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FA Cup: Friday preview

The first round proper of the FA Cup begins on Friday evening with two matches taking place and it will be an emotional evening for Hereford following the passing of Ronnie Radford.

Radford scored one of the most iconic goals in FA Cup history during his three-year spell at Hereford United, as he lashed in a 35-yard shot to help the non-league outfit stun Newcastle United in the third round back in 1972.

It was a truly stunning moment and one that is always remembered fondly each year when the oldest national football competition in the world comes around. 

The Bulls will be hoping to honour Radford's memory by getting the better of Portsmouth in Friday's first-round clash at Edgar Street.

Pompey wary of Bulls on their own patch

WhatHereford v Portsmouth
WhereEdgar Street, Hereford
When19:55, Friday 4th November
How to watchBBC 2, BBC iPlayer & bet365's Sports Live Streaming
OddsHereford 6/1, Draw 11/2, Portsmouth 1/3

Hereford are in solid form heading into the FA Cup clash, having won their last two National League North matches and only suffered one defeat from their previous nine assignments across all competitions.

Josh Gowling's men are unbeaten in their last four games at Edgar Street - winning three and drawing one - while they have only lost once from their previous 10 home contests.

The Bulls will be no easy pushovers and Portsmouth, who ply their trade in League One, will be eager to avoid becoming the first shock of the FA Cup at this early stage of the competition.

Pompey, who lifted the trophy for the second time in 2008, are fifth in England's third tier ahead of Friday's meeting and are on a four-game unbeaten run across all competitions.

Danny Cowley's troops have been a bit hit-and-miss on their travels in recent weeks, with two victories and three defeats recorded from their last five away games, and there is the suggestion an FA Cup run is not their highest priority this season.

Tyrone Barnett bagged a brace in the 3-1 win over Curzon Ashton last time out and he leads Hereford's scoring charts with six in the National League North this term. He is 9/2 to score anytime against Portsmouth and 12/1 to open the scoring.

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Wednesday holding aces for Shrimps visit

WhatSheffield Wednesday v Morecambe
WhereHillsborough Stadium, Sheffield
When19:45, Friday 4th November
How to watchN/A
OddsSheff Wed 3/10, Draw 17/4, Morecambe 11/1

Sheffield Wednesday are three-time FA Cup winners but their last triumph came back in 1935 and they have not made it to the final since 1993 when they lost to Arsenal in a replay.

The Owls were a Premier League side back then but they now find themselves plying their trade in League One, having been relegated from the Championship in the 2020/21 campaign.

Darren Moore's side are aiming to return to England's second tier and they are enjoying a strong season to date, as they sit third in the standings and just three points off the automatic places.

Wednesday are unbeaten in their last six matches across all competitions and they haven't lost at Hillsborough in their previous five - winning four and drawing one.

Up next for the Steel City outfit is Friday's visit of Morecambe, who are in the relegation zone in League One and have won just one of their last nine assignments across all competitions.

These two have already faced each other this season and it ended up being a comfortable 3-0 victory for the Owls at Mazuma Stadium, with Josh Windass, George Byers and Michael Smith all scoring.

Smith has four goals from 12 League One outings this season and it is 4/1 for him to score anytime in a Wednesday victory, while it is 9/1 for him to net in a 3-0 win.

Morecambe have failed to win any of their last five away contests - losing three and drawing two - while they suffered a 2-0 defeat on their last trip to Hillsborough.

The Shrimps have conceded 27 times in the league - the sixth-worst defence in the division - and they may struggle to contain a home side that boast the third-best attack (33).

Over 2.5 goals is priced at 4/6 and this bet has landed in five of Wednesday's last seven home games.

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