opening the scoring before Danny Ings levelled six minutes before the interval. Kane’s 43rd minute goal was the goal that sealed the three points for Tottenham. SportPesa are offering odds of 4/5 for over 2.5 total goals scored while BTTS and over 2.5 goals is available at 23/20. Spurs are 29/20 to win with a minimum of three goals scored while the visitors are 27/4 to win with at least three goals scored.
When Liverpool (10/11) and Shrewsbury (5/2) met in the first meeting, everything was going to plan as far as Jurgen Klopp, and his ‘reserves’ were concerned. They led 2-0 with 25 minutes to play. But with nothing to lose, the Shrews battled back to score twice through substitute Jason Cummings to set up this replay. Motivation for Sam Ricketts’ League One side at Anfield won’t be an issue especially with a trip to another Premier League side – Chelsea – waiting in round five. A lot has been made about Klopp’s comments that FA Cup replays should be a thing of the past, but nobody can deny Shrewsbury their trip to Anfield because they deserve it for the way they played in the first game. Klopp has said publicly, he will field a team of youngsters and give U23s coach Neil Critchley another chance to manage the ‘first’ team like he did when a youthful Reds team were beaten 5-0 by Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals while the senior players were in Qatar winning the FIFA Club World Cup.
Shrewsbury, once again, have nothing to lose and will go at their young opponents aiming to knock the Reds out of the cup. Not surprisingly, Shrewsbury’s form has dipped with back-to-back defeats in League One at Gillingham and Rochdale on Saturday but a trip to the home of the Premier League champions-elect should bring the best out of Town. Over 2.5 match goals is available at 20/33 with SportPesa who are also offering odds of 20/23 for both teams to score and combine for at least three goals. Liverpool are 31/20 to win with over 2.5 goals while Shrewsbury are 4/1 to win with a minimum of three goals scored.
Away from the FA Cup replays, Tranmere hosts Doncaster in a League One fixture. Doncaster travel to Merseyside looking to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at Fleetwood on Saturday to keep Donny 10th in the table. Tranmere need the win to help them pull away from the relegation zone. Micky Mellon’s side are 21st in the table, six points behind AFC Wimbledon and a 2-0 loss at Bolton did little to lift the gloom around the club. The last time Doncaster travelled to Prenton Park, the away side won 2-1 thanks to Iain Hume’s last-minute goal in October 2012.
Five of Tranmere’s last six game at home have seen at least three match goals scored while Doncaster’s defeat at Fleetwood was the second time in their last two games in which over 2.5 match goals landed. SportPesa are offering odds of 10/11 for there to be three or more goals scored at Prenton Park with BTTS and over 2.5 match goals trading at a generous 6/5. A Tranmere win with three or more total goals scored is available at 17/4 while Doncaster are 9/4 to win with three or more goals scored.
A £10 bet on the BTTS accumulator has potential returns of £54.49
A £10 bet on the over 2.5 goals accumulator has potential returns of £56.91