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FA Cup fifth round betting preview

Will Chrimes brings you round-by-round betting previews of this season’s FA Cup with Blue Square.

16 teams remain in this year’s FA Cup and the competition has once again provided plenty of excitement en route to the fifth round. The Cup is famous for underdog headlines and over the weekend we shall see Stevenage take on the might of highflying Spurs and Crawley Town welcome Stoke to Broadfield Stadium.

Chelsea get the action underway at Stamford Bridge and the Blues can expect a difficult afternoon against a resurgent Birmingham City. Chris Hughton has done wonders at St Andrews to turn their season around and they are now right in the Championship promotion picture. The Blues have been superb at home all season but have not always been as consistent on the road. Even though Chelsea are going through a tough patch, the FA Cup represents their best opportunity of silverware and Andre Villas-Boas won’t take the game lightly.

Crawley Town have enjoyed a fantastic run to the fifth round and they’ll head into their contest with Stoke full of confidence. Steve Evans’ side have won all four of their Cup games without conceding a goal.

Stoke have lost their previous three domestic fixtures and were also in Europa league action against Valencia on Thursday evening. Two games within a short space of time and a run of poor results suggests that Crawley are capable of forcing a lucrative replay at the Britannia.

Like Crawley, Stevenage have cruised through to this stage to set up a mouthwatering tie with Tottenham. There’s no denying that Spurs are in fantastic form and the 5-0 win against Newcastle was one of the performances of the campaign.

Stevenage have yet to concede a goal in the competition, but they can expect a serious test when up against an attacking Spurs outfit. There’ll be a cracking atmosphere at Broadhall Way, but Spurs just look too strong at the minute – even if Harry Redknapp opts to tinker with his starting XI. Spurs edged past Watford in the last round and I fancy another win to nil here – while the 2-0 correct score also appeals.

Best bet at Blue Square:
Back Chelsea to beat Birmingham with -1 Asian handicap @ 5/6
Back Crawley and Stoke to draw @ 9/4
Back Tottenham to win to nil @ 4/5

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