The Premier League takes a break this weekend as football focuses on the 3rd round of the FA Cup, and it’s time to make some predictions on who might lift the trophy in May, and also which of the Premier League clubs may fall at their first hurdle.
Only eight different clubs have lifted the FA Cup trophy since the Premiership began 22 seasons ago, and those 22 renewals have been dominated by Arsenal (6 wins), Chelsea (6 wins) and Manchester United (4 wins), with Liverpool lifting the trophy twice and one win each for Manchester City, Everton, Wigan and Portsmouth.
The last decade, however, has been dominated by Chelsea (4 wins) with Arsenal (2 wins) the only other multiple winner, whilst the runner-ups have varied greatly with Manchester United (twice), Manchester City, Portsmouth, West Ham, Hull, Liverpool, Everton, Stoke and Cardiff; showing that plenty of the poorer teams in the Premier League get their moment in the spotlight.
With the big-5 of Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool and Man City having won 19 of the last 22 renewals, it seems wise to have at least one of them in our outright betting. Chelsea (11/2) and Arsenal (9/1) have won 60% of the last 10 renewals and combined odds of around 3/1 are very tempting. However, Man United are preferred for a variety of reasons.
Man United are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier league games, despite having an injury hit squad, and they’re a new-look team who look sure to continue to progress throughout the season. Manager Louis Van Gaal is also no stranger to cup victory having claimed the Champions league and Uefa Cup to name but two, whilst they have no other domestic or European cup competitions to distract them.
The second team to go in the portfolio has to be Southampton who, if they can keep their major players fit, look just the right sort of team to reach Wembley. They’ll probably need to avoid the big-5 in the draw, though you wouldn’t put it past them to do a bit of giant killing on the way having got back on track with three successive Premier League wins.
Everyone loves an underdog and Burnley are busy fighting for survival in the Premier League. However, they’re unbeaten in their last five games. They could fall at the first hurdle against Spurs but 125/1 will look big if they don’t.
2 points Manchester United @ 6/1
1 point each-way Southampton @ 20/1
0.5 points each-way Burnley @ 125/1
3rd Round Matches
Arsenal vs Hull, Sunday
Last year’s finalists are ironically drawn against each other at the first stage this time around, and Hull will be looking for revenge after losing the final in extra-time. It was 2-2 at Wembley at full-time, which was also the final score at Highbury in October. Hull will also be buoyed by two successive Premier League victories, whilst Arsenal next year’s Champions League aspirations took a knock with defeat at Southampton on Thursday.
The draw looks good value at 9/2 whilst it’s 20/1 for it to be 2-2 again.
Draw @ 9/2
2-2 draw @ 20/1
Burnley vs Spurs, Monday
Four straight premier League victories for Spurs has lifted them up to 5th place in the table, but Burnley are on a good run themselves and are now unbeaten in five games. Spurs won 2-1 at home in their only recent clash, but Burnley may be value to at least claim a replay.
Lay Spurs at 1.85 Betfair
Everton vs West Ham
Four straight defeats for Everton sees them languishing 11 points behind West Ham in the Premier League, whilst West Ham have won two, lost two and drawn two of their last six matches. However, those two defeats came against Arsenal and Chelsea and it’s hard to say that West Ham aren’t playing slightly the better football, though Everton have won the last five matches between the clubs. A tough one to call and the draw just looks over-priced at 11/4.
Draw @ 11/4