While the glamour and appeal of the FA Cup is not the same as we saw a couple of decades ago, the first round weekend and third round weekend stand tall as two of my favourite betting weekends of the year.
The competition still offers great betting appeal, and this weekend I’m hunting for a winning acca, with a 14/1 shot that combines five picks.
FA Cup First Round Acca
Here are my picks for the first round of the FA Cup this weekend.
Lincoln to beat Chippenham
The Imps should have far too much quality for their National League South counterparts here. I’ve been impressed with Lincoln recently, and what really makes them appeal here is that they have been going away from home and grinding out good results, against teams above them in the league.
Beating in their most recent away game at Port Vale, prior to that they went away to both Barnsley and Ipswich, and came away with 1-0 victories. That type of grind is what they’ll face here, it won’t be easy, but Lincoln have shown their ability to win away from home in tough circumstances already, so they are the first pick on the acca this Saturday.
Doncaster to beat Kings Lynn
Don’t be surprised to see a big change in fortunes for Doncaster over the coming weeks. After a bad spell, they’ve made a managerial change, with Danny Schofield coming in, and he’s already got those at the club, and fans, talking highly of him. A big 1-0 win over Gillingham last weekend stopped the rot, and now I expect them to really tun a corner.
Given their league struggles, the distraction of moving into cup football should also help Doncaster. Kings Lynn are flying in National League North, and could well be a National League team six months from now, but this is a massive step up, and one I expect them to fall short with, Doncaster for me here.
Plymouth to beat Grimsby
The Pilgrims are flying high in League One, they’ve won 13 of their 17 games so far, and I’d be inclined to back them to beat anyone in the division right now, probably home or away. The cup changes focus, but given they’ve been so good in the league, and had a settled side for a good part of that, the change of pace may actually suit, as those who do come in, if changes are made, will be desperate to show what they can do, to try and get in the side while things are going so well.
Grimsby started the season fairly well, they’re mid-table now, but haven’t been in the same form recently. Defeats to Barrow and lowly Hartlepool have come recently, and a game against League One highflyers Plymouth is not what they need right now. Plymouth are fancied to win this one.
Peterborough to beat Salford
While Salford are currently eighth in League Two, they’ve maybe shown their limitations recently, losing three of their last four, all of which came against sides fancied for promotion. They look solid, but appear to be lacking that extra bit of quality needed to really get involved in the promotion race.
A league above, Peterborough are aiming to bounce back into the Championship at the first time of asking, and come here on the back of three wins in a row, and four from their last five games. Free scorers, this rock solid front line, as good as anything else in League One, should have far too much for League Two Salford, who have hit a bump in the road recently.
Shrewsbury to beat York
We end with League One Shrewsbury, who are up against National League side York. In terms of results, Shrewsbury haven’t been at their best recently, but there is more to that than meets the eye. They’ve had a tough run, playing Portsmouth, Plymouth and Charlton, picking up just one point. Prior to that though, against lesser competition, they recorded wins over Fleetwood and MK Dons.
York were fancied to challenge for promotion at the start of the season, but come here winless from their last four, and they’ve won just two of their last nine games. This is a drop down in quality for Shrewsbury to face, they’ve done well when facing that in the past, and they round off Saturday’s FA Cup acca.