The unpredictability of Wigan makes them prime candidates for a cup upset and a loss here, against non-league Macclesfield, would represent one serious giant-killing.
A monstrous 102 places separate the Latics in the Premier League from the Conference Premier –dwelling Silkmen which, if you had just touched down on planet Earth after spending your entire life in an ice cave on Pluto, dictates there can only be one winner here. But this is the FA Cup and backing against Macclesfield’s 5/1 price for victory could prove a hazardous folly.
After all, only two places separate Wigan from Championship pace-setters Cardiff who came a cropper at Moss Rose in the third round and with Wigan waist-deep in their annual battle to beat the drop, their attentions could well be employed elsewhere.
Roberto Martinez’s men have failed to advance beyond this round since the turn of the millennium (their perennial relegation worries no doubt part of the reason) and 4/7 is probably too short to back them here; the 11/4 for the draw is a different kettle of fish, however.
Macclesfield haven’t lost at home since mid-November, while Wigan tend to get beat more often than not. This contrast in form could help combat the gulf in quality between the pair and see the underdogs earn themselves a replay at the DW Stadium.
A bet involving both teams to find the net is surely on the cards ahead of this one and backing a score draw could prove fruitful at 7/2.
The draw with fewer than 2.5 goals scored at 12’s, however, is where the real appeal can be found ahead of this Lancashire derby.
The hosts bagged twice in the final five minutes to overcome Cardiff in the previous round and, for those of you hoping for some more late drama in this clash can back the first Macclesfield goal to be scored following the 80-minute mark at a princely 13/1, while for the home team to have the final say on this one a very reasonable 21/10 is on offer.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date