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FA Cup betting is always a minefield these days, with so many managers opting to rotate squads and rest their best players. We have already seen in the third round how some teams have thrown unknown youth players into their starting line ups and this has resulted in some very volatile betting markets.
It may pay to back a manager you know will be taking this competition seriously, so step forward Mikel Arteta. The Arsenal gaffer’s victory in this competition last season may well have saved his job after a lacklustre start to their league campaign this season, and you can be sure that will be in the back of his mind when he names his starting XI for this tough tie against Southampton at St Mary’s.
Saturday 12.15pm: Southampton v Arsenal
BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate
Arsenal have been superb against Premier League teams under Arteta in this competition, disposing of Manchester City in the semi-final and Chelsea in the final last year, while dismissing Newcastle in the previous round this year. Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has tended to rest key players in cup tournaments, and with the Saints currently in the top half of the Premier League, I’d expect him to concentrate on that and rest players here.
This makes The Gunners an attractive betting proposition and I’d expect an Arsenal Win for Arteta’s men as they attempt to win the famous old cup for a record 15th time.
Saturday 8pm: Aston Villa v Newcastle
Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League
The only Premier League game this Saturday sees under-fire Steve Bruce and his struggling Magpies head to Villa Park to take on his old club Aston Villa. Newcastle have been in free-fall lately and have gone nine games without a victory.
Their main problem is in front of goal. They have failed to score in six of their last seven games and it’s worth a bet that this will continue against a mean Aston Villa defence, that has conceded just five goals in their last seven league outings. Only Man City and Tottenham have conceded fewer goals than Dean Smith’s men in the Premier League this season.
The consistently excellent defending has been the cornerstone to Aston Villa’s season, they sit comfortably in mid-table, and last season’s last day heroics to avoid relegation are a distant memory now. Newcastle have failed to score in their last three visits to Villa Park in the Premier League and I expect this run to continue here. Jack Grealish and co should have no problem in carving open a Newcastle team with a Villa Win To Nil against a side low on morale.
Our PP News double for Saturday
More tips this weekend
- Our fab 4 punts for Chelsea v Luton Town on Sunday
- Phil Thompson’s top picks for Man Utd v Liverpool on Sunday
- Our superb 26/1 fivefold European acca for Saturday’s games
- Phil Thompson’s 6/1 treble for Saturday’s FA Cup games
- Marvellous Mahrez can net our 3 best bets for Cheltenham v Man City