32 teams will battle it out over the weekend in the fourth round of the FA Cup, vying to progress in the competition with a hopeful eye on the final in May. Only half of the teams will make it into the fifth round in February, while the others will be sent for an early bath to dwell on their performance.
So which teams offer the best odds and which ones may surprise even the most observant statto in the oldest football competition in the world?
Current FA Cup champions Manchester United enter the fourth round with a comfortable pairing against Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford. The Latics have only won two of their last ten games, although one of these was an impressive 2-0 victory against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round.
With Man United all but out of the title race this season, failing to capitalise on games they should be collecting three points from, the FA Cup may be the only piece of silverware Jose Mourinho gets his hands on this year. Coral is offering 14/1 on Wigan managing to beat the Red Devils; with Mourinho’s men drawing their last two games against Liverpool and Stoke City, it could be a good outside bet.
Current Premier League champions Leicester have watched helplessly as the team that pushed them through their fairy-tale last season has been systematically torn apart. They lost their last two matches 3-0, first to Chelsea and then to Southampton.
It's best not to count the Foxes out, however – especially after they destroyed Man City 4-2 in December. In this East Midland Derby against the Rams, they have an extra reason to win. Championship side Derby County are on a recent winning streak, having won six of their last ten games, with two draws and two losses. With Leicester suffering a terrible season, Derby may seek to capitalise and aim to win this fixture for the first time in four years. Coral is currently offering odds of 31/20 for a Derby win at home, while Leicester are less favourable at 9/5.
Jürgen Klopp has been in his role for just over a year now. The much-vaunted German manager seemed to be on a winning streak at Anfield this season, with a 5-1 over Hull, 6-1 demolition of Watford and a 4-1 win over Stoke. Yet, despite being fourth in the league, the Reds only just scraped through to the fourth round, having been held to a draw by League Two minnows Plymouth Argyle. This forced a replay, which Liverpool won with an unimpressive 1-0 victory, with the air seemingly gone from their sails.
Championship side Wolves have had a mixed season, currently riding in the bottom half of the table, yet they showed some grit in the 2-0 win against Stoke that propelled them into the fourth round. With Liverpool reeling from the replay, could the Wolves manage to upset Klopp’s men? Coral is offering 12/1 if they do, while Liverpool remain comfortable favourites at 2/9.
Second in the league, title chasers Arsenal are also seeking to reclaim the FA Cup . They won it in both 2014 and 2015, bowing out in the sixth round in a shock defeat to Watford. They now go up against mid-table Southampton, but it may not be as easy a victory as Arsene Wenger would hope.
The Saints have won their last four games, including their most recent 3-0 victory over current league champions Leicester City. Despite this, the odds favour Arsenal away at St. Mary’s, with Coral offering 11/10. Yet, at 12/5, Southampton at home could be a good bet, especially since new manager Claude Puel seems to know how to get the most from his men.
Newcastle’s recent relegation from the Premiership to the Championship also saw the return of Rafael Benitez to England. The former Liverpool manager came on board to help swiftly bring The Magpies back to the top flight. They now sit top of the league, hoping that they can keep delivering imposing wins and return to the Premier League for the 2017-2018 season. An FA Cup victory would also go some way towards removing the bitter aftertaste of relegation.
Newcastle face off against League One Oxford, currently riding the middle of the table, which makes the fact that they reached the fourth round all the more impressive, having battled with Rotherham in the third round in an exciting 3-2 finish. With a more emphatic 4-0 win against Rochdale last week, can Oxford hope to dash Newcastle’s chances? The bookmakers are assured of a Benitez win, with Coral offering Newcastle odds of 7/10, but not counting Oxford out either, with long odds of 15/4.
Everyone loves an underdog and this year the FA Cup competition has seen non-league side Sutton confound expectations by holding AFC Wimbledon to a draw in the third round, only to return stronger and provide a mighty upset with a 3-1 win in the replay. They now progress to play against Championship side Leeds, who have not lost in their last eight games.
Gary Monk will be counting on this momentum to carry them into the fifth round, even it means dashing the hopes of The Amber fans. Even though Sutton have the home advantage, the bookies odds are set in Leeds favour, with Coral giving the visitors odds of 7/10, while the hosts are on 17/4.
So if you think you can predict which teams are going to go through to the last 16, why not visit Coral Sports now? If you join today, the bookmaker is offering a £20 free bet.