Posted 29th January 2016
The FA Cup action begins tonight as Derby entertain Man United at the iPro Stadium, and under-fire manager Louis van Gaal is allegedly once again in fear of losing his job should the Rams prove too stern a challenge for the Red Devils. Prior to suffering a humiliating 1-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton, United looked to be recovering some of their form, going on a 5 game unbeaten run (W3, D2), whilst Derby are without a win in their last 5 (D2, L3), conceding 12 goals in that run.
United go into the fixture heavy favourites at 19/20 (1.95), whilst Derby are 10/3 (4.33) given their recent form. With Derby conceding so much in recent games, there's a good chance of the game being a high-scoring encounter, with United frontman Wayne Rooney recently re-discovering some goalscoring form, and over 2.5 goals is a tempting 6/5 (2.20) whilst under is 13/20 (1.65) with bet365. Those fancying Rooney to get on the scoresheet can back him to do so anytime at 9/2 (5.50), whilst promising youngster Will Keane is favourite to notch a goal for the Rams at 13/2 (7.50).
Saturday offers a fantastic selection of fixtures with Arsenal v Burnley arguably the pick of the 3:00pm fixtures. Holders Arsenal remain favourites to lift the trophy for the third consecutive year at 9/2 (5.50) and the Gunners will be eager to extend their unbeaten run in the FA Cup towards the three year mark. Burnley head into the fixture in unremarkable form, having won 5 in their last 10 in the Championship (W5, D2, L3) whilst Arsenal sit 3rd in the Premier League, 2 points ahead of their bitter rivals Tottenham. Arsene Wenger is likely to rest several key players but with Thomas Rosicky and Francis Coquelin returning to the squad ahead of the clash, Wenger will still be able to field a strong team for the encounter.
Arsenal are a very attractive 4/9 (1.44) to win on the day, whilst the less risk averse may be tempted by the Clarets at 15/2 (8.50). The match certainly offers the potential for a lot of goals with the Gunners posing a constant danger and Burnley in free-scoring form of late, notching 12 goals in their last 3 games. With that in mind, over 2.5 goals presents great value at 13/20 (1.65) and the selection will see plenty of backing at the price.
Closing proceedings for the weekend are misfiring Premier League champions Chelsea, who travel to a faltering MK Dons side who lie in 20th place in the Championship, and despite their home advantage the Dons head in to the encounter at 10/1 (11.00). Chelsea look to have re-captured at least some of their form in recent weeks and the expectation of the fans will be weighing heavily on Guus Hiddink and his squad to deliver a statement of intent. The Blues are 4/11 (1.36) to win on Sunday and progress to the next round. Given Hiddink's FA Cup success in his first stint as Chelsea manager, it's not unreasonable to think he could see the FA Cup as a way to deliver owner Roman Abramovich some consolation for what has been a torrid season so far.
Regardless of the outcome, bet365 is certain to be the best place to watch all the FA Cup action unfold this weekend!