Will County be made to pay?
Man City v Notts County | 14:00 live on ITV 1
Notts County make the journey from the East Midlands to Eastlands to face Manchester City in a delayed FA Cup fourth round replay.
The Magpies almost saw off the Premier League big spenders in the original tie at Meadow Lane after a Neal Bishop goal had given them the lead. City's arsenal of attacking options was too much for County to cope with though and an Edin Dzeko strike late in the day denied the home side a famous win, and instead, earned them a lucrative replay in Manchester.
Many experts and fans alike will feel that County missed their massive opportunity to produce a cup giant-killing the moment Dzeko's finish hit the back of the net. Indeed the Magpies are little fancied to cause City any further problems, priced at 12/1 to win the game and 5/1 to earn an extra-time inducing draw.
Uninspired in the first game, City's form hasn't improved since really. A win against a tragically poor West Brom side is their only win in four and Wayne Rooney's superb scissor volley was the difference in the Manchester derby. Although they not playing badly, they are not producing the form or the football expected of a team with such wealthy backers and grand desires.
The Citizens are still expected to dispatch of County at a price of 2/9.
Notts County will have been boosted by a midweek victory over Colchester. Their 2-0 win was their first in the league since beating Hartlepool on January 3rd. Manager Paul Ince is expected to have Liam Chilvers available for selection after recovering from a knee injury but Lewis Gobern may have to make do with the bench.
Speaking of the County manager, he is sure to receive a hot reception from the City fans who will no doubt be unable to see past his former association with bitter rivals United. Ince though will rise above it and hope to inspire his team to a shock victory, just as they did when beating Premier League Sunderland at the Stadium of Light earlier in the cup campaign.
The first scorer betting will be dominated by the strikers and midfielders at Roberto Mancini's disposal. Carlos Tevez (7/4 first goal, 4/11 anytime) and Edin Dzeko (2/1 first, 2/5 anytime) started the Mancunian's last game away to Aris Salonika in the Europa League so the likes of Mario Balotelli (5/2 first, 4/7 anytime) and Jo (7/2 first, 10/11 anytime) could be given an opportunity upfront to rediscover their scoring form.
County's Neal Bishop is a massive 33/1 to open the scoring at Eastlands, where if a shock opening goal is to occur, it's much more likely to come from the boot of top scorer Lee Hughes. The veteran Hughes can be backed at 9/1 to break the deadlock and 10/3 to score at anytime.
William Hill's Match Winner promotion for the day is a double involving this match and Arsenal's tie away at Leyton Orient in the fifth round that kicks off at 16:30. If both teams win by two or more goals you can be a winner also, with an enhanced price of 7/4 the reason.
Although the Magpies showed great courage and effort in the game in Nottingham, they caught City on a bad day but didn't have the quality to see them off. I can see City winning this game with ease.
I would back City to win 3-0 in the correct score market at 6/1 and the home team again -2 goals at 11/8 in the match handicaps market.