FA Cup betting: Blues turn corner with Hiddink back at helm

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Updated: January 31, 2016

Today’s featured FA Cup fourth round betting preview: Milton Keynes Dons v Chelsea; Stadium:mk, Milton Keynes, England; Monday, February 1, 3am – check here for the latest FA Cup news & results

 

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Just one of last night’s 12 FA Cup fourth round ties ended in a stalemate with West Bromwich Albion heading to ABAX Stadium after yesterday’s clash ended 2-2 at The Hawthorns. Just two games are scheduled today with a pair of EPL clubs (Everton and Chelsea) on the road against lower league competition (Carlisle United and the MK Dons respectively). The gulf in class between these two clubs dictates the way the market is shaped, and even allowing for the fact that Chelsea have been a shadow of the title-winning side of last season they deserve to be strong favourites at $1.33 straight up.

Dons manager Karl Robinson has called it a “tie of a lifetime”. Robinson is the third longest-serving boss in English football after Arsene Wenger and Paul Tisdale, having been appointed in May 2010 at the age of just 29. It’s also a timely distraction from their fight to stay in the Championship. This match-up has evoked memories of their League Cup win over Manchester United. This is the Dons’ 12th appearance in the FA Cup since their formation with their best result reaching the fifth round in 2013, where they lost to Barnsley.

 

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The Dons have won four of their previous 11 cup matches against Premier League opposition (versus QPR in the FA Cup and Manchester United, Blackpool and Norwich in the League Cup), scoring four times in each victory but just one of their six home FA Cup games against a team from a higher division (2-0 v Sheffield Wednesday in 2013). This looks another tough test for the home side as Chelsea have rediscovered their strut under interim manager Guus Hiddink (pictured above), who is undefeated in seven games since taking over from Jose Mourinho. Diego Costa is fit but fellow striker Loic Remy has been ruled out with a calf injury.

Pedro is available again after missing the Arsenal match because of illness. Chelsea are appearing in the fourth round for the 18th consecutive season. However, they were eliminated at this stage last season, losing 4-2 against League One side Bradford. They are seven-time winners of the competition, most recently in 2012. Hiddink was in temporary charge when they won in 2009. Allowing for home draws with Watford, West Brom, and Everton as part of this most recent unbeaten run, Chelsea turned put in their best performance under Hiddink when winning at Arsenal last Sunday.

 

 

Confirmed bet (card finalised)

MK Dons (CH) v Chelsea (PL) -1.5AH (one unit @ $1.90)

 

Today’s other games (PL = Premier League CH = Championship, L1 = League One, L2 = League Two, NL = non-league)

Carlisle United (L2) v Everton (PL)

 

Most recent results: 1-0-5, -3.9 units; overall record: 11-0-11, +1.65 units

Arsenal (PL) v Burnley (CH) +3.5 (one unit @ $2.75) LOSE (2-1)
Aston Villa (PL) +1hcp v Manchester City (PL) -1hcp (one unit @ $2.05) LOSE (0-4)
Crystal Palace (PL) WIN v Stoke City (PL) (one unit @ $2.10) WIN (1-0)
Nottingham Forest (CH) v Watford (PL) DRAW (one unit @ $3.10) LOSE (0-1)
Reading (CH) v Walsall (L1) +1hcp (one unit @ $1.83) LOSE (4-0)
Oxford United (L2) WIN v Blackburn Rovers (CH) (one unit @ $2.45) LOSE (0-3)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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