Portsmouth v QPR: Both teams to score – 8/11
Pompey have reached the dizzying heights of the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in a couple of seasons, while QPR face a trip to Frampton Park on the back of a 2-1 win over Leeds.
Rangers are hovering third from bottom of the Championship and Steve McClaren could do with a cup run to distract everyone from their league position – especially after last weekend’s 1-4 defeat at home to Preston after a previous loss to Sheffield United.
Kenny Jackett’s Portsmouth are currently riding high at the top of League One – a point ahead of Luton – despite suffering back-to-back defeats at home to Blackpool and away to Oxford.
While run in the FA Cup would bring in much needed funds – promotion to the Championship is the bigger prize.
This is a tough one to call in the win-draw-win market, so both teams to score at 8/11 looks the play.
Newcastle v Watford: Both teams to score – 8/11
Watford sit a comfortably 12 points clear of the Magpies in the Premier League and have only lost once to the Toon in seven matches in both the Premier League and FA Cup over the past three seasons.
That one defeat was a 1-0 reversal at St James’ Park last November, which should give Rafa Benitez’s side some heart at least heading into this tie – as should the 3-0 win over Cardiff at the weekend, coming on the back of a five-game winless run.
Three of those games were tough tasks in defeat against Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea, while the two draws featured (Fulham (h) and Watford (a). Watford are a lot more free-scoring than their hosts – despite Saturday’s blank against Burnley – their first in eight games in all competition since a 2-0 defeat at Leicester.
Javi Gracia’s side look short enough in the win-draw-win market that puts us off an away win, but both teams to score at 8/11 could take care of itself and we’ll leave the result to fate after that.
Doncaster v Oldham: Over 2.5 goals – 17/20
While nothing’s come of the speculation yet, the Latics could give mooted new boss Paul Scholes something to chew on – besides the fare at the local McDonalds – if they take down League One’s Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.
The fact they’re in the market for a new gaffer tells you something about the likelihood of it happening though. They sacked their last manager just after Christmas, a 6-0 loss to Carlisle the icing on Frankie Bunn’s six months in charge.
Since then they’ve won three and drawn one before losing their last game at Macclesfield. It’s not a bad run, but the club have higher ambitions than 12th in League Two after dropping a tier last year.
The same goes for Doncaster, who sit just a point outside the playoff spots in League One. Only Luton Town in second have hit the onion sack more times than Grant McCann’s side in the league this season.
They’ve averaged three goals a game at home in the last seven, and their away form is almost as good. John Marquis, their top scorer, has five goals in the last five games, and they’re pinging them in from all over the place as they make a Championship push.
Given the rate they’re scoring at, over 2.5 goals at 17/20 doesn’t look a big ask, so we’ll lump it into the fourth round acca mixer.
Shrewsbury Town v Wolves: Wolves win with both teams to score – 9/4
Don’t you dare mention that the FA Cup has lost its magic to a Shrewsbury Town fan, if you know what’s good for you anyway.
That’s because The Shrews have been on a spellbinding run in this season’s competition and find themselves in the fourth round after coming from two goals down to win 3-2 at Championship outfit Stoke in a third round replay.
Wolves pulled off an upset of their own last time out too, sending Premier League table-toppers Liverpool packing in a ding-dong battle at Molineux.
Nuno Espírito Santo may have used the majority of his first team that night, but you’d expect him to field a much-changed line up for the short trip across to Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Shrewsbury have scored in every one of their five FA Cup games to date, while Wolves haven’t managed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven games. That has us sniffing at the both teams to score market, but we also believe the greater Premier League class that Wolves possess will see them through here.
Take a Wolves victory with both teams to scoring at 9/4 in this one.
* All odds correct at time of posting.