Day two of FA Cup fourth round action saw the curtain come down on giant-killing season, with three Premier League sides ousting contemporaries residing in the lower divisions.
This doesn’t bode well for Rochdale who host Stoke this evening looking to become the fourth Football League representative to eliminate top-flight opposition at this stage of the competition.
As if Sunday’s results weren’t portentous enough, there is also the fact that, since his Manchester City days, Mark Hughes has developed an FA Cup invincibility against teams residing below him on the pyramid of English football.
And it gets worse – Stoke have proved to be accomplished exterminators of lower-league adversaries in recent seasons too.
These myriad factors make 13/20 about the Staffordshire side prevailing at Spotland an exceedingly good bet.
Open an account at bwin.com today to pocket a £30 free bet, which converts into £19.50 profit if the Potters do the business in 90 minutes.
Here’s why they’re guaranteed to do it:
Stoke have lost just once to a Football League foe since 2009/10.
This run encompasses both cup competitions and stretches an enormous 19 matches.
Their only defeat came at home to Swindon in the Capital One Cup, but the Robins required the assistance of extra-time to see them off.
Hughes’ record against non-Premier League opposition intensifies Rochdale’s challenge
The Welsh rudderman has overseen five cup matches against rivals of a lesser standing since taking over at the Britannia, winning four and drawing one.
He has managed three different teams across this period and even managed to pick up a win with upset fodder QPR.
Three wins for top-flight sides stemmed the underdog’s weekend killing spree.
Even Aston Villa, an outfit that seemingly have an aversion to scoring goals in the league, were able to see off Championship pacesetters Bournemouth to ensure that several punters ended the game out of pocket.
Arsenal and West Ham inflicted identical fates on second and third-tier teams respectively, further dimming Rochdale’s hopes of an upset.