The 2018/19 FA Cup season may only just have got underway, but we thought we’d take a look at some of this century’s major FA Cup statistics to see if we can highlight some value in the FA Cup market.
We’ve checked out how the big-five have performed, as well as the north/south bias. We’ve also checked out how hard it is to complete the Premier League and FA Cup Double and how hard it is to win the FA Cup back-to-back. You may even want to consider relegation candidates if you’re thinking of backing an outsider.
Stat 1: The Big 5
In regard to Premier League Title challengers, Tottenham may have recently joined Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea to make it a big-six rather than a big-five. However, when it comes to the FA Cup, it’s still the big-five that have dominated the FA Cup so far this century. Indeed, the big-five have won 17 of the 19 FA Cup Finals contested this century, meaning they’ve won over 89% of the finals in that time.
Stat 2: The North South Divide
Northern teams may have won 11 of the last 19 Premier League titles compared to just seven titles for the South (and one for Leicester), but it’s southern teams that have dominated the FA Cup with 13 wins in the last 19 finals, compared to just six for northern teams.
This may have something to do with the final being played in London at Wembley. The FA Cup Final has been played at Wembley 13 times this century, with southern teams winning nine renewals to four for the north. The other six finals were played at the Milennium Stadium in Cardiff, where both sides of the divide won three finals each at that more centrally-located and neutral venue.
Stat 3: It’s Tough to do the Double
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the team who wins the league would often be good enough to complete the FA Cup double in the same season. However, this hasn’t happened anywhere near as often as you might think.
Indeed, the FA Cup and Premier League Title double, under its current or previous names, has only been completed eleven times. Admittedly, there was a six-year period between 1994 and 1999 in which it happened four-times, but the double has only been done twice this century.
Stat 4: Back to Back Winners
Whilst the Premier League/FA Cup Double has been completed just twice this century, the FA Cup has been won in back-to-back seasons three-times. These doubles were completed in 2002 and 2003, 2009 and 2010, and 2014 and 2015.
Stat 5: Think Relegation for Outsiders
Whilst most FA Cups are won by one of the form horses of the Premier League, occasionally the formbook is thrown out of the window by one of the minnows. That was certainly the case for Wigan in 2013 who, despite beating Manchester City in the final, were relegated to the Championship.
The only other minnow to win the FA Cup this century was Portsmouth in 2010 and, whilst they weren’t relegated in the same season, they were relegated two-years later, despite again making the FA Cup Final, which they lost to Chelsea. However, they were docked nine-points by the FA that season, which probably sealed their fate.
Stat 6: A Non-Premier League Winner is a Pipedream
The FA Cup has always been the cup of dreams, a football tournament in which FA Cup giant-killings are the stuff of legend. Unfortunately, whilst lots of the smaller English League football clubs have beaten top-flight opposition over the years, you have to go back to 1980 to find the last non-top-flight club to win the FA Cup, when West Ham turned over London rivals Arsenal.
Four non-top-flight teams have made it to the final since, QPR (1982), Sunderland (1992), Millwall (2004) and Cardiff (2008), but all were beaten. The gulf in class between the top of the Premier League and the rest is arguably widening all the time, so a big-priced FA Cup winner from outside the top-flight is extremely unlikely.
2018/19 FA Cup Betting
Manchester City 4/1, Chelsea 7/1, Liverpool 6/1, Manchester United 8/1, Tottenham 8/1, Arsenal 10/1, Everton 20/1, Leicester 25/1, West Ham United 33/1, Wolves 33/1, Watford 66/1, Bournemouth 66/1, Crystal Palace 66/1, Southampton 66/1, Newcastle 66/1, Brighton 66/1, Burnley 70/1, Fulham 100/1, Huddersfield 100/1
Who’ll Win the 2018/19 FA Cup?
The general consensus in English football is that Manchester City have been the best team consistently over the last few years, and three Premier League titles backs that up. However, as they’ve failed to win the FA Cup in that period, and won it just once this century, the bookies may be leaning on the side of caution by making them favourites at around 4/1, odds that don’t reflect their lack of success in the FA Cup.
You could argue that City’s neighbours Manchester United are more fairly-priced at around 8/1, with two FA Cup titles in the last 15 years making them a 13/2 chance on that form. However, if you’re looking for real value, that appears to be in the generous odds the bookies are offering about Chelsea and Arsenal.
For starters, they’re part of the legendary big-five teams that have dominated. They’re also on the more successful south side of the north/side divide, whilst neither team are strongly-fancied to win the Premier League this season. However, both teams have actually won the FA Cup six-times this century, meaning they’ve won 12 of the last 19 FA Cups between them. So, as Chelsea are 7/1 and Arsenal are 10/1, there has to be a massive case for backing both teams at significantly bigger combined odds than their win percentage means they should be.
However, as I don’t like backing two teams, I’m going all in on Chelsea due to a strange pattern of back-to-back winners. Arsenal did it in 02/03, Chelsea 09/10, Arsenal 14/15 – so it could be Chelsea’s turn again.
2019 FA Cup Winner: Chelsea @ 8.00 Bet365, Ladbrokes, Betvictor, PaddyPower, Unibet
Odds Correct at Time of Publication
Who are you Backing for the FA Cup?
Vote in our poll below to let us know who you’ll be putting your money behind for the 2019 FA Cup and don’t forget to let us know why by leaving a comment.