FA CUP: The Striker looks ahead to the FA Cup fourth round action on Saturday between Walsall v Leicester, Fulham v Sunderland, Preston v Spurs and Man U v Reading all with a recommended BETDAQ bet.


12.30pm We have a busy Saturday on BETDAQ Betting Exchange this week with the Fourth Round of the FA Cup! We have a very interesting day ahead – I’ve picked out four games with Premier League sides taking on lower league opposition, but all Premier League clubs have questions to answer and they will be trading reasonably short odds too. We start the day with Walsall hosting Leicester, and perhaps the FA Cup will be a welcome break for Leicester who have been very poor this season in the Premier League. They picked up a draw last weekend against Brighton which was badly needed after four straight losses since re-starting their season after the World Cup. They had home advantage, and conceded a bigger xG than they created. You have to say that the World Cup came at a bad time for Leicester because they were starting to play good football and win games after spending so long in the relegation zone, but here we are. Most casual football fans will expect Leicester to win here against a mid-table League Two sides, but they did make very hard work of beating Gillingham away from home in the Third Round.

Leicester come into the game as hot favourites – currently trading 1.38 at the time of writing. While the FA Cup is usually a good competition for putting an Acca together, I wouldn’t recommend including Leicester at 1.38 – that price is just too short for the level of football they have been playing this season. I know there’s a big gulf in class between the sides here, but I’m happy to stay out of the match odds market. Leicester’s stats are poor at both ends of the pitch – they are conceding an average xG of 1.7 per game and only creating 1.1. It’s the xG created that would worry me for this game, and although Walsall are quite limited they can make life difficult for Leicester here with home advantage. Walsall are trading 1.7 +1.5 goals and I believe they can keep this game very tight. I’m going to keep stakes small here to start the day, but I can see Leicester making very hard work of this tie.

The Striker Says:
One point win Walsall +1.5 goals to beat Leicester at 1.7 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/WalLei

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3pm We have a very busy afternoon with seven games kicking off at 3pm, and Fulham v Sunderland looks the pick of them. It will be interesting to see how a mid-table Championship side in Sunderland get on against Fulham who have been doing so well in the Premier League this season. While I call Sunderland a mid-table Championship side because they are sitting there at the moment, there’s actually only three points between themselves and the side sitting in third so they could shoot up the table with a good run of form – they definitely aren’t out of the playoff mix this season. While Fulham have been enjoying a wonderful season in the Premier League considering they came up from the Championship, there are worries. They have been massively over-performing looking at their xG figures. They are conceding an average xG of 1.9 per game, and eventually sides are going to start taking their chances against them. What has countered that stat is they have been very impressive going forward with an average xG of 1.5 – that leaves them sitting in seventh in the Premier League at the moment which they will be delighted about. Let’s not forget they were definitely towards the head of the betting to get relegated this season, and now they are sitting ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea! When you look at the xG figures from Sunderland, you can see they have been over-performing a little too. While they are close to the playoff spots points wise, I could see them coming up short.

It’s only small differences, but at the moment they are actually scoring more goals than they concede. However when you compare that to their xG figures, they should be conceding marginally more goals than they are creating. It’s a small difference, but over the course of the season these things bite you eventually. We should have a good game here though, and it will be interesting to see what XI the teams name – hopefully strong XI’s, I know how poorly clubs view the FA Cup these days! Fulham come into the game as the odds on favourites, but I feel the 1.46 looks far too short on them here. I expect a closer game than that – I know Fulham are flying high in the table, but you can see that they have been conceding a host of chances. Sunderland haven’t exactly been banging in goals for fun, so let’s keep stakes small here, but I like the Fulham lay from a value point of view. I just expect a closer game than the odds suggest.

The Striker Says:
One point lay (liability) Fulham to beat Sunderland at 1.46 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/FulSun


6pm We have another Premier League v Championship clash next as Preston North End host Spurs. It’s been a difficult time for Conte and Spurs since the Premier League re-started after the World Cup. They returned with dropped points against Brentford and Aston Villa, then went into two big games against Arsenal and Man City to lose both – getting outplayed twice. It’s fair to say they desperately needed that win against Fulham on Monday night but that wasn’t a convincing performance. They finished the game with a marginally lower xG figure, and a draw was probably a fair result. Obviously there’s a bit of a gulf in class between the sides here and Spurs will be expected to win, but I wouldn’t be rushing to back them at 1.37. Usually if I fancied a team at those odds I would include them in an Acca or something along those lines, but I wouldn’t recommend Spurs for your weekly Acca this weekend – they just haven’t been reliable enough lately. Conte seems under immense pressure, and they have a lot of work to do in the race for a Top Four finish. It will be very interesting to see if Kane signs a new contract or not!

Preston North End will be very happy to have home advantage here because Spurs have put in most of their poor performances in the Premier League away from home this season. Even heading into the World Cup they were struggling away from home – they keep conceding far too many sloppy goals, and that should give Preston fans hope here! Preston North End are currently sitting in mid-table in the Championship, but as I mentioned in the Fulham v Sunderland game above, there really isn’t much between a lot of sides sitting in mid-table up towards the playoff places. Preston have been trying to keep their games as tight as possible this season, and they only have an average xG of 1.0 going forward which is quite poor. Over 2.5 goals is trading 1.65 which does make appeal given how open Spurs games have been this season, and also the fact they have been conceding so many sloppy goals. I’m going to keep stakes reasonably limited and take a chance on Overs – just because Spurs have been conceding goals to average teams in the Premier League. I fully accept the xG figures aren’t great from Preston, so two points feels the right stake.

The Striker Says:
Two points win Over 2.5 goals at 1.65 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/PreTot


8pm We finish Saturday in the FA Cup with Manchester United hosting Reading. The market is fully expecting a home win here with United trading as short as 1.16 at the time of writing! We have a few long odds on favourites from the Premier League against lower league opposition in the Fourth Round, but United are the shortest price by far. They got back to winning ways with a smooth 3-0 win midweek in the Carabao Cup against Nottingham Forest, and with home advantage in the second leg they definitely have more than one foot in the Final now! They needed that win after getting sucker punched twice within a few days with Crystal Palace scoring a late equaliser and then Arsenal getting a late winner last weekend. They deserved to beat Crystal Palace, but they were outplayed by Arsenal. Erik ten Hag has said he is aiming to win every competition his side are in this season, so I would expect a stronger than usual XI from United here given it’s only the Fourth Round. The market has adjusted for that too, and it’s hard to see past a comfortable home win here.

Reading are sitting in mid-table in the Championship, but they aren’t even close to getting to the playoffs – unlike Sunderland and Preston North End above who aren’t too far away, points wise at least. There’s definitely a gulf in class between the sides here, and Reading would have been hoping for United to rest some of their key players to have a chance. That doesn’t appear to be ten Hag’s style however, and I feel this is a case of how many goals United can score rather than will they win. Rashford continued his brilliant run of form with another goal against Nottingham Forest midweek, and you really wouldn’t be surprised to see him continue that run here! I’m expecting a comfortable United win, and they can cover the 2.5 goal Handicap – that’s currently trading 2.12, and with United full of confidence and scoring goals, it’s definitely worth backing to finish the day.

The Striker Says:
Two points win Manchester United -2.5 goals to beat Reading at 2.12 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/MunRea

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