If there is one positive thing to be said about the failure of English teams to make an impression in the Champions League, it is surely that the FA Cup gains significance for the giants as other targets slip from view. Chelsea still have an interest in the Europa League, and Arsenal are technically currently in the big cup until Bayern put them out of their misery next week, but right now four of the top six Premier League sides are still involved in the oldest cup tournament, and intent on making it theirs.
Incredibly it is Chelsea that have won four of the last six FA Cups played, and as the dominant side since the competition returned to London for the final the 6/1 with VictorChandler on them to win the thing, or even the 17/12 with BetFair on them making the final should seem like a fairly safe bet, but the troubles at the Bridge have made betting on the Blues risky of late, and that isn’t the only problem. Both Manchester City and United are very keen to win the cup themselves, anc with stronger, more unified squads the London club would be underdogs in a match with either side.
All-Manchester final is 12/5 with VictorChandler, while United are 8/13 to make the final, and City 7/11, both with BetFair. At 15/8 Coral make Mancini’s side favourites overall to take the trophy as a likely consolation for losing the league to United, who are 9/4 at Bet365, and if the two could get through to Wembley without incident that would probably make for the best final, and a fitting end to the English domestic season. With Chelsea and 9/2 shot Everton still in the competition there could be a rocky route for the two, but they have to be considered front-runners.
At the other end of the scale we have the absolute minnows of Barnsley, 28/1 to reach the final and 200/1 outsiders to win the competition due to an away tie at City next, and the two sides in the lowest-profile semi, Millwall and Blackburn. One side will get to be 180 minutes from winning the competition, and both are 50/1 with VictorChandler as winners, which is only bettered by one bet, a Blackburn or Millwall v Barnsley final. If you like the odds on another final between two unfancied side you can get a fantastic 1000/1 with SkyBet on that being the final, and good luck if you do.
Image credit: Ben Sutherland