Chelsea and City edge Red Devils in Cup lists

THERE’S a three-way battle at the top of the FA Cup betting with the blue corner just edging it as 5-1 shots Manchester City and Chelsea get the nod from most firms ahead of 11-2 Manchester United.

It’s sure to be all change across the board if United overcome West Ham in their replay next week as they are the only team in the top seven in the market given a home tie in Sunday’s fourth-round draw.

The other six – Chelsea, City, Tottenham and Liverpool, plus Everton if they see off Cheltenham and Arsenal if they win their replay against Swansea – have been drawn on the road. Between them those top seven have lifted the trophy in all but one of the last 27 years and it’s 33-1 bar that elite group.

Of the market leaders it is arguably City who have the toughest draw, as they could be heading to Stoke’s Britannia Stadium fortress in a repeat of the 2011 final if the Potters overcome Crystal Palace.

Swansea held Arsenal to a 2-2 draw in an entertaining clash at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

The Gunners are increasingly desperate to end their seven-and-a-half-year trophy drought but it’s 5-1 with Ladbrokes that their wait goes on more than twice as long as it already has done and lasts beyond 2020.

The Gunners were not at their best against a Swans outfit who also caused them serious problems in 2-0 victory earlier in the season and Hills are betting on the year they win their next trophy, offering 3-1 that it arrives next year.

The firm are also betting on when Arsene Wenger leaves Arsenal and make 2014 their 11-10 favourite.

Liverpool overcame Mansfield 2-1 in a similarly lively affair.

The Stags were impressive, especially in a hectic second half, and will have felt unlucky to have been dumped out but it’s evens with Hills that the Blue Square Bet Premier is represented in the fifth round, with Luton and Macclesfield still flying the flag for non-league football.

FA Cup fourth-round draw: Norwich v Luton, Oldham v Liverpool, Macclesfield v Wigan or Bournemouth, Derby v Blackburn, Hull or Leyton Orient v Barnsley, Middlesbrough v Aldershot, Millwall v Aston Villa, Leeds or Birmingham v Tottenham, Brighton v Swansea or Arsenal, Crystal Palace or Stoke v Manchester City, West Ham or Manchester United v Fulham or Blackpool, Southend or Brentford v Chelsea, Reading v Sheffield United, Huddersfield v Leicester, QPR or West Brom v Sheffield Wednesday or MK Dons, Bolton or Sunderland v Cheltenham or Everton
Ties to be played weekend of Jan 26-27

Match in Focus

19:45 TODAY

Hull v Lokeren

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Lokeren haven’t won in three away games this season
Expert verdict
Hull trail 1-0 from the first leg in Belgium and their Europa League form has hardly been convincing so far as they’ve won just one of three European fixtures. However, Lokeren could let the Tigers off the hook as they are far from impressive on the road, winning just seven league away games last term.

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