The FA Cup quarter-final stage is always an exciting time. The traditional mixture of established teams and determined underdogs makes for some sporting drama and this year promises the same nail-biting action. When the eight remaining clubs continue their march towards the Emirates FA on March 11, 12 and 13, both fans and punters alike will have plenty to look forward to.
With everything to play for (quite literally for some), the 2017 FA Cup quarter-finals could go any number of ways. For fans, this uncertainty is what makes it the beautiful game, but if you're a football betting man or woman, it doesn't make things easy. Although we can't promise to make it all plain sailing, we can guide you towards the best bets and give you a few tips to help you through the round.
For this betting preview, we've picked out some of the best FA Cup odds from three of our recommended online betting sites. This should go some way to improving your overall strategy for the most entertaining knockout competition in world football!
Middlesbrough versus Man City could produce more drama than many expect. First off, both teams are unlikely to win any other silverware this season. Middlesbrough are facing the very real possibility of relegation, while City are slipping too far away from Chelsea for the league title. However, a Champions League win is still possible.
But with the likes of Barcelona and Bayern looking unstoppable, City may see the FA Cup as their chance to lift a trophy this season. If that's the case, expect manager Pep Guardiola to push his players harder than usual. On the other side of the coin, Middlesbrough have nothing to lose. In fact, it was the same story when the two clubs met in the FA Cup back in 2015.
Then in the Championship, Middlesbrough travelled to the Etihad Stadium without any expectations. However, strikes from Patrick Bamford and Enrique Garcia Martinez secured a stunning 2-0 victory. For those who think history might just repeat itself, you can find 15/2 odds at NetBet.
Naturally, if you're prone to following the form, a City win at 2/5 with Ladbrokes is the obvious way to go. That being said, this one could potentially end in a draw. With both teams gunning for a result, 0-0 or 1-1 are more than possible, which is why Ladbrokes at 7/2 odds on a stalemate is an option you shouldn't immediately dismiss.
2017 started off so well for the Gunners, but oh how things have changed. A positive January was capped off by an impressive 5-0 win away over Southampton in the FA Cup. Unfortunately, as the year's progressed, Arsenal's performances have gradually regressed and it looks as though they're a bit mentally broken at this point.
With calls to sack Arsene Wenger growing louder by the day, Lincoln City fans may fancy an upset in this one. Indeed, with Arsenal all but out of the Premier League race and Bayern Munich embarrassing the London side twice with 10 goals in two Champions League games, the pressure will be on.
Now, this could bring out the best in Arsenal, but performing well against lower league clubs has never been their strong suit. In fact, Arsenal could only manage a 2-0 win over Sutton United in the fifth round. Although most will be lumping money on Arsenal to get the win at 1/12 with bet365, don't forget that online betting is all about finding value.
While Lincoln may struggle, there's a chance a few chinks in Arsenal's armour could allow them to slip through and steal a memorable win. If that's to happen, 28/1 with bet365 is worth sticking a few quid on.
A potential fairytale in the making, Millwall have a chance to not only claim the scalp of a London rival, but make it to a stage in the FA Cup they've rarely seen in recent years. However, if the League One side is going to cause an upset, they'll need to do it against a menacing red-hot Spurs side.
Despite a shaky performance against Wycombe in the fourth round (they won 4-3), Tottenham cruised past Fulham in the fifth round to secure one of the easier ties. Although Millwall won't travel to White Hart Lane believing they're out of the game, the form suggests it might be a match too far. In fact, the deciding factor in this one will probably be Harry Kane.
19 goals from 27 Premier League games puts him top of the hot shots this season, and with teammate Christian Eriksen topping the assists table with 10, it looks like there could be goals a-plenty on Saturday. Kane to score first at 11/5 with Ladbrokes looks like a valuable offer. However, if you're looking for the top wager of the tie, Spurs to win 3-0 at 23/4 with NetBet is also a juicy proposition.
From this season's exploits, there really is only one stand-out winner, and that's Chelsea. As top of the Premier League with 66 points after 27 games (17 more than United) and with a goal difference of 37 compared to the Red Devil's 17, it might just be a blue win on Monday.
However, if we look back through history, it's actually United with the better record. From 175 matches, Manchester fans have celebrated 75 times, while the Londoners have only had 51 reasons to smile. Furthermore, Manchester United has won eight FA Cup ties against Chelsea, while the Blues have only managed four. Now, it's fair to say Jose Mourinho isn't in charge of the best United team ever.
However, he does have history on his side. He also knows Chelsea and he knows how to win. In fact, if there was ever a time for United to knick a result, it would be in this game. 7/2 at NetBet on a Manchester win looks to have some value, but if you can't bet against the in-form team, then 4/5 is the best price you'll find at bet365.
As you can see, the upcoming FA Cup quarter-final matches all have something different to offer. Whether you stick with the favourites or have a flutter on a few upsets, make sure you check out all the latest odds at Ladbrokes Sports!