Evra a long-shot to silence Anfield crowd with goal in cup grudge match
This year's FA Cup Third Round will be remembered for Swindon Town, Thierry Henry and a dramatic Manchester derby. With the holders Manchester City out of the competition, all eyes will be on Anfield on Saturday, as City's conquerors Manchester United continue their quest for silverware at Liverpool.
Brave punters only need apply for this encounter. The fixture earlier in the season finished 1-1 and, unsurprisingly, William Hill are struggling to separate the sides with Liverpool slight favourites at 6/4. Steven Gerrard found the net in that match back in October and, according to the bookmakers, heÃ¢ÂÂs the man most likely to break the deadlock on Saturday at 6/1. Wayne RooneyÃ¢ÂÂs traditional frosty reception from the Kop wonÃ¢ÂÂt come as a surprise to the front-man, who is at 6/5 to silence them at any point in the match. His skipper Patrice Evra can expect an even rougher ride from the home support, and is priced at 40/1 to open the scoring.
Those not relishing the prospect of entering the Anfield lottery will look to the roundÃ¢ÂÂs potential giant-killings for value. BrightonÃ¢ÂÂs form at their new home is impressive, with seven wins, three draws and three defeats in the league at the Am-Ex Stadium. The Seagulls also saw off Sunderland in the Carling Cup earlier this season and with opponents Newcastle losing Cheick Tiote, Demba Ba and new signing Papiss Cisse to the Africa Cup of Nations, a 3/1 shock could trouble the bookies.
SunderlandÃ¢ÂÂs recent form under Martin OÃ¢ÂÂNeillÃ¢ÂÂs stewardship has been excellent, but they face a tricky home tie with neighbours Middlesbrough. BoroÃ¢ÂÂs wretched recent form might explain their long 4/1 odds to win at the Stadium of Light, but this is the FA Cup and OÃ¢ÂÂNeill is likely to rest several players.
Another rivalry that will be renewed on Saturday will take place at Loftus Road where Chelsea take on QPR. Despite the RÃ¢ÂÂs' win against Chelsea in October, Andre Villas-BoasÃ¢ÂÂ men are heavy favourites to take care of matters at 8/13. However, this one might be worth taking a closer look at, especially if youÃ¢ÂÂre looking to put together a profitable accumulator. QPR are generously priced at 9/2, and when you factor in their new manager, the fact that the FA Cup is ChelseaÃ¢ÂÂs lowest priority competition and Fernando TorresÃ¢ÂÂ recent form in DrogbaÃ¢ÂÂs absence, thereÃ¢ÂÂs definite cause for optimism among the QPR faithful.
Arsenal are another club who might not place the highest emphasis on the FA Cup, so expect Thierry Henry to shrug off his calf injury to give top-scorer Robin van Persie a rest. The Frenchman is placed at even money to score at any time, but those believing in the magic of the FA Cup might like the look of 4/1 for Henry to score the last goal of the match against Aston Villa. Alex McLeishÃ¢ÂÂs men are valued at 4/1 Ã¢ÂÂ possibly another option for optimistic accumulators as they look to end their 17-year trophy wait.
Elsewhere, itÃ¢ÂÂs a big ask for League Two Swindon to repeat their third-round heroics when they play Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, as reflected in their 6/1 odds. Another possible Premier League scalp could occur at Pride Park where Derby County take on last seasonÃ¢ÂÂs beaten finalists Stoke City. Stoke will be back in Europa League action against Valencia in a couple of weeks, and might take the opportunity to rest a few key players, giving Nigel CloughÃ¢ÂÂs men every chance of recording a 6/5 upset.