FA Cup 3rd round weekend is one of the most highly anticipated in the sporting calendar, over the years there have been some great upsets and the pressure is always on the top sides to prove what they are made of. This year is no different with Stevenage hosting Newcastle and Charlton traveling to high flying Spurs to name but a few. There is some good value around this weekend so feel free to get involved:
Preston North End v Nottingham Forest
Although these two sides are in the same league I think there is some value in the away side. Preston are rock bottom of the The Championship and have just appointed former Hull City manager Phil Brown after Darren Ferguson left the club. Despite Brown’s arrival I’m not sure he will have had time to evaluate his squad and to find out where their strengths and weaknesses lie. They have lost their last 3 games in the league and have won only 2 games in their last 15. Confidence is bound to be low in the camp and I think Forest boss Billy Davies will eye the opportunity to get a result against his former club.
Davies’ side have been on a good run in recent weeks losing only 1 of their last 9 games. They have also started to get over their inability to get results away from The City Ground, a fact which cost them an automatic promotion place last season. Forest have beaten Preston once already at Deepdale this season with Lewis McGugan sealing a 2-1 win and they will be looking to replicate this result on Saturday and get through to the 4th round.
I think Preston may well see this game as a bit of an extra burden given their current situation and would prefer to focus on improving their lacklustre form and stabilizing the club. The 2.38 available for Forest to win in 90 mins with Stan James is decent value in my opinion given the current state of these two teams.
Brighton v Portsmouth
This is somewhat of a banana skin for the Championship side against the League One leaders. Gus Poyet has done a fantastic job at Brighton and they have been in great form this season, there’s every chance of playing their opponents on Saturday in a league fixture in 2011/12. Portsmouth’s lack of squad depth could yet prove their downfall but their limited resources have done a decent job so far, but with Michael Brown and Richard Hughes both unable to play because of clauses in their contract which trigger new deals if they make one more appearance, things are not getting any easier.
Although Steve Cotterill doesn’t have a wealth of options at his disposal there is still some decent quality in the side and they have proven this at times during their league campaign. My pick here would be over 2.5 goals as both sides have been involved in high scoring affairs this season. Brighton have scored in every home game this season and with Murray and Barnes notching 20 goals between them Portsmouth’s defense is likely to be breached at least once. Meanwhile the visitors will have Nugent, Kanu and Kitson all available and with the squad as light as it is they may all have a part to play and are all capable of hitting the back of the net.
The 1.9 on offer on Betfair is a tad generous and I will take this one with medium stakes.
Nottingham Forest win @ 2.38 with Stan James. 3/10 Stake.
Brighton v Portsmouth. Over 2.5 goals @ 1.9 with Betbubbles. 6/10 Stake.
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