FA Cup: Defenders offer value…

It’s the fifth round of the FA Cup this weekend, and there are a number of ties that deserve attention.

First up is Derby‘s trip to the south coast to take on Brighton. The visitors have already had some success in the cups this season, knocking out the likes of Manchester United and Southampton, so an away win would not be a great surprise. However, the Amex Stadium is a difficult place to visit and we’re going to side with the home team today.

We think Brighton will cause Derby problems from set pieces, and with that in mind we’ll side with Shane Duffy to score anytime during the match. The big central defender has scored twice in his last six games, and the 15/2 on offer is interesting.

The late televised game sees Newport host Premier League champions Manchester City.

Surely this game can only end one way. The pitch could be a leveller, but it would to be made out of sand to completely change the match…and even then!

City went out of the FA Cup to Wigan at this stage last season (as Lap of the Odds subscribers remember fondly), but it’s difficult to see lightning striking twice. City will make changes ahead of a Champions League tie midweek, but these players will still be too good for Newport.

The difficulty is finding a value bet in a game where City are odds on to score four goals and where selection is uncertain.

We’re going to take a punt on Nicolas Otamendi scoring anytime during the game. Changes are likely and this means the big centre half has a chance of starting the match. He poses a threat from set pieces and he will be keen to impress the management as he searches for a regular spot in the team.

Recommendations:

Brighton/Derby: Duffy to score anytime, 1 pt, at 15/2, bet365

Newport/Man City: Otamendi to score anytime, 1 pt, at 11/2, bet365

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