Five Talking Points
1. Bantams fighting for promotion
The last time Bradford went on a glorious cup run - reaching the League Cup final two years ago - it inspired them in their push for promotion and they eventually went up to League One through the play-offs. Reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals thanks to victories over Chelsea and Sunderland should fill them with confidence and give them a big lift in the fight for a top six place, although the top four are some way clear of the rest. Also in their favour, should they reach the top six, is the fact that they have beaten MK Dons twice, won at Preston and drawn at Bristol City. The 14/1 on offer with Bet365 for them to be promoted is likely to go shorter.
2. Baggies mean business
Tony Pulis led Stoke City to the FA Cup final four years ago and ran Manchester City close in a final of few chances. What was clear from Saturday's fifth round tie against West Ham was that Pulis means business in this competition again with West Brom, who swept aside Sam Allardyce's men. A kind draw on Monday evening would give the Baggies a great chance of reaching Wembley again and if two of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are drawn together it would open things up nicely. Paddy Power quote West Brom at 11/1 for the cup.
3. Australia still the pick
Prior to the Cricket World Cup, Australia were our 2/1 tip to win the event for the fifth time in eight attempts, and one thumping win over England later the co-hosts are now no bigger than 13/8 with Bet365 to lift the trophy. The Aussies have been in superb form over the last six months and along with looking full of runs they have some dangerous bowlers and will take some stopping in this tournament. They're arguably still a bet at the shorter price.
4. Johnson shines at Pebble
Dustin Johnson is back in action following his self-imposed exile from golf and if his performance at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am is anything to go by he is in for a good season. Four sub-70 rounds gave him a fourth place finish and Johnson, who finished fifth, fourth and eighth in the Fed Ex Cup standings when he was at his best between 2010 and 2012, looks refreshed and ready to impress. Bet365 and Paddy Power have cut him to 25/1 to win the PGA Tour Money List, but Sky Bet are still offering 50s and paying four places.
5. England have the edge
It would be wrong to describe the 6 Nations clash between Ireland and England on March 1st as a title decider, given that Ireland face away matches in Wales and Scotland after that, but after both sides made it two wins from two at the weekend it's inevitable it will be billed as a winner-takes-all tie. England beat the Irish 13-10 at Twickenham last year and 12-6 in the last meeting in Dublin in 2013 and have the edge in the outright betting at 10/11 for the title. The first three firms to price up this match all go 10/11 either side and it will be interesting to see how that changes over the coming days. Our hunch is that Ireland will shorten slightly.
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