Bristol City and Sheffield United are under relatively new management and the last thing that Robins supremo Steve Cotterill and Blades boss Nigel Clough will want is to suffer a shock English FA Cup second round defeat.
The English FA Cup second round draw paired Bristol City with Tamworth and coupled Sheffield United with Cambridge and the big boys have to play their ties away from home.
With Tamworth and Cambridge representing the fifth-tier English Conference National, there is a two-division gap between the Lambs and Bristol City as well as the Us and Sheffield United. Hence why Bristol City and Sheffield United are trading at short odds to win in normal time.
But surely there is a smarter way to approach the English FA Cup second round ties featuring Bristol City and Sheffield United than backing the favourites. Surely one can expect both Bristol City and Sheffield United to exercise caution against Tamworth and Cambridge respectively, which leads one to the odds that are available about each of the ties going under two and a half goals. Under two and a half goals in Tamworth versus Bristol City is trading at odds of 2.15 with BetVictor, while under two and a half goals in Cambridge against Sheffield United is up for grabs at odds of 1.90 with Stan James. Both bets are appealing.
More than half of Tamworth’s 20 English Conference National games have gone under two and a half goals. It makes sense that Tamworth should find it more difficult to score versus Bristol City than any English Conference National team and the last five home matches between the Lambs and opponents from England’s fifth tier have gone under two and a half goals, which is the recent numbers for which one should be looking. Three of Bristol City’s last four English League One games have gone under two and a half goals as well.
Cambridge is top of the English Conference National ladder but its matches have been relatively low scoring, with 13 of its 20 games going under two and a half goals. Sheffield United has played seven games under Clough and four of them, including each of the last three, have gone under two and a half goals. Overall, 12 of Sheffield United’s 19 English League One matches have gone under two and a half goals.
English Premier League struggler Fulham has lost seven games on the spin across all competitions so one really ought to look for ways to oppose the Cottagers against Aston Villa. It is Fulham’s home match so bookmakers are struggling to find a favourite, which means that one can take on the Cottagers at decent odds. The most attractive play is backing Aston Villa at odds of 1.95 on the draw-no-bet market. Aston Villa has lost only once away from home this term and that was 1-2 at Chelsea. Paul Lambert’s side has beaten table-topping Arsenal, Norwich and Southampton on the road, plus drawn away to Hull, West Bromwich and West Ham.
Arsenal hosts Everton in the day’s other English Premier League clash. Everton is the talk of the competition after Roberto Martinez’s team beat its old mentor, David Moyes, and his Manchester United side at Old Trafford. But just as Everton was overpriced to defeat Manchester United, which is deservedly eighth on the top-flight ladder, the Toffees are underpriced to win what is their toughest assignment since Martinez made the switch from Wigan to Merseyside.
Not only does Arsenal represent perfectly good value at odds of 1.75 with Betfred to beat Everton at the Emirates Stadium but also it is attractively offered at odds of 3.25 with Coral to defeat the Toffees without conceding a goal. It all boils down to bookmakers and punters overrating Everton’s achievements under Martinez, while Arsenal do not seem to have convinced the betting fraternity of its worth even though it is top of the English Premier League ladder and its last four home games across all competitions have resulted in four consecutive 2-0 home victories.