Braintree v Tranmere: League One leaders too strong for minnows

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Braintree Town welcome Tranmere Rovers to the 4,200-seater Cressing Road Stadium in the F.A. Cup first round.

And while many will be hoping that this ITV-televised clash offers a giant killing, punters may see more value in backing the visiting favourites at 8/11.

Tranmere have won nine games from 15 in League One this season and edge out Sheffield United for top spot in the division thanks to their superior goal difference.

In the Conference Premier, Braintree are just one position outside the relegation zone and have recorded a solitary home victory in the league this term.

If you fancy the hosts to turn around their recent fortunes with a giant-killing against the Superwhites, then tempting odds of 7/2 are available.

Or Braintree can be backed at 11/4 to force the tie to a replay with a draw in the first ever clash between these two clubs.

This week has witnessed a renaissance for the domestic cup competitions with the goal-fests served up by the Capital One Cup, and the F.A. Cup will be keen to follow suit.

Both the broadcasted matches between Arsenal and Reading, and Chelsea and Manchester United served up over 5.5 goals, and an exciting repeat in this game could be worth long odds of 8/1.

Braintree’s last home fixture against Wrexham was postponed for a waterlogged pitch, but there are not expected to be any concerns ahead of this highly anticipated bout in Essex.

A raucous, intimate crowd is sure to welcome third tier Tranmere to the Amlin Stadium as the hosts try to eradicate the 42-position difference between the two teams in the football league.

Ronnie Moore’s visitors will be without 10-goal top-scorer Jake Cassidy due to loan restrictions, and it is thought the Wolves striker will return to Molineux in January.

With Cassidy missing and seven-goal forward Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro also injured, Moore will be desperate to hear if playmaker Andy Robinson is passed fit.

If he does play, then the former Leeds United winger could be set to add to his seven goals this season with the first strike at 6/1, or he is priced at 7/4 to score at anytime.

If you want to back a home scorer, then prolific Dan Holman is at 8/1 to open the scoring for the hosts, with anytime odds for a goal at 5/2.

And for those who fancy a true fairytale cup tie, a price of 14/1 for Braintree to come from behind and win might prove appealing.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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