<
>

Are the bookies right to have Chelsea as favourites vs. Liverpool in FA Cup clash?

play
Nicol: Liverpool have been sliding since the winter break (1:08)

Steve Nicol believes Jurgen Klopp needs to make changes after Liverpool's shocking 3-0 loss to Watford. (1:08)

We took down a 6/1 winner at the weekend as Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored first for Everton against Manchester United. There's FA Cup fifth-round action this week and a huge game at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Liverpool.

Running total: -£82.92

The Banker

England's premier cup competition returns this week and there are a couple of intriguing fifth-round ties. None more so than Chelsea vs. Liverpool.

Liverpool's invincible season is over after Saturday's stunning 3-0 reverse at Watford. Jurgen Klopp's men lost a Premier League game, 423 days since they last did so, and in truth they were battered by the Hornets. However, that result could galvanise their FA Cup campaign. Until this stage in the competition they've fielded virtual B teams, but with the Premier League title all but assured, Klopp's men can kick on and try and match Manchester United's Treble-winning effort of 1999. They surely won't get a better chance.

Chelsea are rocking and seemingly unable to keep a clean sheet. They've shipped five goals in their last two matches and you have to go back to Jan. 11 and a 2-0 win over Burnley for the last time an opposing side failed to score against them. The Blues are missing some key men too. N'Golo Kante is likely to be out again for Frank Lampard, who is also set to be without Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic.

The feeling is that if Liverpool can stop Jorginho dictating the tempo in the middle of the park they can book a berth into the quarterfinals. The bookies don't seem to agree though, and have the Blues as 11/10 favourites. Yet even the bookies get it wrong every now and again and Liverpool look must bet material on Tuesday night at 2/1 with bet365.

Selection: £5 on Liverpool to win at 2/1 with bet365.

The Tasty Treble

Steve Bruce is the only manager to have taken Newcastle United to the fifth round of the FA Cup during the long and controversial ownership of Mike Ashley, yet the Magpies look up against it this week when they travel to West Brom. Newcastle have needed a replay in each round so far to see off League One opposition, so one wonders how they will fare against the Championship leaders?

In truth the Baggies have played weakened teams in both rounds themselves so far, but could make home advantage count here against a Toon side who just don't score many goals. Slaven Bilic's men are 31/20 to win and that looks worth a go under the circumstances.

Elsewhere Tottenham (1/2) should be trusted to beat Norwich. Admittedly Tottenham's recent form has been horrible but Jose Mourinho will know the best way to silence the critics is by winning some meaningful silverware and this is a far bigger game for Spurs than it is for the Canaries, who gave themselves a Premier League lifeline by beating Leicester on Friday night. Add in 'Liverpool to qualify' at 6/5 for an FA Cup treble paying almost 15/2 with bet365.

Selection: £3 on the treble at 7.41/1 with bet365.

The First-Goal Flutter

Portsmouth have won eight home league games in a row so are not without hope for Monday evening's FA Cup clash with Arsenal. They are actually unbeaten at Fratton Park since September but the Gunners still start as piping hot 4/11 favourites on the south coast. Tellingly however their last home defeat was a 4-0 defeat to Southampton in the EFL Cup, which pretty much sums up the difference in class between themselves and the very best teams in the country.

Gabriel Martinelli could start for the Gunners and is having quite the season, having bagged 10 goals already. The Brazilian looks a real find and could be worth siding with at 15/4 to score first if he gets the nod from Mikel Arteta to start against Pompey.

Selection: £2 on Martinelli to score first at 15/4 with bet365.

18+ http://begambleaware/ Terms and conditions apply