FA Cup

FA Cup Tips | 5th-6th January 2018

BEN LEVENE pinpoints three Premier League teams that can be opposed in the FA Cup 3rd Round.

Liverpool v Everton | Friday, 19:55 | BBC One

When this Merseyside pair met less than a month ago, Jurgen Klopp left out both Phillipe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino. This time around, he may have no such luxuries.

Philippe Coutinho and Mo Salah have been ruled out, while Sadio Mane was over in Africa during the week at an awards ceremony, so there are question marks over his availability too.

Everton held Liverpool at Anfield in December, and given Sam Allardyce’s pragmatic and defensively organised approach, it’s difficult to see them getting rolled over here either. Big Sam is yet to win over the fans so this looks a great opportunity to do so.

Idrissa Gueye, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are likely to start after not making the XI on Monday, and James McCarthy could come in after injecting energy into the New Year’s Day loss to Man Utd.

Everton with a +1 start on the Asian lines looks a shrewd investment and gives us the insurance of a void stake if the Toffees lose by a single goal.

188BET are offering a generous 23/17.

Bournemouth v Wigan | Saturday, 15:00

With just one win in their last 11 matches, Bournemouth find themselves just one point clear of the relegation zone.

Eddie Howe is known for ringing the changes in cup competitions. We can think back to last year when the Cherries were much changed in a 3-0 loss to Millwall, and the year prior to that when they beat League Two Portsmouth 2-1 courtesy of a late comeback.

They had to come from behind against Birmingham in the Carabao Cup earlier this year too, and beat Brighton in extra-time the following round. So we can question the extent to which Howe will field his big guns this weekend.

Further to this, Bournemouth face both Arsenal and Chelsea in January and meet relegation rivals West Ham, Stoke and Newcastle in their next six league games, so full resources will be required. They’re also without a wealth of attacking talent as Josh King, Jermain Defoe and Junior Stanislas are all missing through injury.

Wigan on the other hand, come into this game in impressive form. They top League One and haven’t conceded in any of their last five matches.

The Latics are unbeaten in eight away matches and have scored at least two goals in four of their last five away league games.

We can take Wigan double chance by backing with a +0.5 start on the Asian Handicap at 21/20 with 188BET. This sees a winner paid if they avoid defeat.

Fulham v Southampton | Saturday, 15:00

Fulham beat Cardiff before dispatching of Premier League Hull to reach the 5th Round last season.

Slavisa Jokanvic’s team have seen improved results of-late, they’re four games unbeaten and have scored at least two goals in each of those. At Craven Cottage, they’ve lost just one of 11, winning four on the bounce.

Southampton are winless in nine and have not won on the road since September. Of sides currently in the Premier League’s bottom-half, they’ve won two of 11, winning against West Ham and West Brom who were in dismal form at the time.

The Saints are still without Charlie Austin who has accounted for almost 29% of their goals in all competitions this season. After losing Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool, they will be without first-choice defenders Cedric Soares and Wesley Hoedt too. Ryand Bertrand started on Tuesday on his return from injury so it’s possible he’s rested on Saturday.

Southampton lost 2-0 at home to Wolves in the Carabao Cup earlier this season. Fulham from scratch on the Asian Handicap is 11/10 with 188BET. This sees our stake void if the game ends level and looks a clever way of siding with the Cottagers.

Best Bets

Everton v Liverpool – Everton +1 Asian Handicap (23/17)

Bournemouth v Wigan – Wigan +0.5 Asian Handicap (21/20)

Fulham v Southampton – Fulham +0 Asian Handicap (11/10)