2013 FA Cup 5th Round Betting Preview

February 16th, 2013 | Posted by in Tips & Previews

FA Cup 5th Round is on this week and below we have a preview of a couple of the FA cup games as well as comparison FA cup betting odds for the 5th round from leading European, Australian and International online sportbooks.

2013 FA Cup 5th Round Betting Odds

Luton vs Millwall
Arsenal vs Blackburn
Milton Keynes vs Barnsley
Oldham vs Everton
Chelsea vs Brentford
Man City vs Leeds
Huddersfield vs Wigan
Man Utd vs Reading

Saturday 16th January 2013

Luton Town v Millwall – Kenilworth Road

Luton Town have been the story of this season’s FA Cup to date and although a home tie against Championship side Millwall wasn’t exactly what the Hatters were dreaming of, their compact and slightly ramshackle Kenilworth Road home will be packed and rocking on Saturday afternoon.

A regular fixture in England’s top flight as recently as the early 1990s, Luton have fallen on hard times since and are currently trying to battle their way back into League 2 from the non-league Conference.

Their home attendances, however, suggest that they are far too big a club to be languishing so far down the pyramid and they have reinforced that impression with a run in this season’s FA Cup that can only be described as magnificent.

Having accounted for fellow-non-leaguers Nuneaton and Dorchester, they then stunned Championship side Wolves by beating them 1-0 at home.

But the best was still to come as they were pitted against Norwich in the 4th Round and courtesy of a late strike from Scott Rendell, duly became the first non-league side to eliminate top flight opposition since 1989.

Now Millwall stand between the Bedfordshire club and a place in the last eight of the competition and the Lions will certainly have been made aware of the quality lurking in the home side’s ranks.

Andre Gray is a lightning-quick frontman with ten goals to his name this term, one fewer than Carrow Road hero Rendell, while Janos Kovacs is a commanding presence at the heart of the defence and Mark Tyler is an experienced, reliable goalkeeper who made nearly 500 appearances for Peterborough.

Manager Paul Buckle may also opt to recall former Cardiff City striker Stuart Fleetwood this weekend having left him out of the squad for the midweek defeat against Dartford and the tricky Welshman could cause some problems for a Millwall defence that has kept only one clean sheet in the last eleven games.

That defensive generosity has been a major reason behind the Lions slipping from the fringes of the play-off zone in to mid-table, although having won only three of their first 12 games of the season, most of the club’s fans would probably settle for their present position well clear of the drop zone.

Manager Kenny Jackett is a hugely-likeable character who never quite received the plaudits he deserved for reviving the fortunes of his former club, Swansea and with the limited resources he has available to him at the New Den, he is probably over-achieving by keeping the South Londoners nearer the top than the bottom of the table.

Workmanlike rather than spectacular, the Lions have an Aussie in their ranks in the form of Perth native Shane Lowry who has been an almost ever-present this season, forming a rugged central defensive partnership with the similarly uncompromising Danny Shittu.

Liam Trotter, meanwhile, has been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League, as has fellow-midfielder James Henry and up front, Jackett is likely to start on-loan QPR man Rob Hulse, with Irishman Andy Keogh a handy option off the bench.

For fans of a certain age, this tie will evoke memories of an infamous Cup meeting between the two sides back in 1985 when Millwall’s travelling support rioted before, during and after the game, but a massive security operation should ensure there’s no repeat of those violent scenes this time around.

Luton have covered themselves in glory with their exploits against both Wolves and Norwich, giving the whole competition a shot in the arm in the process, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that another shock may just be beyond them.

It could take a replay to separate the sides, but Millwall’s extra class should get them through.

Prediction: Luton Town 1-1 Millwall

Sunday 17th January 2013

Manchester City v Leeds United – Etihad Stadium

When news of a high-profile resignation filtered its way out of Italy earlier this week, fans of Manchester City may have been forgiven for thinking it was Roberto Mancini who had fallen on his sword rather than a certain high-profile figure based in the Vatican.

But no, the under-pressure City boss remains in the Etihad Stadium hot-seat, at least  for now and while Benedict XVI considers just exactly what a former pope is supposed to do in his retirement, Mancini will be plotting how to ensure his charges avoid becoming the victims of a Cup upset at the hands of Leeds United.

Not that even winning the FA Cup is likely to keep the Italian in his current position beyond the end of the season.

Only by retaining the league title or winning the Champions League would Mancini have satisfied the demands of the club’s ambitious owners and with the domestic campaign in disarray and the European dream already shattered, the stage seems to be set for Jose Mourinho to swagger his way back into the EPL as the current City coach slouches his way out of the exit door.

The uncertainty surrounding the Manchester club will of course be music to the ears of Leeds and their legion of travelling fans who will make the short trip across the Pennines hoping to see men in white produce a repeat of their heroic win at nearby Old Trafford in the 3rd round of the 2009-2010 competition.

And Neil Warnock is exactly the kind of manager who can motivate a team to play above itself in a one-off occasion.

Like him or loathe him, the vastly-experienced Yorkshireman has an indisputably impressive track record and if anyone can prepare a team currently occupying 11th place in  the Championship to beat the reigning Premier League champions on their home patch, it’s him.

And he does have some quality personnel to call upon, including full-backs Lee Peltier and Sam Byram, both of whom have been  attracting envious glances from a host of EPL clubs, Welsh international striker Steve Morison who arrived from Norwich during the January transfer window, uncompromising Jamaican midfielder Rodolph Austin and the unmistakeable and controversial figure of El Hadj Diouf whom Warnock once famously described as a sewer rat.

Leeds beat Birmingham and then Spurs to reach this stage of the competition and can draw further encouragement from their last Cup clash with City which yielded an extraordinary 5-2 victory at Maine Road back in January 2000.

So what of the hosts?

Mancini will presumably opt against fielding a weakened side given that the FA Cup now represents arguably the club’s best chance of salvaging some silverware from what is shaping up to be a damp squib of a season.

Vincent Kompany is expected to return at the heart of the defence having all but shaken off his calf problem and the Belgian could be partnered by Kolo Toure who should now be fully rested after his exertions at the recent Africa Cup of Nations.

Another change may come in goal where Romanian Costel Pantilimon could be handed a rare start ahead of Joe Hart who endured an afternoon to forget against Southampton last weekend and given that Samir Nasri doesn’t generally relish the kind of roll-your-sleeves-up battle that is set to unfold on Sunday, he may well make way for the distinctly more robust James Milner.

Carlos Tevez, meanwhile, is again expected to be unavailable as he continues to address a family matter in his native Argentina.

If this game was being played at Elland Road which remains among England’s most intimidating away venues, at least on big occasions such as this, it would be a lot easier to make a case for Leeds upsetting the odds and hammering another nail into Mancini’s coffin.

As it stands, however, as long as they are switched on mentally, home advantage and their attacking armoury should see City through to the last eight with something to spare.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Leeds United

2013 FA Cup 5th Round Betting Video review

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