It may not receive the same sort of coverage as the Manchester derby this weekend, but for the people on the Fylde coast the first ever meeting between Fleetwood Town and Blackpool is the major talking point in this year’s FA Cup third round.
They may only be separated by a mere seven miles, but in footballing terms Fleetwood and Blackpool are a world apart. Whereas the Tangerines have won the FA Cup and played in the Premier League last season, Fleetwood enjoyed their inaugural season in the top tier of Conference football last year and have twice gone out of existence.
Despite the massive gap between the clubs, Fleetwood, or ‘Cod Army’ as they are known by their fans, will have every reason to believe that they can cause the shock of the round on Saturday afternoon.
The Conference Premier side currently sit second in the table and in top scorer Jamie Vardy they have a striker who is much admired by several Championship clubs.
Vardy will want to take this opportunity to show his suitors what he can do against better quality opposition and could well be helped by what is likely to be a second-string Blackpool defence.
Seasiders boss Ian Holloway has given the FA Cup fairly short shrift in recent seasons and failure to play his strongest side against a then League One Southampton last term resulted in third-round defeat.
In fact, Blackpool have failed to make it past the third round of the famous old competition since they beat Aldershot Town in the 2006-07 season.
If you aren’t confident of predicting the result you could plump for a bet on there being more goals scored in the second half than the first at 11/10, given that 66 of the 96 goals scored collectively by both teams in league action have come after the interval.
Fleetwood’s lofty position in the table means they hold genuine aspirations of overhauling league leaders Wrexham and reaching the Football League for the first time.
This aim was boosted on New Year’s Day when they extended their unbeaten run in the league to 11 games thanks to a stunning 6-0 away win over Southport, a victory made all the more special by the fact that they played for 60 minutes with ten men.
Although a repeat of the 6-0 scoreline in favour of the home side is out of the question, victory of some sort most definitely is not and with Fleetwood at 31/10 to win, backing an upset with the free £25 bet offered when joining bwin.com would bring a very healthy return of £102.50 for new customers.
If you don’t think Micky Mellon’s men can produce the shock but fancy a weakened Blackpool to still struggle against their lesser opponents, then putting your money on the draw at 5/2 is a good option.
Even better still would be a punt on the game finishing 2-2, for which bwin is offering odds of 23/2. This may seem an unusual choice, but the Cod Army have drawn their previous two home games 2-2 and Holloway has watched his side draw by the same scoreline five times already this season, making it the joint most common result for a Blackpool game alongside 1-0.
Alternatively, if you aren’t confident of predicting the result you could plump for a bet on there being more goals scored in the second half than the first at 11/10. These are good odds given that 66 of the 96 goals scored collectively by both teams in league action have come after the interval.
New customers can register here to claim their free £25 bet of click here to see all out latest FA Cup odds.
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