Midweek matches – Tuesday 14 January 2014
Back English FA Cup holder Wigan to make amends for its fade out against Milton Keynes a week and a half ago by winning the third round replay between the teams at Stadium mk.
Wigan raced into a two-goal lead at the DW Stadium before Milton Keynes scored two goals in a matter of seconds just prior to the half-time interval. Wigan re-established its superiority midway through the second period only to give away an equaliser with seven minutes left on the clock.
Since Wigan hired Uwe Rosler it has yet to lose a domestic match and, either side of its 3-3 English FA Cup home draw with Milton Keynes, it has beaten Derby 1-0 on the road and Bournemouth 3-0 at home in its English Championship games. Another positive for Wigan supporters is that the Latics have kept four clean sheets in their last five matches.
One acknowledges that Milton Keynes is playing its finest football of the season and that the Dons occupy second spot in English League One’s six-game table with four wins, one draw and one loss. But Milton Keynes did lose 1-3 away to Rosler’s former side, Brentford, two and a half weeks ago and bookmakers have factored in the form of the Dons.
Wigan is available at odds of 2.55 with BetVictor to beat Milton Keynes, with not much separating the teams in the match betting. Rosler has got Wigan rolling and the Latics, after failing to get past the first hurdle in the UEFA Europa League, will be keen to make a decent defence of their English FA Cup title. Finally playing close to its potential, Wigan is attractive at odds-against prices.
Charlton and Oxford have been frustrated in their efforts to play their English FA Cup third round tie and punters who are keen on the Addicks at their odds have been miffed as well. Charlton is trading at odds of 1.70 with William Hill, odds that are perfectly acceptable given the gap between the sides on the English football pyramid and the contrasting post-Christmas fortunes of the knockout opponents.
Unbeaten in its last four English Championship matches and fresh as daisies, Charlton brings much better form to the table than Oxford because the former English League Two leader has slid to seventh in the fourth tier following a run of four games without a win. Disappointingly for Oxford, three of those matches were in the famous university city, including Saturday’s 0-0 draw versus lowly Portsmouth.
Finally, Fulham was made to regret missing a truckload of early chances against Sunderland, eventually going down 1-4 at home to the Black Cats. Fulham has an immediate chance to get that result out of its system when it faces another English Premier League relegation candidate, Norwich, for the third time since the last week of December.
Fulham came from behind to beat Norwich 2-1 at Carrow Road in the English Premier League and the Cottagers were good value for their 1-1 English FA Cup third round draw at the Norfolk venue, taking the lead through Darren Bent only for Robert Snodgrass to equalise for the Canaries shortly after.
Generally speaking, Fulham is pretty good at Craven Cottage – the Cottagers have had to entertain most of the English Premier League teams already – and Norwich’s away record is horrifically bad. Norwich has been on the receiving end of several away hidings this term and the Canaries have beaten only West Bromwich in their last eight road games. Bet 365 and BetVictor are offering odds of 2.20 that Fulham extends its unbeaten sequence versus Norwich and those are fair.
Whereas Fulham is likely to be looking back to last weekend, Norwich is likely to have one eye on its big English Premier League home match against Hull next weekend. Staying in the English top flight is so important these days so one could forgive Norwich for not being 100 per cent focussed on its trip to Fulham, whereas the Cottagers are probably not too concerned about going to Arsenal on their next game. Losing away to Arsenal would not define Fulham’s season.