The FA Cup - Sunday Preview
FA Cup Sunday - FC Halifax v Charlton and Morecambe v Sheffield Wednesday
Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday are both flying high in League 1 but face tricky away trips in the first round proper of the FA Cup. The Londoners travel north to Yorkshire, to tackle Blue Square North outfit FC Halifax while Wednesday take on League 2 high flyers Morecambe at Christie Park.
Winners of the trophy in 1947, Charlton are long overdue a good cup run and if they can reproduce their outstanding league form the Addicks could go far in the competition. First of all, they must get past Halifax.
The Shaymen have a formidable home record and have only lost two of their last twenty home games in all competitions but their recent record in the FA Cup is less impressive. Halifax have only won one of their last 12 FA Cup games against higher ranked opposition (excluding qualifying rounds).
Charlton's recent cup record isn't much to shout about either, the Addicks were eliminated at this stage in 2009 by non-league Northwich and have only won five of their last twenty two away FA Cup ties.
As expected, the League 1 leaders have been installed as heavy favourites to progress. Charlton are priced at 4/9 to win in 90 minutes while the hosts can be backed at 7/1, the draw is 3/1.
The key man to watch is surely Charlton's Bradley Wright Phillips. The former Southampton and Manchester City forward is enjoying a terrific scoring run and already has 13 league goals to his name this season. BWP can be backed at 7/2 to open the scoring and an enhanced William Hill Match Winner price of 6/1 to score two or more.
Three times winners and three times runners-up Sheffield Wednesday travel to Morecambe's Christie Park for the first time in this intriguing looking first round fixture. The Owls lie third in League 1 while Morecambe occupy fifth position in League 2. Both teams are in excellent form and it wouldn't really be a shock if either team went on to win.
Gary Megson, twice a losing FA Cup semi-finalist in his playing days with Wednesday, has assembled an organized and methodical squad that shouldn't be outmuscled by Morecambe but could be troubled by pacy attackers.
Unbeaten in five matches and spurred on by a capacity crowd, can the Shrimps defeat their higher ranked opposition, William Hill has them priced at 11/5 to do so. Wednesday are the 11/10 favourites here while the draw can be backed at 13/5.