United look set for safe passage into round five

Wayne Rooney has a fine goalscoring record in the FA Cup and can extend that later
BEN CLEMINSON PREVIEWS THE PICK OF THIS WEEKEND’S FA CUP ACTION

NEWS of Cambridge United fans camping out to buy tickets for their team’s plum tie against Manchester United shows the magic of the FA Cup is still alive and well – but their chances of witnessing a fairlytale tonight are remote.

The U’s can be backed at as big as 17/1, while it’s 6/1 they can force a replay in front of the BBC TV cameras. United are on offer at 1/5 for their visit to the Abbey Stadium.

Louis van Gaal’s team have been inconsistent, particularly flattering to deceive in the cup competitions, but they should have too much for the League Two side to handle on their big night out.

United have won 33, drawn six and lost only one of their previous 40 FA Cup contests against lower league opponents. Cambridge haven’t beaten a top flight side in the Cup for a generation – since eliminating Coventry City in the 1991-92 campaign, when the team’s star man was Dion Dublin.

Apart from being a staple of accumulators up and down the country, there is little appeal in the outright market.

Those in search of longer odds could do worse than back United to win and both teams to score, at 2/1 with Betway.

The 11-time FA Cup winners have kept just eight clean sheets in 24 games this season across all competitions.

One of those came against Yeovil in the previous round, but the Glovers had chances to register. And the 4-0 humiliation at the hands of MK Dons in the Capital One Cup has yet to be forgotten.

Furthermore, Richard Money’s troops have League Two’s best goals-per-game record (1.56) having hit the net 39 times in 25 matches.

They enter the contest with a perfect record in 2015. After seeing off Luton in round three, Cambridge have beaten Carlisle (1-0) and Newport (4-0).

Van Gaal ditched his preferred 3-5-2 formation in their previous game at Queens Park Rangers, but no matter their line-up the team still looks unbalanced.

While that means there is every chance that they might leak a goal, they boast an attacking unit superior to any other that their hosts have faced.

Even in a deeper role, Wayne Rooney is United’s joint-top scorer, alongside Robin van Persie, on eight goals.

With the captain also being the side’s penalty taker, it could be worth spread bettors buying his goal minutes at 33 with Sporting Index. Rooney has scored six times in his last half-dozen FA Cup appearances.

■ Pointers…
Man United to win and both teams to score at 2/1 with Betway
Buy Wayne Rooney goal minutes at 33 with Sporting Index