The FA Cup is a very important historical competition, one that is highly anticipated in England, especially for sides in the lower divisions.
Players in the lower leagues dream of scoring against the big clubs, helping their teams to the most unlikely of upsets. A few underdogs usually make it to the latter stages of the FA Cup but, for the most part, we usually know what teams will be vying for glory come season’s end. Let’s roll through the favourites, advising you what team to put your money behind and why.
Although the first round proper does not start until November 5, hundreds of football clubs around are already participating in the competition. Most clubs will fall short of their dreams but a few are in with a great shot of hoisting the FA Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur: 12/1 (William Hill) To Win F.A. Cup
Prediction: FA Cup Winners
Spurs will take full advantage of their depth and versatility by flexing their muscles in this year’s edition of the FA Cup. While it’s not being prioritised by many clubs anymore, Spurs have quality in abundance and will be able to make it to the latter stages of this tournament without playing many of their first-team players.
Look for Spurs to start playing their big guns from the quarterfinal onwards. The FA Cup is the best chance for Spurs’ glory this season and we’re backing them to bring the trophy back to the good side of North London for the first time since 1960-61.
Liverpool: 9/1 To Win FA Cup
Prediction: FA Cup Semi-Finalists
Liverpool should excel in the FA Cup, especially as manager Jurgen Klopp is incredibly astute and successful when it comes to knockout competitions. You should expect big things from Klopp’s men in the FA cup this season and feel confident about backing the Reds to make the semi-finals. Klopp takes these competitions very seriously and we don’t expect him to rest as many starters as the other big clubs.
Liverpool are joint-third favourites to win this season’s FA Cup and for good reason. They don’t have European football to distract them and have the skill and depth to make a deep run. Liverpool have an illustrious FA Cup history, one that is bound to grow even more impressive by the end of the current campaign. Liverpool, if Tottenham falters, is our favourite to win it all. We just can’t see them being derailed with the focus and determination their inspiring manager evokes.
Manchester United: 13/2
United could definitely win the FA Cup but we don’t think they’ll be able win in back-to-back years. The current holders can be found at around 13/2 to retain the coveted trophy, although these odds will fluctuate wildly depending on who United are drawn against. Mourinho is focused on bringing the Premier League title back to Old Trafford and has never prioritised the FA Cup. We don’t think this season will be any different. If things don’t go according to plan in the Premier League, look for United to pose more of a threat in the F.A. Cup. Until then, United will play it’s fringe players in The F.A. Cup, most of whom don’t have the experience or guile to carry the side in the rough-and-tumble this competition embodies.
Manchester City: 6/1 To Win FA Cup
Man City are pegged favourites for the FA Cup (6/1), but we can’t see them taking it as seriously as some other teams, especially as they have the Champions League to worry about. Both the Champions League and Premier League will take precedence, the only reasons we aren’t predicting City as eventual 2016-17 F.A. Cup winners.
Chelsea: 7/1 To Win FA Cup
Prediction: FA Cup Finalists
Chelsea, like Liverpool, don’t have the distraction of European football this season, and while they are likely to focus more on challenging for the Premier League title, Antonio Conte would love to win some silverware in his first season, and what better than getting his hands on the FA Cup?
Chelsea last won the FA Cup in 2011-12, their seventh time lifting the coveted trophy. Unless they are drawn together in an earlier round, we would not be surprised to see a Tottenham vs Chelsea final.
Arsenal: 8/1 To Win FA Cup
Arsenal have the best chance of winning silverware this season in the FA Cup but won’t take it seriously from the off, which will lead to their demise. They have the depth and skill to breeze past the early stages, even with fringe players taking centre stage. Unfortunately, Wenger will have his priorities solely focused on the Champions League as this could be his last season in charge of the North Londoners. As the competition progresses to the business end, we fully expect Arsenal’s fringe players to bow out to a more experienced, physically superior side.