FA Cup holders Arsenal accounted for Hull in the third round of the competition three weeks ago in a re-run of last year’s final and were subsequently handed a trip to Championship outfit Brighton at the next stage.
The Gunners are 15/2 with betway to retain the trophy – odds that make them fourth favourites.
Bookies are confident that Arsene Wenger’s men will move a step closer to another trip to Wembley this weekend, BetVictor installing them as 4/7 favourites to eliminate the Seagulls at the first attempt while the hosts are bet365’s 5/1 outsiders to cause an upset and Stan James offer 3/1 about the tie requiring a replay.
The pair met at this stage in the tournament two years ago and on that day Arsenal ran out 3-2 winners – a result that’s 25/1 courtesy of Stan James on this occasion.
But Chris Hughton’s team aren’t exactly prolific in attack on their own patch so it’s hard to envisage them netting twice against a Gunners rearguard that has managed three consecutive clean sheets.
Indeed, Wenger’s charges are decent value at 7/4 with bet365 to prevail ‘to nil’ at the Amex Stadium, where BetVictor price them at 15/2 to notch twice without reply and at the other end Olivier Giroud, who struck twice in the pair’s last clash, is 10/3 (Skybet) to break the deadlock in this renewal.
Premier League leaders Chelsea are Stan James’s 9/2 favourites to clinch the FA Cup and Paddy Power quote Jose Mourinho’s troops at just 1/8 to advance this weekend, at the expense of League One Bradford.
The Blues are 9/10 in Winner.com’s handicaps, when starting two goals adrift of the Bantams and it’s 3/1 at bet365 for Loic Remy to make the most of a probable start by opening the scoring.
Manchester City are also strongly fancied to get through, William Hill making them 1/4 to overcome Middlesbrough, although a better bet at Eastlands is betway’s evens for both teams to get on the scoresheet.
Manchester United can join neighbours City in the fifth round, Ladbrokes rating them at 1/5 to get the better of Cambridge United in tomorrow (Friday) night’s televised affair and they combine with Chelsea and City in a safe-looking treble at 4/6 with BetVictor.
Punters seeking potential upsets should look no further than Villa Park, where Stan James make Championship leaders Bournemouth a generous 2/1 to conquer struggling Aston Villa.
On Monday, the same firm go 9/2 about League One Rochdale stunning a Stoke side given an almighty scare by non-League Wrexham in the last round and it’s an eye catching 21/10 (bet365) for Blackburn to upset Swansea at Ewood Park. A treble on those three is one for the ambitious at 50/1 via Stan James.
Elsewhere, BetVictor chalk West Ham up at an enticing even money to get the better of Bristol City, Liverpool (1/3, Paddy Power) should ease past Bolton and Winner.com offer 3/5 about Tottenham triumphing in their all-Premier League scrap with Leicester.
Rugby Union’s European Champions Cup continues this weekend and bet365’s 2/1 tournament favourites Toulon are strongly fancied to pick up a victory as they head to Scarlets.
The French outfit are just 2/9 at Paddy Power to prevail in Llanelli and the defending champions are 9/10 in Ladbrokes’s handicaps, when starting 10 points in arrears.
BetVictor make Clermont Auvergne 7/2 to lift the trophy and it’s 3/10 at Skybet for them to demonstrate their strength as they take on Saracens. The hosts are penalised by seven in Winner.com’s handicaps at odds of 4/5.
Northampton are the other team considered a major contender for European glory at 5/1 (Stan James) and they’re 2/7 with Paddy Power to underline their credentials by overcoming Racing Metro.
BetVictor, meanwhile, make Saints 5/6 to triumph by nine or more points at Franklins Gardens.
Bet of the week: Bournemouth to beat Aston Villa – 2/1 (Stan James).
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com