FA Cup, Blue Square Bet Premier and FA Trophy â€“ Weekend Betting Preview
Alan Alger 12:39am, Sat 26th Jan 2013
Luton Town and Macclesfield Town remain in the FA Cup, flying the flag for the Blue Square Bet Premier. Both teams will get the chance to test themselves against Barclays Premier League opposition, with Macc having the advantage of doing it on home soil. Steve Kingâ€™s team welcome a relegation threatened Wigan Athletic to Moss Rose and a giant-killing is priced at just 11/2. That says more about the form of Roberto Martinezâ€™s visitors who have only QPR below them in the table. The Spanish boss is no stranger to FA Cup shocks as he took a confident Swansea side to Havant & Waterlooville in a third round replay in 2008 only to find his eventual League One champions crushed 4-2 by the Blue Square South outfit. Wigan had to take two bites of The Cherries from Bournemouth before coming through the previous round and having beaten Cardiff at the same stage, Kingâ€™s side can feel confident enough to provide a challenge. Wigan are the 8/15 favourites to get the job done at the first attempt, but a draw at 11/4 could be the value option. Macclesfieldâ€™s top-scorer and hero from the Cardiff game Matthew Barnes-Homer is a 15/2 chance to score the first goal. Luton Town are a double-figure price to overcome Norwich City at Carrow Road. Paul Buckleâ€™s team are offered at a best price of 10/1 to win at a ground that has already claimed Manchester United and Arsenal as victims this season. On a form line through Aston Villaâ€™s 4-1 cup triumph at Norwich in the Capital One Cup, Luton should feel they have a small chance considering Bradfordâ€™s exploits against the Villains in recent weeks. Punters surely wonâ€™t be rushing to back a home win at a restricted price of 3/10 and Canaries boss Chris Hughton has already hinted at a side including fringe players from their Premier League squad. Alex Lawless scored the only goal of the game as Luton beat Wolves in the last round and he is a generous 25/1 shot to break the deadlock here. That price will also cover the any goal in the game on each-way bets at a third of the price.
Blue Square Bet Premier
Six Saturday matches are currently scheduled in the Blue Square Bet Premier due to the FA Cup and FA Trophy, a figure which could be reduced again due to an unfavourable weather forecast. Kidderminster Harriers have already called a morning pitch inspection for their clash with Woking at Aggborough. Steve Burrâ€™s team will be desperate to get this game on following a defeat at Macclesfield which halted their promotion charge last week. Woking have won four of their last five matches in a stop-start process brought on by the big freeze. The Cards are 7/2 outsiders with a home win showing odds-on at 4/6. Grimsby Town extended their unbeaten league run to nine matches in midweek as they went back to the top of the table with a victory over Hyde. Their impressive defence has only conceded five goal during that sequence and they look good value 6/4 shots to win at Cambridge United. The Uâ€™s relinquished their long unbeaten run with a sloppy home performance against Nuneaton last time out and make no appeal at the same price as the visitors. Nuneaton look to back up that win at the Abbey Stadium with a home win over Braintree. They are priced as the 13/10 favourites with an away victory for the Essex side offered at 17/10.
Forest Green Rovers missed an opportunity to consolidate a position in the play-off places as they were beaten by a manager-less albeit spirited Stockport County side last weekend. The weather and the fixture list has conspired to produce a run of five away matches for Dave Hockadayâ€™s team â€“ the fifth coming at Lincoln City on Saturday afternoon. Loading home games into the latter portion of the season isnâ€™t a bad thing if they can get back on track with a win at 11/8 here. The Imps are on a six game winless streak and Rovers could be playing them at the right time. Elsewhere bottom club Ebbsfleet United are 13/5 outsiders as they travel to Hyde. The hosts in fine form during the middle part of the season but suffering of late with three straight defeats. A home win is offered at 10/11, but may only appeal to the very brave. Tamworth recently parted company with Marcus Law and have a vital clash at Alfreton. A home win is the favourite at 10/11, with an away win and three crucial points for the visitors offered at 11/4.
The Non-League version of the FA Cup reaches the quarter-final stage this weekend but Gateshead and Barrow still have unfinished business from the previous round. Barrow will host what is officially Gatesheadâ€™s home game, something that on this seasonâ€™s stats is not the advantage it once was for The Bluebirds. Gateshead are the 5/4 favourites to go through and face Gainsborough Trinity in the last eight. Halifax of the Blue Square Bet North are the same price to defeat Blue Square Bet Premier visitors Dartford at The Shay. The Kent side offered at 13/8 to make their superiority in the pyramid tell. Wrexham have bigger fish to fry in the league, but are still odds-on to win at Southport and reach the semi-finals. The Red Dragons are the 10/11 favourites, with Southport offered at 11/5.
Alanâ€™s Best Weekend Treble:
SOUTHPORT to beat Wrexham.
GRIMSBY TOWN to beat Cambridge United.
ALFRETON TOWN to beat Tamworth.
Remember you can earn money for your club when you register and place bets with Blue Square Bet â€“ visit www.bluesq.com/fans for more details.
You can follow me on Twitter - @AlanBlueSquare
You can also follow Blue Square Bet on Twitter for our latest offers and giveaways - @bluesq