FC United v Chesterfield: Saunders’ men impervious to upsets


The growth of FC United of Manchester has been gradual since its formation as a protest to the Glazer family takeover of Manchester United in 2005. But the club will be thrust into the limelight when it plays in the FA Cup on Monday night.

Although the non-league side did defeat Rochdale in this competition in 2010, their televised clash with Chesterfield in the first round this year will entice a far wider audience.

Playing in the National League North, two tiers below the Football League, FC United come into the clash with their League One opponents in middling form.

Sat in 17th of that league having been promoted last season, the Rebels have won just three times in their last 10 games in all competitions.

Dean Saunders’ Chesterfield are similarly patchy and have won four in 12, but have a heartening record when it comes to facing non-league opposition in the FA Cup.

The Spireites have qualified for the next round in each of their last five ties when faced with minnows and are rated at 1/2 by Ladbrokes to win in 90 minutes.

FC United are given a 5/1 chance of a famous win, with the draw at 16/5.

Both teams have scored in each of the hosts’ last three games, while Chesterfield have kept just one clean sheet on the road in their last six all-competition appearances. Both teams to score is priced at 8/11.

Over 2.5 goals, which has landed in five of Chesterfield’s last six league games and have of FC United’s in the same stretch, is a 4/6 chance, while Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is the 7/2 favourite to open the game’s scoring.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.