The best bets of the FA Cup fourth round take place far from the limelight, or the silverlight of the television for that matter…
Tony Pulis’ hearty respect for the FA Cup is well documented and his Baggies are generously priced to progress against a Posh side on a two-loss streak.
The fact that those defeats have both come since the sale of star striker Connor Washington to QPR is unlikely to be a coincidence.
Robbed of the 15-goal hitman’s cutting edge, they’re unlikely to find a chink in a typically robust side that have beaten Arsenal, Newcastle and Stoke inside their last seven Hawthorns engagements.
The Eagles have bagged just three times in their last seven run outs, with one of those an own goal, and their toothlessness can set up Stoke’s progression.
It’s too much to expect game-time-starved recent addition Emmanuel Adebayor to hit the ground running against a defence that have shut out Liverpool and Arsenal inside their last three outings.
Stoke will be further aided in their attempts to knock their hosts out of the competition at this stage for the second time in three years by a newfound porousness in the Palace rearguard.
They’ve gone four games without a clean sheet after three in succession and shipped seven times in their last two.
The League One Saddlers have come up against three Championship sides this season and not one of Nottingham Forest, Brighton or Brentford lived to tell the tale.
Having won four of the 19 games since a bizarre autumn winning streak, Reading look like another scalp waiting to happen.
Walsall, meanwhile have taken the loss of manager Dean Smith in their stride, winning five times and losing just once in the eight outings since he departed.