The FA Cup begins this weekend as clubs from Leagues One & Two jump in at the shallow end with a myriad of non-league minnows all hoping to make it to the third round and pull a footballing behemoth out of the hat.
In the spirit of things, we’ve slung a fourfold together. It pays out at 71/1, though this is largely due to the fact that Blue Square South side Chelmsford have been backed to beat local rivals Colchester, but what would an FA Cup accumulator be without an upset?
Chelmsford to beat Colchester @ 7/2
The Essex derby should swing the way of Joe Dunne’s U’s as they ply their trade a lofty three tiers higher than Chelmsford, as well as being on a four-game unbeaten run that includes three wins to nil, but this is the FA Cup so all of that goes out the window.
Chelmsford are in good form themselves coming into this crunch clash. They’re unbeaten in six all-comps included and sit second in their division, albeit a long way back from the leaders.
The hosts will take more encouragement from the fact that Colchester have fallen at the first hurdle in the two other cup competitions they’ve participated in, but the main reason for their selection is that such a big price cannot be ignored when the magic of the FA Cup is involved.
Chesterfield to beat Hartlepool @ 5/4
The Spireites overcoming a beleaguered Hartlepool side who are fast becoming the whipping boys of League One is the selection in which we have invested the most confidence of a result.
With no win in 13, Pools can ill-afford the distraction of a mini-cup run and this form eradicates the advantage playing at a level higher than their opponents brings about.
Chesterfield have failed to better their last four opponents at home yet, with the recently appointed Paul Cook at the helm, the onus will be on the players to make an impression and what better way to do it than by trampling their lowly adversaries in this one?
Notts County to beat Portsmouth @ 17/10
The Magpies are yet to lose in eight games away from Meadow Lane and have already got the upper hand over Portsmouth once this term.
Pompey’s mini-revival in League One has had the air let out of it a touch with two successive defeats and they could definitely use the cash a cup run would bring.
Unfortunately for them though, they’ve been drawn against a side whose form is so good on the road that the valuable commodity of home advantage will count for little here.
Stevenage to beat Rotherham @ 8/5
Steve Evans proved to be a bit of a FA Cup specialist during his time at Crawley, taking the then Blue Square Premier side through eight rounds of this competition to Old Trafford, where they succumbed to a respectable 1-0 defeat.
His record in this competition makes backing Stevenage a risk, but they have continued to impress in their second season in League One and, sitting just two points off the pace, are threatening another promotion push this time around.
With five wins from seven away from Broadhall Way they will not want to relinquish momentum at Rotherham and have the quality in reserve to see them off, despite their price suggesting otherwise.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date