It’s fourth round weekend in the FA Cup with several Premier League sides out to avoid tripping up against lower league opposition.
A few top-flight managers could be feeling the heat after this weekend, but where are the most likely giant-killings coming from?
We’ve picked out five games to follow as we look over what the latest FA Cup markets are saying ahead of this weekend’s key games.
FA Cup 4th Round Betting Preview – Top Five Potential Giant-Killings
TRANMERE ROVERS VS MAN UTD
Giant-killing potential: 9/10
Why? Publicly, the powers-that-be at Old Trafford retain full faith in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the under-fire Norwegian would surely struggle to survive a limp FA Cup exit against a team with just five wins to their name in League One all season. Rovers already have a Premier League scalp to their name after knocking out an under-strength Watford in midweek and are the Football League side with the most giant-killings to their name since the formation of the Premier League (seven – a record shared with Millwall). Make no mistake, a packed-out Prenton Park could be an unlikely venue for Ole’s last stand.
Best Bet: The 0-0 draw at half-time at 63/25
BRENTFORD VS LEICESTER CITY
Giant-killing potential: 8/10
Why? Brendan Rodgers has some thinking to do as he takes his Champions League-chasing Foxes side to Griffin Park. The Foxes managed to brush off their first major blip of the season in midweek with a convincing 4-1 win against West Ham which restored their 14-point cushion over Man Utd in fifth place. With such a hefty advantage in the league, will the Northern Irishman opt to go full strength against one of the Championship’s slickest sides? Too many changes could tip this game in Thomas Frank’s team’s favour.
Best Bet: Brentford to open the scoring at 43/25
HULL CITY VS CHELSEA
Giant-killing potential: 7/10
Why? The Tigers have quietly impressed under rookie boss Grant McCann this season, with the Northern Irishman guiding them to a safe mid-table position despite a significant cut in the club’s playing budget. If key man Jarrod Bowen seizes the moment, the Championship side could ruffle feathers against a Chelsea side currently dogged by inconsistency. Frank Lampard has at least one stat pointing in his favour. The Blues have progressed from 49 of their 51 FA Cup ties against opponents outside the top flight.
NEWCASTLE UTD VS OXFORD UTD
Giant-killing potential: 7/10
Why? Newcastle and the FA Cup aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. In fact, it’s been over a decade since the Magpies have managed to advance further than the fourth round. The U’s chances have been dealt a blow by an injury to talisman Matty Taylor, but they posed Man City plenty of problems in their EFL Cup quarter-final earlier this season and know where the back of the net is – scoring 43 times so far this season in League One. An Oxford opening goal could make the natives very restless at St James’ Park.
SHREWSBURY TOWN VS LIVERPOOL
Giant-killing potential: 2/10
Why? The runaway league leaders would need the almightiest of off-days, but stranger things have happened. A midweek injury to Sadio Mané may well see Jurgen Klopp take no chances in this cup tie with a compete reshuffle of the pack. Liverpool’s second string showed they can step up with an assured 1-0 win in the Merseyside derby in the Third Round, but this is a different test entirely. The Shrews also have giant killing pedigree against Premier League opposition – famously knocking out Everton in 2003.
Our FA Cup predictions in full
QPR 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Northampton 1-2 Derby
Brentford 1-2 Leicester City
Portsmouth 2-0 Barnsley
Newcastle Utd 1-1 Oxford Utd
Burnley 2-0 Norwich City
Southampton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Reading 1-0 Cardiff City
Millwall 0-1 Sheffield Utd
Coventry 1-1 Birmingham
West Ham 1-0 West Brom
Hull City 0-2 Chelsea
Man City 3-0 Fulham
Tranmere 0-2 Man Utd
Shrewsbury Town 0-2 Liverpool
Bournemouth 1-1 Arsenal
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.
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