FA Cup Betting Tips
Why is the FA Cup so special?
The Football Association Challenge Cup, more commonly known as the FA Cup, is the oldest annual knockout competition in the world of football. The tournament was first held in the 1871/72 season, as has been held every year since (with the exception of WWI and WWII disruptions). The first ever FA Cup Final was held at the Kensington Oval cricket ground in London, where Wanderers FC (dissolved in 1887) claimed the first of their six FA Cup victories. The League and Cup double has long since been a major target for English teams, a feat which was first accomplished by Preston North End in 1888.
Since 1923 the FA Cup final has been held at Wembley Stadium in London, with the exception of a six year spell at the Millenium Stadium during renovations. Arsenal hold the record for the most FA Cup titles won by a club (13), closely followed by Manchester United (12), while current non-league side Kettering Town have scored more goals in the competition than any other side.
In addition to being the oldest club competition in football, the FA Cup is open to teams from the Premier League all the way down to Level 10 of the English Football League (EFL). The record entry was 763 clubs during the 2011/12 season, while the most rounds that a team would have to play before winning the trophy would be 14. 736 teams were involved in last season’s edition of the competition, a figure which is unlikely to change too drastically for the 139th edition of the tournament. Each of these sides will hope to become ‘giant-killers’ and beat one of the top-teams in English football - the possibility of surprise upsets is the hallmark of the FA Cup. In the past some of the biggest shocks that have occured include Hereford’s victory over Newcastle United, or the defeat of AFC Wimbledon to Burnley - so be sure to make the most of your bets on the competition with the Bwin Welcome Bonus and the Betfair Welcome Offer.
FA Cup Format
The competition begins on August 10th with the Extra Preliminary Round, and the qualifying rounds continue through to October, where they end with the Fourth Qualifying Round. Non-League teams will contest the first phases of qualifying, until the National League sides (highest level of non-League football) enter the competition at the Fourth Qualifying Round to determine the sides that will make it to the First Round Proper.
It is during the First Round Proper, which is set to begin on November 9th, that the League One and League Two sides enter the competition. After two rounds of play only 20 teams will remain, to be joined by the Premier League and Championship clubs in the Third Round Proper (be sure to also check out our Premier League score predictions). The FA Cup Third Round draw is one of the most anticipated events of the season, particularly if a non-League team has reached this stage.
This Third Round is always played during the first weekend of the New Year (beginning on January 4th 2020), after which two more rounds are played until eight teams are left in the final phases of the competition in March. Due to worries over fixture congestion, there will be no replays once the fifth round (last sixteen) has been reached. Games will go to extra time if level after 90 minutes followed by a penalty shoot-out if the scores are still level.
The Quarter Finals will be held on the weekend of March 21st, the Semi Finals on April 18th and the Final at Wembley will take place on May 23rd 2020. The winner of the cup will qualify for next season’s Europa League (unless the team secures a European qualifying spot in the Premier League), and will go on to play the Premier League Champions in the Community Shield at Wembley, which is usually held in August before the start of the next football season.
2019/2020 FA Cup predictions
Over the past twenty years, the competition has been dominated by the top teams in the English Premier League despite their habit of fielding weakened teams. Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United are all recent winners of the competition, and only two major shocks have been seen over the last 10 years. Then Premier League side Portsmouth were unexpected winners in 2003, while Wigan Athletic beat Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final - only to be relegated from the Premier League just days later. Each year you can find exciting betting odds on the winner of this prestigious English Football competition at online betting sites. To help you, the last five winners of the competition were:
- 2019 - Manchester City
- 2018 - Chelsea
- 2017 - Arsenal
- 2016 - Manchester United
- 2015 - Arsenal
Historically, shock upsets were a lot more common in the FA Cup, with the likes of then Division Two clubs Sunderland and Southampton winning the competition in 1973 and 1976 respectively. Nowadays, such surprises have become much less common, and for this reason the tournament is largely falling out of favour with the English public. Still, the draw can be decisive in this competition - top teams can be drawn against each other and shocks can happen. It’s not often the final is contested by two teams outside of the top six, but stranger things have happened in the FA Cup.
Manchester City added the FA Cup to their collection of trophies in 2019, having completed the domestic treble for the season. They beat Watford 6-0 in the Final at Wembley in May, the sixth time that they won this prestigious English football competition.
FA Cup Quarter Final Draw
- Leicester City v Chelsea
- Newcastle United v Manchester City
- Sheffield United v Arsenal
- Norwich City v Manchester United
Ties to be played on June 28 and 29.
The FA Cup is at the quarter final stage but due to the coronavirus emergency, the games due to take place in March will now be played on June 28 and 29. The semi-finals will be held on July 11 and 12 with the final taking place at Wembley on August 1.
The last eight is comprised of all Premier League sides after the five remaining clubs from outside the top flight were knocked out in the fifth round. Premier League leaders Liverpool's hopes of a double ended when they lost 2-0 at Chelsea. The surprise of the fifth round was caused by Norwich City. They are bottom of the Premier League but went to Tottenham and knocked the London side out, winning the tie on penalties. Wayne Rooney took on his old club Manchester United, but Derby were beaten 3-0 at home by the Premier League side. The only side in the last sixteen from outside the top two English divisions were Portsmouth. They hosted Arsenal but lost 2-0.
Fifth Round Results in full
Sheffield Wednesday 0 Manchester City 1
Reading 1 Sheffield United 2
Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0
West Bromwich Albion 2 Newcastle United 3
Leicester City 1 Birmingham City 0
Derby County 0 Mancheste United 3
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Norwich City 1 - City won 3-2 on penalties.
Portsmouth 0 Arsenal 2.
Latest Odds to win the FA Cup
- Manchester City - 8/11
- Chelsea - 8/1
- Manchester United - 8/1
- Arsenal - 9/1
- Leicester City - 15/2
- Sheffield United - 20/1
- Norwich City- 33/1
- Newcastle United - 40/1