Sunderland and Blackpool need business-like FA Cup performances

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No matter who you are, home ties are essential in the FA Cup and Sunderland should have no bother cruising through to the fourth round.

Steve Bruce’s side face a Notts County team that have won five of their last six games and will provide a stiff test for the Mackems at the Stadium of Light.

But Sunderland have lost just twice at home this season and the Black Cats are a fancied 4/11 to progress to the fourth round.

Considering Notts County’s recent form, they offer a little bit of value at 7/1 and their finest moment in the FA Cup came against Sunderland when they beat them in the 1890/91 semi finals before losing to Blackburn.

However, since then Sunderland have gone five FA Cup matches against Notts County unbeaten, and the last two victories have both finished 2-0.

A 2-0 win for Sunderland this time is priced at 5/1 and looks the pick of the correct results.

Southampton vs Blackpool

Southampton marginally shade favouritism for their FA Cup tie with Blackpool and Nigel Adkins’ side can be backed at 11/8 to win.

This may seem strange considering Southampton are two tiers lower in the Football League, but the Saints have home advantage and this is a big plus in the FA Cup.

Blackpool have been performing admirably in the Premier League and are 9/5 to beat Southampton.

The four ties between the two in the Championship between the 2007/08 and 2008/09 seasons ended in a win apiece with two draws.

The draw is priced at 12/5 and Blackpool would be confident of progressing should the tie go to a replay.

Only one of the four championship ties produced over 2.5 goals and a 1-1 draw looks the best bet at 11/2.

A £10 stake on Sunderland and Blackpool winning would return £38.10. New customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.