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Super Saints should knock inspired Ipswich out of FA Cup in replay

On their last two visits to Portman Road, Southampton have beaten Ipswich Town by three-goal margins. Coral thus make Ronald Koeman’s Saints, who are third in the Premier League, odds-on favourites at 5/6 to win their FA Cup third round replay in 90 minutes and 4/9 to qualify from the tie.

This contest at the home of Mick McCarthy’s Championship counterparts in Suffolk should be plain sailing for Southampton, as the Tractor Boys are 10/3 outsiders for victory in normal time and 7/4 to advance.

While Ipswich suffered a damaging defeat to promotion rivals Derby County in front of their own fans last time out, the Saints subsequently recorded their first away win at Old Trafford for 27 years. If Koeman’s charges can raise their game to humble Manchester United and fellow Dutch manager Louis van Gaal, then they should tackle the Tractor Boys with minimal difficulty.

Although McCarthy’s men boast an impressive record as hosts this term, with only the Rams and East Anglia derby rivals Norwich City winning on their turf, Southampton are a cut above the opposition they have welcomed in their league campaign. Cup competitions are a worthwhile target for Saints, especially at middling odds of 25/1 on them lifting this trophy at Wembley.

In the original tie, rejuvenated midfielder Darren Ambrose scored a screamer to put the Tractor Boys ahead, and is 7/2 to net again anytime here. Republic of Ireland forward Daryl Murphy, meanwhile, is the Championship’s leading marksman with 17, and four of those have come in his previous four home appearances. Odds of 15/8 in the same market say he’ll be on target once again.

Koeman fielded a strong XI at home in this fixture, so that is an indicator Southampton are taking the world’s oldest knockout football competition seriously. Serbia attacker Dusan Tadic has two in his last three outings, so he is 7/4 to net again anytime, or a 6/1 shot to score last, which he has on both occasions.

Midfield mastero Morgan Schneiderlin followed up his goal in the original tie, by running the show at Old Trafford, and is a 4/1 shot to be on target in this tasty replay. Saints look value to win to nil here at 21/10.