The magic of the FA Cup never ceased to amaze us as, once again, we have seen great stories of teams that are in lower leagues battling it out against Premier League opposition and coming out as victors. Stevenage surprised Aston Villa by coming from behind to score two late goals, and Wrexham, a non-league side, managed to sneak past Coventry in a seven-goal thriller.
Join LV BET as we run through the best upcoming fourth-round fixtures in the FA Cup. Make sure to read our other blogs on our Sports Blog, where you will find all the latest news about your favourite teams, Formula 1 and many other sports.
Manchester City V Arsenal
Manchester City comfortably dealt with Chelsea in the third round, winning 4-0 with no fuss, while Arsenal powered through to secure a 3-0 victory over Oxford United, setting up a very hotly anticipated game between the Premier League top dogs. City and Arsenal are yet to play each other in the Premier League, so this fixture will give a great deal of information to both coaches as to how they should set up when they eventually play each other.
Both teams have been eliminated from the EFL trophy, making the FA Cup the only other domestic trophy that they can lift at the end of the season. Manchester City are hands on favourites at 4/7 (1.57) to come out winners and make it to the next round. A similar performance of that against Chelsea would go down well with the home crowd, as they have seen their team misfire in a handful of matches this season.
On the other hand, Arsenal are priced at 33/8 (5.10) to win at the Etihad Stadium and set up a marker for what will come in the Premier League. Mikel Arteta has assembled a team somewhat similar to the one he helped Pep Guardiola build when he was his assistant. The only great difference between the two teams are the depth and quality of the squad. Manchester City could field two quality teams, whilst Arsenal only have one, and if a player is not available, it’s hard to replace him with someone who is at the same level. Arteta might prioritize the Premier League over the FA Cup, but it’s still a good barometer to see how his team stacks up against Manchester City.
Wrexham V Sheffield United
Wrexham are in dreamland at the moment, scoring four outstanding goals against Coventry, knocking them out of the competition and setting up a tie against Sheffield United. The Blades did a professional job at Millwall, winning 2-0 on the day.
Despite being drawn at home, Wrexham AFC are priced at 7/2 (4.50) to win the game. Phil Parkinson will be pushing his team on to stamp their authority in the game and not let Sheffield get comfortable on the ball. Creating chaos at the middle of the park and turning this into a scruffy game might benefit Wrexham as that would level the playing field.
Sheffield United look to be the favourites at 3/4 (1.75), and on paper, they have the better squad. Placed second in the Championship and knocking on the door of automatic promotion is where the Blades want to be. They are shaping up to be a very solid team with a very efficient attack and solid back line conceding the least in the division.
Manchester United v Reading
Once again, Manchester United are drawn to play at home in a cup competition this season, an opportunity that they have taken with aplomb. The Red Devils have made it a habit of winning at home without conceding too many goals as well. Manchester United secured their place in the fourth round when they won against Everton 3-1. Reading made the most out of home advantage as they pounced on chances late on in each half to win 2-0 against Watford.
Manchester United, as one would come to expect, are the favourite at 1/12 (1.08). Players are back to their sparkling best under Erik ten Hag, especially Marcus Rashford, who at the time of writing, has scored the most goals since the resumption of football after the World Cup – seven goals in total.
Reading on the flip side are somewhat struggling to find form, stuck in 13th place in the Championship. The one thing that would worry Paul Ince is the leaky defence, conceding 36 goals in 26 games is not a record you want to have when travelling to Old Trafford. The chances of an upset is priced at 25/1 (26.00).
LV BET’s prediction for this game is a comfortable 3-0 win for Manchester United at 14/5 (3.80).
Tune in to the LV BET Sports blog to find out more information about live sports, as well as the exciting online world of esports, and stay informed about the biggest sports events from around the world.
*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing