Bournemouth’s priority in 2016 will be Premier League survival but they wouldn’t mind a decent FA Cup run to help their cause and can reach the next round at the expense of Portsmouth.
Eddie Howe takes his side along the South Coast to Fratton Park having already beaten Chelsea and Manchester United in the English top flight this term and four valuable points in their last two outings against fellow strugglers have boosted their chances of beating the drop.
A resounding 3-0 victory over Norwich was followed by sharing the spoils at the Stadium of Light versus Sunderland and prior to that on their travels Bournemouth were also leaving the Premier League’s current leaders, Leicester City, having added to their points haul.
Somewhat surprisingly the Cherries have been almost as effective on their travels this term as on home soil and defeat at Arsenal is their only reversal in five matches. Howe also saw his troops win at Birmingham in the previous round of this competition and there should be nothing to fear from the short hop to Pompey this Saturday.
The upcoming hosts are going well in League Two but fifth place in the third tier is nothing much to shout about given recent former glories and Portsmouth find it hard to break teams down in front of their own fans.
In fact it is just five wins in 14 matches when hosting all season and they haven’t faced a side of the calibre of Bournemouth for quite some time now.
The 2008 FA Cup winners have beaten Macclesfield Town, Accrington Stanley and Ipswich Town to reach this stage but why their opponents are available at odds against I am not too sure and Bournemouth are well worth backing at 13/10 to get the job done first time round.
Howe has plenty of talent to call upon from a squad that has been supplemented this January by some big-money signings and Bournemouth appear the best bet of the weekend.
2.5pts Back Bournemouth (vs. Portsmouth) @ 13/10 (William Hill)