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26.1. FA Cup Betting Preview: Rochdale - Stoke

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26.1. FA Cup Betting Preview: 

Rochdale - Stoke 

Saturday proved to be a phenomenal day in the long illustrious history of the FA Cup, as many lower-league sides unexpectedly knocked out high-flying Premier League teams.

This has definitely created an opening for all the Premier League sides that did manage to scrape through, with Stoke trying to emulate them tonight.

Mark Hughes' side have had plenty of time to prepare for this fixture and Saturday's results will have at least subconsciously served as a wake-up call to not underestimate lower-league opposition.

Stoke's form is good going into the game, with four victories and a draw against Manchester United in their last six fixtures, with the only defeat coming at the hands of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. With the Potters firmly established in mid-table, they can afford to put a 100% effort into winning the FA Cup. 

Rochdale's form is also looking good, with the Dale on a three-match winning streak. Despite this, we must not forget that they are still only a League One side. Manager Keith Hill's men face an important match in the weekend against their rivals for promotion, Coventry, so it'll be interesting to see if it will have an effect on their concentration tonight.

Stoke's defence has been unbreachable at times this season, and it would be a big surprise if a team of Rochdale's quality would be able to penetrate it, especially as Stoke manager Mark Hughes will in all likelihood name a strong starting eleven.

The difference in quality between the two sides is massive and we believe Stoke will have taken note of the weekend's result and be fully motivated for this crucial tie. 

Our Picks:

Stoke City 16/25 Unibet

Stoke City win, Rochdale 0 goals, 8/5  Unibet

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