Market suggests end of FA Cup road for city duo

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THE Sheffield clubs now have another thing in common. They equally hate Charlton. The Addicks have beaten both Wednesday and United in consecutive weeks.

United travelled down south on Saturday, only to return home with no points and no goals. Jonnie Jackson scored with a superb free kick mid-way through the first half to strengthen their title credentials.

The effort was almost identical to the winner in the previous week against Wednesday.

The drama didn’t end there as both teams were reduced to 10 men after James Beattie’s challenge and the ensuing bust up.

Charlton are now seven points clear of both Sheffield teams AND have a game in hand. It will take some effort to claw them back now.

Wednesday had a disappointment, too, being held 2-2 at home by Hartlepool when again failing to end their old habit of conceding late goals.

Things were much better in midweek for Wednesday who secured a comfortable win at Scunthorpe. A brace from Chris O’Grady and a solo goal from Johnson early in the second half set Gary Megson’s men up for their 16th win of the season. Scunthorpe managed a consolation but that’s all it was.

The transfer window has been quieter than most seasons, however I cannot say that I am surprised.

Clubs always seems to wait until the last possible moment, for no real reason in my opinion, and everything kicks off very late in the day.

Danny Wilson came out recently saying that he doesn’t want to lose any of his players this month. Whether this happens is yet to be seen.

The Sheffield teams are back on FA Cup duty on Saturday, looking to successfully navigate the fourth round.

United have a difficult tie against last year’s Carling Cup winners, Birmingham. City are sixth in the Championship and haven’t lost for eight games. It certainly won’t be a walk in the park for Danny’s men but they do have home advantage.

In spite of this, I think that Birmingham’s class will tell and have them as very slight favourites at 6/4. United are 13/8, with a the game going to a replay at 9/4. A decent little bet for your United loyalists is a squeaky 1-0 win at 15/2.

Wednesday certainly won’t have an easy ride either as they head to the seaside to take on Ian Holloway’s, Blackpool, who are seventh in the league, one point off City having played a game more. Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks says he fancies his team to be promoted automatically and enjoy a long cup run.

Megson will be plotting to put a stop to that. But the home side are fancied to win and are odds on (4/5) to win, with the visitors at 7/2. Could a shock be on the cards?

The biggest game of the round involves the reigning Premier League champions Manchester United again. After defeating local rivals City in round three, they travel to arch nemesis, Liverpool, for the lunchtime kickoff. The odds in this game are close with Kenny’s team at 6/4 and the Red Devils at 13/8. I personally cannot see United not going through, even if it takes two attempts.

The draw at 9/4 isn’t a bad bet but I’ll be putting my money on 2-0 to the champions at 11s.

All these odds and many more are available at my new website, www.betvictor.com