Stags look to be heading  into the second round

SOMETIMES you have to delve a bit deeper than just looking at the scoreline, especially at FA Cup time.

It's all about the first-round replays this week and a little bit of research into the first set of games is crucial.

For example, Slough get a second chance against Mansfield following a 0-0 draw up in the Notts coalfields - but the Stags look a massive bet in the return.

The first game was an absolute bombardment from the Blue Square boys and with just a couple of strokes of good fortune they'd have beaten Slough at a canter.

And another thing. Slough are only mid-division in the Southern Premier League central division - that's three rungs under where Mansfield appear - despite having played nine of their 11 league games at home so far. Home, incidentally, is leafy Beaconsfield rather than the industrial estate that is Slough, so it's unlikely that the Stag lads are going to be overly intimidated by their surroundings.

Anyway, I'm on the visitors, who look a top bet.

In a similar vein, Luton did their best to knock the Nuneaton house down at the first time of asking but resolute defending from Borough ensured a second go at the Hatters.

Even though they've got them back to their place, class should tell and Luton at a shade of odds-on is the shout.

Match in Focus

17:30 TODAY SS1

Chelsea v Sunderland

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Chelsea have conceded just nine goals in 17 home league games
Expert verdict
Sunderland have caused problems at Liverpool and Manchester City in the past month but have garnered only point from their last six games and are unlikely to give title contenders Chelsea a major headache. The Blues have comfortably the best defence in the league and a routine Chelsea win looks the most likely outcome.

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