FA Cup 3rd Round Saturday 5th January 2013
Tottenham vs. Coventry
In what was and still is the greatest day in the teams history and I am sure the manner of that win is what the managerial team at Coventry will be instilling in their side to motivate them at Spurs this Saturday.
Manager Mark Robbins has guided them to 11th in League One having taken over with them bottom but one in September. Since then they have lost just four of 22 games and are only five points from a play off spot in the third tier of English football. Robbins has a rather rich Cup history himself which he will also be talking about in a bid to motivate his squad as they take on one of the elite of English football. He is the man credited with keeping Alex Ferguson his job at Man Utd way back in 1990, when his winner against Nottingham Forest in this round all those years ago sent them on a cup run which won Sir Alex his first silverware at Old Trafford, and the rest is most certainly history!
Coventry come into this as 14/1 outsiders to cause an upset and are 500/1 to repeat the heroics of their 1987 Final victory with bet365. The team are also embracing the magic and romance of the Cup by donning replica kit from that May Final this Saturday in a bid to further get his team in the right mindset and to get the most from the 5000 travelling fans coming to White Hart Lane for this one.
Spurs are the third most successful team in the FA Cup with eight wins and are 10/1 to do so again with William Hill but their last triumph came in 1991 which was also their last final appearance, and they have lost semi-finals in two of the last three years. However, they have only gone out to fellow Premier League opposition in the last six seasons and Port Vale in 1988 were the last third tier side to knock them out.
Coventry are doing very well on their travels of late and this could be the stat that swings it for me as they have won six on the bounce scoring 19 goals in that time, a fantastic record in any tier of the league and one that will surely give them the confidence to play their own game in what is, after all, a no-lose situation for the 'minnows' as they are expected to get nothing from this game.
They have just lost top goalscorer David McGoldrick though, who has bagged 17 in 25 games for them, as he has been loaned out to Ipswich for the rest of the season by parent club Nottingham Forest. Why Coventry did not sign him is beyond me but I guess he just wanted higher tier football but what a loss with those stats, though the whole team has been playing very well to achieve the run it has and they are getting goals from elsewhere too! One blot on the copy book was their New Years Day defeat at home to Shrewsbury but I think it is safe to say the whole team, City and everyone involved were already thinking about Saturday and the FA Cup. Before that Coventry were unbeaten in ten in all competitions, again, wonderful form to take into this match.
Jermaine Defoe is a likely candidate for first goal scored at 3/1 with bet365 and Gareth Bale returns from his one game suspension to add another dimension to the attack and is 7/2 with William Hill to score the first goal, as is Clint Dempsey. Franck Moussa is 33/1 to get the first for Coventry, he has four already this term and all in big games and nine-goal Carl Baker is a very tempting 22/1 to get the first and 6/1 to score any time, both with bet365 and where my money is going as I back both those odds which are great value with his recent record.
A 3-2 repeat of the 1987 Cup Final is with William Hill at 100/1 and if you think Spurs will win by that score it is at 33/1 with the same house. A 1-0 defensive display win for the underdogs is my best pick at 33/1 but if Tottenham put the Sky Blues to the sword and if they really hit full stride then 3-1 at 10/1 and 4-0 at 17/2 are decent shouts if a rout ensues. I like to back the underdog in this competition and Coventry have as much momentum as Spurs form wise of late and will not be daunted at all if their Boss has anything to do with it, tenacious player that he was.
Spurs are 1/14 to get through eventually in this tie if a replay is needed, and their opponents are 8/1 to send them to Coventry and leave them speechless, both with bet365
FA Cup Football Tips: Away win for me at 16/1 and 1-0 correct score prediction at 33/1 with bet365