The chance to watch umpteen Champions League matches involving the best teams in Europe may have diluted the once fanatical fever that gripped England football fans on FA Cup Final Day – but it’s still worth a few bets and an afternoon in front of the TV with your mates.
Underdog backers will be pointing to Wigan’s unexpected triumph over Manchester City, but the truth is that one of the big club’s has picked the trophy up in 8 of the last 10 years; the other occasion they didn’t being when the 2008 final was contested between Portsmouth and Cardiff.
In true British spirit, most watchers who aren’t Gunners fans will be rooting for Hull, but Arsenal are a best-priced 2/7 to take home the trophy with Hull 16/5, whilst 90-minute betting sees Arsenal at 1/2, the draw 7/2 and Hull 7/1 – and it’s hard to make a compelling case why Arsenal won’t win.
The two fixtures between them this season have resulted in 3-0 and 2-0 victories for Arsenal, whilst the Gunners have won their last six games against the Tigers. Arsenal also won the trophy four-times between 1998 and 2005.
If you’re still inclined to back Hull you’ll be clinging to the hope that Steve Bruce’s men have nothing to lose in this winner-takes-all match whilst Arsenal, without a trophy since 2005, may falter under the pressure of securing Arsene Wenger a trophy which many, due to his ethos of playing the beautiful game a certain way, think would be duly deserved.
However, having nailed the red and white colours firmly to my betting mast, it’s time to consider the best value.
Arsenal to win to nil at 6/5 is really interesting as they haven’t conceded a goal to Hull this season and their winning scores of 2-0 (6/1) and 3-0 (10/1) again look a percentage play, with Hull sure to come looking for a goal assuming Arsenal score first.
Statisticians may disagree somewhat, with the last nine final all being decided by a single goal – but many have been battled out by more equally-matched teams
Aaron Ramsay (7/1) is back from injury, and it would be fitting if the young starlet he opened the scoring.
Arsenal to win to nil 6/5
Arsenal to win 2-0 6/1
Arsenal to win 3-0 10/1
Aaron Ramsay first goal-scorer 7/1
Horse Racing – Newbury – Lockinge Stakes
Newbury’s Group One mile-race for horses that are 4 and older has allowed us to witness the marvellous talents of Farh, Frankel, Canford Cliffs and Paco Boy in the last four years. The latter two were trained by the recently retired Richard Hannon senior, and his son Richard Hannon Junior is looking to keep up the family tradition by saddling both the hot-favourite Olympic Glory and Montiridge.
The former is likely to go off around the even-money mark, and it’s hard to argue with his obvious credentials. He may not have reached the frame on his last start in the Breeder’s Cup, or scored on any of his three trips to France (runner-up twice), but his record on home soil is a convincing 6 wins in 7 runs, with victory only eluding him as a 2-year-old at Royal Ascot when defeated ¾-length by subsequent 2,000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach. He’s also won the 2013 Greenham at Newbury.
Take the best available early price – as the big-hitters look sure to steam in before the off. For those looking for bigger odds, a Hannon one-two looks a real possibility.
Olympic Glory evens or better