Weblog: The football punter
Underdogs looking hot for FA Cup upsets
TWO non-league teams in the fifth round of the FA Cup will delight the romantics though by Monday night there’s a good chance that the eight teams left in the tournament will all be from the Premier League.
Good chance, sure, but hardly nailed on.
The one big gun in obvious danger of being snaffled has to be Leicester, who warm up for a trip to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in sunny Andalusia to take on sultry Seville by heading for The New Den in wintry Bermondsey to take on plain, old Millwall.
Bet that was a double header no one saw coming at the start of the season.
Rumours are that Ranieri is losing the plot as well as the faith of the club’s owners, so I expect a very strong Foxes outfit to head to London and I’m sure they can avoid defeat.
No, my idea of an upset is a couple of hundred miles further north at the Riverside where Middlesbrough take on Oxford.
Oxford United are knockout gods right now.
One match from Wembley in the EFL Trophy (they were finalists last season), they beat Swansea in the FA Cup last year, Birmingham in the League Cup this year and warmed up for Boro by battering Newcastle in round four.
They’re probably mid-table enough in League One to accept that knockout success will be their only success this season and let’s face it, Boro aren’t going to relish this.
I don’t care what division you’re playing in, if you ain’t scoring goals you’re in bother. And bother in Boro’s terms is a relegation scrap which should ensure Aitor Karanka makes changes for this one.
Boro scraped past Accrington in the last round and that hardly invites confidence. A lay all day long for me.