It's as simple as AVB to find FA Cup winner

I LOVE it when you can look at a 64-runner betting heat and  immediately narrow the field down on some simple trends and it could help to pinpoint the value bet in this season’s FA Cup.

Since West Ham won the cup in 1980 - there have been ten, just ten, winners of the famous old competition - Manchester United and City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton, Portsmouth, Coventry and Wimbledon.

So we have already scrubbed out many of the runners and Portsmouth and Wimbledon won’t be winning it seeing as they are no longer involved, while Coventry’s best days are behind them and are unlikely to get anything at Spurs.

Having narrowed it down to ten we are now into seven and I’m scrubbing out Arsenal and Chelsea on the basis I’m not certain they will win their FA Cup third-round ties at Swansea and Southampton respectively.

The same can be said of Manchester United and their trip to West Ham, particularly when Sir Alex Ferguson has suggested his team line up will be strong. I’ve been done by that one before Sir Alex.

City are favourites but there’s more fighting than fighting spirit at the Etihad these days and I can’t forget Everton sending out a weakened team i n the League Cup at Leeds.

Nope, I won’t be trusting David Moyes and I’m not sure I have ever predicted a Liverpool match correctly so I will swerve them on that basis alone which leaves Tottenham.

Spurs seem to tick every box I am looking for. Andre Villas-Boas picks strong teams for the Europa League so I am sure he will be up for the cup and a team of Lennon, Sandro, Dembele, Bale, Defoe and Adebayor can win anywhere, a point highlighted by this season’s famous success at Old Trafford.

It’s a long time to wait for a payday so I will also have a crack on the third-round coupon and I fancy two upsets on the cards. Firstly, Wigan always play reserve teams in the knockouts so get with Bournemouth at the DW Stadium and the MK Dons are overpriced for their trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

However, my main punt is on Tottenham to win the FA Cup. It’s lucky for Spurs when the year ends in three...

Match in Focus

12:45 TODAY BT1

Newcastle v Liverpool

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • The last time this fixture produced a goalless draw was in 1974, 64 meetings ago
Expert verdict
This pair have produced some classics down the years and six of the eight meetings since Newcastle returned to the top flight for 2010-11 have finished with over 2.5 goals. The teams have kept just four Premier League clean sheets between them and Newcastle's recent form suggests they can give Liverpool a decent contest.


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