Salford City’s Christmas can come early against Hartlepool

The FA Cup is back this weekend for the Second Round and once more it’s Salford City who get the action underway tonight at Moor Lane.

The Manchester-based club – part owned by Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers – stole the headlines in the First Round by knocking out League Two side Notts County in a memorable 2-0 victory.

This time they host another League Two club in the shape of Hartlepool and there’s plenty to suggest the hosts – priced by Ladbrokes at 9/4 to win the match – could cause another famous upset.

Salford are currently third in the Northern League Premier (tier 7 in the English football pyramid) and have lost just one of their last 10 games at Moor Lane.

For Hartlepool to avoid being dumped out of the Cup by a non-league club for the second season running, they’ll need to produce a step up in away form.

The Monkey Hangers haven’t won on the road since September, and have been defeated in six of their last eight away games.

However, while they may be 20th in League Two, but the fact is Hartlepool sit 53 places above their hosts and are the 20/21 favourites to end Salford’s FA Cup dream.

Those who are foreseeing a replay and a Tuesday night December game in Hartlepool can back the draw at 13/5.

And the Scrooges among you may also want to ponder Ladbrokes’ price boost for the match of Hartlepool to win and both teams to score from 5/2 to 7/2, should you fancy the County Durham side to avoid the dreaded banana skin.

Both sides will be acutely aware of what’s at stake this evening; a lovely spot in the draw for round three. Manchester United at home anyone?

Salford have already been stars of the small screen with a BBC documentary on the club airing this autumn, and a win tonight would ensure they remain stars of the cup just a little bit longer.

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

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