The FA Cup third round weekend is always a memorable occasion in the football calendar and this Saturday’s offering should be no different.
We’re hoping to celebrate the first weekend of 2015 with a 7/1 treble at SkyBet, with all three selections coming form the world’s oldest club cup competition.
Bolton Wanderers V Wigan Athletic
Championship side Bolton are vastly improved under new boss Neil Lennon and we think they can underline those sentiments with a convincing win over the struggling Latics.
Wigan have also changed manager in recent weeks but Malky Mackay has yet to see the results he’d want from his side, who have lost five of their past six matches. The situation hasn’t been helped by issues off the field and that is something which can be exploited by the Trotters during Saturday’s showdown.
Bolton have won five of their past six encounters at the Macron, drawing the other, and will be in high spirits heading into this clash. New additions Emile Heskey and Eidur Gudjohnsen provides extra firepower to an already decent frontline and that could be the difference against their Championship rivals.
Dave Whelan loves an FA Cup story but this year’s journey is set to be very brief. Home win.
Bolton Wanderers Win @ 6/4 with SkyBet
Huddersfield Town V Reading
Our second selection is another all-Championship affair as Huddersfield host Reading and home advantage could be enough to see Chris Powell’s men secure their place in round four.
The Terriers are hardly the strongest side in the Championship but they have been pretty reliable at the John Smith’s stadium this term, scoring 16 goals and losing just three of 12 league encounters. Meanwhile, the Royals have won just twice on the road and have also leaked 27 goals in just a dozen away matches.
Huddersfield will be extra confident after beating Reading at the Madejski earlier in the campaign and will also take inspiration from last Sunday’s brilliant win over an in-form Bolton. They will need to be carfeful as the visitors are improving under new boss Steve Clarke, but the Terriers definitely possess the quality to progress.
This could be a tight and tentative affair but we think the hosts can prevail.
Huddersfield Town Win @ 7/5 with SkyBet
Tranmere Rovers V Swansea City
Potential upsets are what make the FA Cup such a special and dramatic competition. However, it should be business as expected when Swansea face Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.
Garry Monk’s men haven’t been overly convincing on the road this season but the gulf in quality here is huge and should be evident from the outset. Tranmere are struggling toward s the foot of League Two and chances will be at a premium against one of the Premier League’s best retainers of possession.
In the attacking third, Swansea boast a number of players capable of finding the net and we’d be surprised if the visitors don’t score at least two or three times over the course of 90 minutes.
Hardly the greatest odds but this selection really shouldn’t lose. Besides, the other two picks mean the treble still pays out a very worthwhile total
Swansea City Win @ 4/11 with SkyBet
A £10 treble pays £81.82 with SkyBet