Prediction and odds for the game: Swindon (20/1) vs Manchester City (1/12)
We are backing Cole Palmer to be an anytime goalscorer at odds of 13/10
When: Friday 7 January 2022, Kick-off 20:00
Where: The County Ground
On Friday night, League Two promotion chasers Swindon Town welcome reigning English champions Manchester City to the County Ground for a David vs Goliath FA Cup third-round fixture.
The Robins are currently in the League Two play-off spots but are just two shy of the automatic promotion berths in the fourth tier of the English game. Ben Garner’s team has not been in great form of late. However, a 5-2 home victory over Northampton Town ended a mini three-game winless streak for Town in all competitions.
The star of the show against Northampton was 24-year-old midfielder Harry McKirdy, who scored four times in the encounter. He could be one to watch for the League Two outfit.
Swindon have beaten Crewe and Walsall to book their place in the third round. Before this season, Town had failed to win in four FA Cup matches, not making it to the third round. In fact, the home team have not made it to the third round of this competition for a decade.
Pep Guardiola’s team have taken complete control of the Premier League, as the reigning Premier League champions are now ten points clear at the top of the English top-flight table. A 2-1 win over Arsenal last time out means that City have won 13 of their last 14 games in all competitions. The only blip in that run was a 2-1 Champions League defeat in a game that was a dead-rubber to them.
One of the key elements of the visitor’s game of late has been their attacking prowess, as the Citizens have scored at least two goals in four of their last five outings. In that five-game run, they have scored 17 goals.
Unsurprisingly, Manchester City have a stellar recent record in the FA Cup. The Citizens suffered a 1-0 defeat against Chelsea in last years semi-finals. The men from Manchester also lost in the FA Cup semi-finals in the previous season, suffering a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal. However, they have won 14 of their last 16 games in the famous old competition.
Manchester City heads into this clash with several fitness doubts. Phil Foden, John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kyle Walker were not fit enough to feature last time out. Winger Riyad Mahrez is with his national team at the African Cup of Nations. Youngster Cole Palmer should be given another chance to shine.
Swindon have a massive task on their hands to stop the reigning Premier League champions. However, this sort of game is what the FA Cup is all about. Unfortunately for the home team, we don’t think they will cause a shock.
The bets we are backing are both teams to score, as Swindon have been relatively prolific of late and City could be missing several defensive regulars. The other bet we are backing is for Cole Palmer to be an anytime goalscorer. The youngster has come close to opening his scoring account this season but has not yet made the breakthrough.
Our Tips: Both teams to score at odds of 6/4 and/or Cole Palmer to be an anytime goalscorer at odds of 13/10. (All odds are taken from Bet365)
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Can Swindon cause a massive shock or will Manchester City sail past their League Two opponents?