Players of opposing teams expressing celebration and upset after goal in the FA cup

Written by Cornermanden. The author’s opinions and predictions are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Unibet. Odds and details may change between the time of writing and when placing a bet – always check before betting.

My favourite tournament in world football is about to kick off for the Premier League teams. I’ve previewed some of the most interesting games (in my eyes) in this FA Cup preview for round 3.

What It Means

I have always had some conservativeness within myself, but generally in the good sense, I feel. When the FA Cup 1st round starts in November of every year, I get a strong feeling of tradition and history. The FA Cup is the world’s oldest football competition, and I think we should embrace it. This weekend, several teams from the deep mud of English football take on bigger hitters, hoping to secure a spot in the 4th round and the potential of reaching a semi-final, where the tie is played at the mighty Wembley stadium. It means a lot for almost every single club below the Premier League, and the fans love it. Let’s embrace this competition.

Horrific Gills

Gillingham-Leicester City

I feel inclined to preview games between League One or League Two teams who come up against Premier League sides. This is one of them, with Gillingham (currently the worst team in the football league, being bottom of League Two), against a much better team in Leicester City. The Foxes are priced at 1.20 to go to Priestfield and beat The Gills, a price that I actually think is a bit tempting. It’s difficult to describe how poor Gillingham have been this season, but only two goals scored from open play says it all, really.

Leicester are probably not in immediate danger of going down, so can prioritise this competition by fielding a strong team. That’s my reasoning for being bullish on City here: after all, a mid-table Premier League team should wipe the floor with a weak League Two team, no discussion. But it is away from home and any lower league team has the potential of creating trouble for a more “dandy” Premier League opponent, if they get their own way. I don’t think Gills will get their own way here, so I’m comfortable betting against them at this stage. Leicester -1.75 is my pick, meaning that we get a half profit from our original stake if they win by exactly two goals.

If Unibet offers us a corner handicap on Leicester here, it might be worth exploring.

Play Up Pompey!

Tottenham Hotspur-Portsmouth

Portsmouth recently sacked Danny Cowley, their manager for almost two years. No new manager has been appointed as of this writing, but I expect an underwhelming Pompey team to respond to the news and show their new boss what they can do. It probably doesn’t get much harder than this, though, playing Tottenham Hotspur away from home. Just like I argued in my preview above, I think the opposite might be true for Spurs: having a lot to play for in their domestic league might see them pick a weakened side here. This, accompanied with Portsmouth’s renewed enthusiasm following the “Cowley out news”, Spurs at 1.13 seems very short against a “top” League One team. I’m picking Pompey to not lose this game by more than two goals.

Short, But Good

Shrewsbury Town-Sunderland & Derby County-Barnsley

I don’t think these will be great games. Few goals is my prediction and I am happy with the odds of 1.75 for the game to go under 2.5 goals in Shrewsbury-Sunderland, and 1.72 at Pride Park between Derby and Barnsley.

A Really Interesting Game

Sheffield Wednesday-Newcastle United

Newcastle United have been outstanding so far this season. Yes, they’ve splashed the cash and made their squad quite a lot stronger, but not by signing the most glamorous names: Dan Burn, Nick Pope, Chris Wood, etc. are not players that get your pulse going. I picked Newcastle to beat Leeds at the exact same price as we get here, so are there any decent arguments against taking the same bet now? Not really, no, but I think Newcastle are in a very unique position in the league where they have something truly special to play for. They are within touching distance of Arsenal, and will, with maximum luck and flow, have a chance to play for a Premier League title this year; if not that, a Champions League spot is not very unrealistic for The Magpies. 

Sheffield Wednesday are playing for promotion in League One and are usually very strong at home. Hillsborough is a mighty stadium and this should be a Premier League game in the future, no doubt about that. 

What can we expect from this match? Wednesday have their talisman Barry Bannan out with an injury, so I’m tempted to bet against them just for that reason. But Newcastle played away at Arsenal on Tuesday in a very tough game, and they have a lot of travel to do over the next few days. I just think this is a game to walk away from. The goal line is 2.75, which means that Unibet expects it to be a pretty high scoring affair. More value on the under, I think.


My main FA Cup preview for round 3 picks: