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FA Cup 3rd Round Replays Betting Preview with Al Ross - Tuesday 16th January 2024

Hi I’m former Premier League commentator Al Ross with a look at the FA Cup games this Tuesday.

Let’s start with Bolton v Luton. A creditable draw for the League One side in the initial tie, which will have burst a few accas, but let’s be honest. Luton had 18 shots and even dominated possession, which is something they don’t do normally. I understand why people are seeing this as Bolton’s chance to progress, but football does kill more fairytales than it makes. Could Luton rotate as they prioritise trying to avoid playing in the Championship next season? Yes. Could Bolton, as they prioritise trying to play in the Championship next season? Absolutely, and Bolton’s squad is smaller. I am in no way a Luton fan, but odds against when taking on a team 2 flights down is too good to pass up. At the time of recording, Betfred were offering 2.5 – 6/4 in fractional - on an away win.

Elsewhere; Birmingham City – no wins in 7, against Hull City – 1 win in 6, and yet the draw is the outsider of the 3 results. OK, I’ll bite. A lot has been made of Tony Mowbray’s “sensible” appointment at Birmingham, but it takes time to turn around such an abject form line. He’s likely to rotate to look at some of his squad options.

The rumours are that Hull will also rotate heavily, so  Quinnbet’s 11/4 (3.75 in decimal) on the draw at the time of recording does look stunning value. For a shorter price, it’s odds on that both teams will score, but anyone who’s watched Hull recently will tell you that’s never going to be your worst pick.

And a word on bogey teams as we have a look at the only all-Premier League tie on Tuesday. Not only have Brentford failed to knock a Premier League team out of the FA Cup since January 2006, but it’s telling that that stat only remains true because they failed to knock out Wolves last week, despite having home advantage, despite a numerical advantage for 80 minutes in the original tie. Don’t worry too much about rotation here because neither team’s played since the previous tie 10 days ago. Analyse tactics as much as you want, but the truth is that Wolves survived that initial tie despite playing most of it with 10 men because they picked a strong side. They will again here, and they have several injury returnees. Add to that the fact that Brentford were a side who’d lost each of the previous 5 – conceding 12 goals in that time. You’ve got the formlines, the Premier League table, the available squad members, the fact that Brentford have only beaten Wolves in one of the last 11 meetings. Now Wolves have home advantage, and it will be 11 v 11, I can’t see past the home side at even money.

So if you want my accumulator for Tuesday night’s FA Cup football.

Luton to beat Bolton.

Wolves to beat Brentford.

For the adventurous, add in the draw between Birmingham and Hull. For the less adventurous, take Birmingham and Hull Both Teams to Score. 


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