FA Cup betting preview: Birmingham to give Chelsea the blues

 

Andre Villas-Boas this week went public with the news that some of the Chelsea players aren't behind him and while it's hardly something we didn't already know, the decision to air his dirty washing in public could backfire spectacularly against Birmingham in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The potential for a shock at Stamford Bridge probably rests heavily on AVB's team selection and how many of his disciples get a starting berth but without the benefit of that information in advance, we think there's some value to be found in the 11/1 quote about Chris Hughton's men.

Birmingham are in great shape right now, performing like a team that belongs in the Premier League, and we're not convinced the price would be so big if their city rivals Aston Villa were the visitors on the Saturday lunchtime. Maybe in the league, but not in the cup.

Villa, of course, were 3-1 winners on this ground over the festive period with a couple of late sucker punches and while we wouldn't go as far as to say that Blues are the equal of their neighbours, at least not in terms of the quality of their personnel, we are willing to assert they are capable of something similar.

The occasional stinker has become habitual for Chelsea over the past 15 months and while Birmingham have a fanbase that can't always be trusted to do the club justice in terms of the numbers in which they follow the team, there's been a bit of magic about their cup run so far with a couple of reaffirming away days at Wolves and Sheffield United where plenty of fun was had.

As such, we're happy to take a leap of faith on a big price and trust that Hughton will instil them with the belief that they can get a result.

Meanwhile, Blackpool are charting a similar path on the back of relegation having recently surged up the Championship table into the promotion reckoning and they also deserve our support at 7/1 against Everton.

The Seasiders aren't the most consistent side over the course of 90 minutes but they are capable of producing flashes of brilliance, the sort of moments that can win you knockout matches without playing particularly well.

Ian Holloway has an abundance of attacking options. They're not necessarily players of the highest calibre but they all bring something different to the table, allowing the manager to mix things up and pose his opponents new problems when necessary. And what they lack in class and pedigree, Holloway makes up for in spirit, which he passes over to them in spades.

We realise Everton are in decent nick at present but their league form counts for little in the cup because the way they grind results out isn't always conducive to knockout football. When you seldom find yourselves more than a goal ahead in any game, the more likely you are to invite a knockout punch in this competition.

We don't doubt that the Toffees will control the game and we're not even sure Holloway will select his strongest XI ahead of a crucial home game against West Ham three days later. But we do think the plan for the Tangerines will probably be to stay within touching distance throughout the course of the afternoon and go for it late on, which is when they tend to have most joy in front of goal.

With that in mind, we'll also supplement our interest with a bet on the Everton/Blackpool double result at 100/1.

Finally, seeing as both of those best prices are available with the same firm, we see no harm in cobbling them together as a double at 95/1.

Now let's find out if there's still such a thing as the magic of the FA Cup!

Recommended bets:

1pt Birmingham to beat Chelsea at 11/1 (Victor Chandler)

1pt Blackpool to beat Everton at 7/1 (Stan James)

0.5pt Everton/Blackpool double result at 100/1 (Bwin)

0.5pt Birmingham & Blackpool double at 95/1 (Stan James)

For more betting news and views, please visit Bestofthebets.com. You can also follow Mike Holden on Twitter: @Miguel_BOTB

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz