11/2 penalty shootout to enhance Midlands FA Cup replay
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Birmingham City
FA Cup Third Round Replay
Wednesday 20:00 - live on ITV1
Match betting: Wolves: EVS Draw: 12/5 Birmingham: 11/4
Birmingham and Wolves cancelled each other out a week and a half ago in an underwhelming West Midlands derby in the FA Cup third round. A replay would have been the most undesirable result for both Mick McCarthy and Chris Hughton, what with Birmingham already facing fixture congestion following their Europa League campaign and Wolves involved in a Premier League relegation battle.
Both teams go into Wednesday night's fixture following positive weekend results. Birmingham put themselves just outside the promotion playoff spots in the Championship following a 6-0 win at Millwall, while Wolves showed they can still compete with the top sides in the Premier League with a 1-1 draw at third-place Tottenham.
ITV1 will hope that a potential fourth round meeting with League One outfit Sheffield United will inspire the midlands' clubs to produce a performance with more bite than their first encounter at St. Andrews. Both managers admitted that the first encounter fell short of its derby tag and somewhat let down spectators to the World's oldest domestic Cup competition.
For the William Hill Match Winner we have enhanced the price of either side to win on penalties from 9/2 to a bold price of 11/2! And when considering the defensive displays in the last tie, a 0-0 bore draw could be on the cards in this one.
One positive for Birmingham in the game at St. Andrews was the highly rated 17-year-old winger Nathan Redmond. He showed signs of a bright prospect and in the 6-0 away win against Millwall he scored a late injury time goal after only being introduced with 81 minutes of game gone. Expect him to start and go close at the 16/1 for first scorer and 6/1 anytime.
If you think Mick McCarthy's men will have too much for the in-form Birmingham side then reserve striker Ebanks-Blake could be worth a look. He is 5/1 to score the first and as short as 5/4 anytime.
Steven Fletcher is Wolves' top scorer in the league so far this season, getting his ninth strike against Tottenham at the weekend, however, like in the first game boss Mick McCarthy claimed he would probably rest the Scotland international as he looks to keep the former Hibernian striker fresh for the Premier League. If he does start the 9/2 for two or more goals would represent some value.
Considering their weekend results I expect both sides to go out with a nothing to lose attitude at Molineux and goals should be on the cards. Over 2.5 is at Evens, whilst the over 3.5, which is where I would stake my money, gives returns at the price of 11/4.