Just when you thought it was safe to stop being excited, this weekend sees the third round of the most famous domestic cup competition in the world… no, not the Sussex Floodlight Cup!
The butterflies start to flap in the stomachs of the Goliaths as the Davids prepare their finest stones and slingshots ahead of battle, and true to form, this coupon includes one stand-out prediction of a giant-killing.
The first accumulator of 2013 didn’t go so well, with Fulham inexplicably beating West Brom, Charlton ludicrously triumphing at Watford and Aston Villa picking the worst possible time to remember how to score and defend at Swansea.
At least Palace beat Wolves, just like I said… no no, don’t thank me.
Should you agree with these picks, then you may wish to place the free £20 bet you receive for signing up to a bwin account today on this foursome.
If they all come up then you’ll have yourself a neat and tidy £239.70, which is enough to buy a replica FA Cup so you can lift it above your head in the mirror and pretend your life isn’t slowly slipping away *sighs*
Hull to beat Leyton Orient @ 2/5
I have suggested a couple of bets against Leyton Orient in recent weeks and it backfired on both occasions as their matches were postponed.
However, the main reason for those bets is still valid. Orient don’t draw games, they either win or lose, which is handy for a cup tie, and it would be a massive ask for them to beat Hull at the KC Stadium.
Steve Bruce’s side lie second in the Championship and have won eight of 13 games at home this season, whereas Orient have lost half of their 12 away games, only drawing once in 24 overall in League One.
If the match was taking place at Brisbane Road it would be a different matter, but in Yorkshire and with the London club coming into the game on the back of a 3-0 loss at Yeovil, I’d put this one down as a comfortable Tigers win.
Aston Villa to beat Ipswich @ 4/5
If this game were to be based on form alone then I’d be slapping a ‘dead cert’ sticker on an away victory, but I’ve had a second thought.
Ahead of the midweek accy article, I said that I was giving serious consideration to backing Bradford when they take on Villa in the Capital One Cup semi-final, such was the free-fall nature of the Midlands club after losing 8-0, 4-0 and 3-0 in their previous three games.
However, a gutsy and efficient performance at Swansea showed that the Villans do still have something about them when they put their minds to it and they will see this game as an ideal opportunity to get a much-needed and morale-boosting win.
The Tractor Boys were on a losing frenzy themselves earlier this season, but since Mick McCarthy replaced Paul Jewell at the helm they have stabilised tremendously and have climbed away from relegation trouble.
However, after being bested 3-0 by Brighton on New Year’s Day, I can’t see them getting anything at Villa Park.
Tottenham to beat Coventry @ 4/25
I probably don’t need to say much about this one: it shouldn’t take an expert to figure out why Tottenham are the favourites to knock the Sky Blues out at White Hart Lane.
In a replay of the 1987 final (Coventry will wear a commemorative strip akin to the one they wore that day), Spurs will be looking to avenge the 3-2 loss they suffered at Wembley thanks to an injury-time own goal from Gary Mabbutt.
Andre Villas-Boas’ last taste of the FA Cup was when his Chelsea side drew with Birmingham at Stamford Bridge in the fifth round last season, but he will be confident his Spurs charges can dispatch Football League opposition at the first time of asking.
The London outfit have been motoring in recent weeks, picking up comfortable wins at Aston Villa and Sunderland, followed by a 3-1 triumph at home to Reading on Tuesday.
Coventry have improved under Mark Robins, sitting 11th in League One after recovering from a poor start, but they won’t have enough to take anything more than a consolation goal from N17.
Bournemouth to beat Wigan @ 31/10
So here it is, the big one, the upset that is going to set this accy on fire, though it is debatable how much of an upset this would actually be.
Wigan have a terrible record in the FA Cup, not getting past the fourth round since 1987, and have been eliminated by the likes of Swindon and Notts County in the past three years.
Roberto Martinez’s side have shown glimpses of being a talented outfit this season, but they are riddled with inconsistency, which was all too visible as they limped to a 4-0 defeat against Manchester United at the DW Stadium last time out.
The Cherries have been playing like a team possessed since Eddie Howe re-took the reins at Bournemouth in mid-October, winning 12 and drawing four of the 16 matches following his return from Burnley.
With odds of 3/1 available, this match stands out as the best value for a cup upset and beefs our accy up to over 11/1. God I love this Cup!
Follow David on Twitter @whichdave