Form Labs Weekender


Championship v Premier League ties: - Bolton v Huddersfield, Fulham v Southampton, Wolves v Swansea, Norwich v Chelsea, Nottingham Forest v Arsenal

When Championship teams host top-flight sides in this round, the match outcome is rarely in favour of the hosts, but they frequently force the replay. In the Premier League era, the results read W16-D41-L56. Norwich and Forest have trickier tests against Chelsea and Arsenal respectively as Big Six teams are W16-D4-L1 when travelling to Championship opponents since 2011/12, but the rest will fancy their chances of getting a result and for those backing the top-flight side it’s worth noting that almost as many of those 56 wins have been Draw/Wins (24) as Win/Wins (28).

Bolton are in impressive form having won three of their last four without conceding and with their last five all seeing fewer than three strikes, that’ll certainly bring the draw into play. The Trotters managed a goalless draw when hosting Palace at this stage last term and with Huddersfield struggling on their travels (they’ve lost eight of their last 11 on the road in all competitions), the stalemate makes appeal at 3.4.
Saints are winless in nine after their defeat against Palace and so this looks an excellent opportunity to take them on at a relatively short price. Fulham have won their last four at Craven Cottage whilst they’ve lost only three of 14 home FA Cup games since 2009/10. Saints have won just one of their last four on the road in this competition as they were held to draws at Norwich and Millwall and went down 1-0 to Sunderland. Despite some consistent recent seasons in the Premier League they last made it beyond the 5th Round way back in 2005, so this isn’t a tournament they’ve had much success in and so we’re siding with Fulham +0.25 on the Asian Handicap at 2.0.

Wolves top the Championship and have won 10 of 12 unbeaten games but we wouldn’t be keen on backing them at odds-on against Swansea, who won their last away game at Watford. Wolves have lost four of five winless home games in the Cup and have picked up just one point from the two visits of fellow top-four sides to date in the league and so we’re siding with Swansea +0.5 Asian Handicap at 2.11.
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in four of their last six across all tournaments, while the Blues have consistently swatted aside Championship teams in the FA Cup having won 16 of 17 such matches since 2008/09. They kept a clean sheet in five of the six games that have been since 2012/13 so we’re backing them to win to nil at 2.55. The Blues have won 2-0 in six of their last seven when travelling to Championship sides in the FA Cup so we’ll chance that correct score at 8.0.

The Gunners have won 17 of their 23 FA Cup games since 2013/14 as they’ve won three of the last four editions. They’ve won three of their last four FA Cup away games without conceding and given Forest are without a goal in three, we’re backing Wenger’s men to win to nil at 2.9. However, Arsenal have managed just one first-half goal in their last seven on the road in all competitions, whilst Forest are generally able to frustrate their opponents as they’ve trailed at the break in only four of their last 18 home league games, and haven’t trailed at the break in any of their 11 FA Cup home games since 2004/05 so we’ll also back Draw/Arsenal Half Time/Full Time at 4.75.


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