Seeley’s Selection – Saturday’s FA Cup Quarter Finals
SATURDAY sees the start of the FA Cup quarter-finals and nobody would have predicted at the start of the competition that not one team in the top half of the Premier League would be in action.
Bradford v Reading
You would have got massive odds with BoyleSports if you had predicted that today’s play would feature two sides fighting for Premier League survival a Championship team and a outfit from League One.
The first quarter-final is an early one, so make sure you get your bets on in time and it’s the clash between the two minnows of the competition Bradford and Reading live on BT Sport at 12.45pm on Saturday.
Nobody in there wildest dreams could have predicted these two sides making it this far in this great competition and if you did, well you should be writing this column.
This doesn’t look one of the most glamorous of quarter-finals in the long history of the FA Cup but it has thrown up a couple of bets that I’m very keen on.
I like Bradford a lot at BoyleSports 13/8 they have been a breath of fresh air in this competition this season beating Premier League Sunderland at home in the last round and producing what is in my opinion the greatest upset ever when they beat Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge.
It would be a great shame to see those performance not being rewarded with a trip to Wembley, but at home I think they will be far to strong for this Reading side.
The Bantams are pretty much unbeatable on what is a cabbage pitch at Valley Parade and they are bang in the middle of a great home run of just one defeat in their last 12 matches and they rightly start favourites for this tie despite their opponents being a league above them.
Reading have been very poor in the championship and Steve Clarke’s side have just one win in their last five matches.
The problem for Clarke has been scoring goals and the Royal’s have only scored one goal in their last three.
At first glance you may look at the 19/10 being dangled by BoyleSports about the visitors and think thats too good to miss, don’t fall into the trap.
In the last five match-ups meetings Reading haven’t won a game and I expect that sorry record to continue on Saturday.
Much will be made about the state of the pitch, and it is in a right state, and I think that makes the case for the home team even stronger.
This could be an entertaining match despite the magnitude of the tie for both sides and what would be a concern for Bradford backers is that Phil Parkinson’s men have only kept three clean sheets in their last 19 games and both teams to score at 5/6 with BoyleSports looks decent.
Bradford haven’t played in an FA Cup semi-final since 1927 and I’m confident they will be in the draw for the last four on Monday night probably with a 2-1 win which looks good at 9/1.
John Stead is the man who has been scoring goals for the Bradford in this competition and the former Blackburn frontman has netted in five of his last six FA Cup games and at 6/1 with BoyleSports to open the scoring, I like that a lot as I do the 19/10 with BoyleSports on him finding the net at anytime in the 90-minutes.
Bradford To Win @ 13/8
Correct Score Bradford 2-1 @ 9/1
Jon Stead 1st Goalscorer @ 6/1
Aston Villa v West Brom
IN the Saturday’s other quarter-final it’s an all Premier League clash between Aston Villa and West Brom live on BBC.
This is the second time in five days that these two have faced each other after Villa’s last gasp win in the Premier League on Tuesday and like the midweek meeting I think this could be a very decent clash.
Only four miles separate these two great rivals and on Saturday only 90-minutes separate the two from a place at Wembley.
This could be a fiery one especially after the way the Premier League meeting ended after a clanger from West Brom keeper handed all three points to Villa and I expect a reaction from the baggies.
Villa are BoyleSports 17/10 favourites to get two wins against the city rivals in a few days and with nine victories in their last 10 home FA Cup games you can understand why the BoyleSports football boys have come to that conclusion, I’m not so sure.
West Brom manager Tony Pulis will demand a reaction from his players after the last minute defeat in the Premier League and I think he will get one, they are 19/10 to gain revenge in this one and dump Villa out of the cup, which again I can see tempting some, I’m not sure on that either.
With ifs, buts and maybes about both sides this does looks the hardest game of all the quarter-finals to find a winner in and the strategy is whenever the BoyleSports odds compilers can’t split the sides, back the draw and I’m not changing a winning strategy.
I’m firmly sitting on the fence in this tie and I’m expecting a number of splinters in my backside on Sunday morning, but sometimes the best bets are the obvious ones and in this occasion it looks the only value.
This is a fixture that usually sees goals with both teams scoring in 10 of the last 12 meetings and without the pressure of Premier League survival both teams to score at 20/21 with BoyleSports looks decent.
There has been two 2-2 draws in the last five meetings between this great rivals and with the shackles set to be off both sides a desmond at 14/1 with BoyleSports isn’t the worst wager you can have in this one.
The big bonus for Villa fans is that Christian Benteke has finally ended his goalscoring drought with the winner in midweek and the Belgian international looks decent at BoyleSports 9/2 to open the scoring in this one.
Whatever you think of Tim Sherwood – a lot of my thoughts can’t be printed on here – he did get Emmanuel Adebayor playing in his brief spell at Tottenham and if he can do the same with Benteke he has chances not only in this game but also in Premier League survival.
Benteke is 6/4 to score at anytime in the match and with confidence high and on penalty duties in what promises to be a fiery derby that could be the better option.
Draw @ 11/5
Correct Score 2-2 @ 14/1
Christan Benteke Anytime Goalscorer @ 6/4