FA Cup Betting Tips
All the information for successfully betting on the FA Cup.
The FA Cup 2018/19
The Football Association Challenge Cup is better known worldwide as the FA Cup. It is the oldest annual knockout competition in football and was first competed for in the 1871-72 season. It has been played for ever since aside from some disruptions during the First and Second World Wars. The first ever final was played at the Kennington Oval in London which is more famous for being a cricket ground. First to win the trophy were Wanderers who won six of the first nine FA Cups. For a long time, the league and Cup double was a major target for teams, first won by Preston North End in 1888.
Since 1923 the final has been played at Wembley Stadium apart from a six-year spell when it was played at the Millennium Stadium while building work was carried out. Arsenal hold the record for the most wins with 13 in all and Kettering Town, who are currently a non-league team have scored more goals in the competition than any other team.
Why is the FA Cup so Special?
It’s not just because this is the oldest club competition in the footballing world, but the fact that it is open to any club all the way down to level 10 of the English football league. The record entry is 763 clubs in 2011-12. The most rounds a team would have to play to win the trophy is 14. The 2018-19 season has 736 clubs all dreaming of winning the FA Cup or grabbing the headlines by becoming giant-killers and beating a top team. It’s the possibility of shocks such as when Hereford United beat Newcastle United and Wimbledon beat Burnley that makes this the most special cup competition in the world.
When is It Played?
The competition begins with the Extra Preliminary Round which this season took place began on August 10 featuring clubs such as Glasshoughton Welfare, Seaham Red Star and Dunston UTS (who have made it all the way to the fourth qualifying round), Non-league teams contest the six qualifying rounds and the fourth and final qualifying round takes place this year on the weekend beginning October 20. This is when the National League sides (the highest level of non-league football) enter and teams battle it out for the chance to reach the First Round Proper.
That’s the stage when teams in League One and League Two join the competition. The first round this season is on the weekend beginning November 10. Two rounds take place leaving just 20 teams and these then join the 44 clubs in the Premier League and the Championship for the FA Cup third round. The draw for this is one of the most awaited events of the season. Particularly so if a non-league team reaches this stage. That’s when they dream of being drawn against Manchester United or Liverpool and this has happened many times in the past.
The third round is played on the first weekend of the new year and is one of the most exciting few days of the English football season. The semi-finals take place in the first weekend of April and are held at Wembley. The FA Cup final takes place the following month and this season will be played at Wembley on May 18. The winner of the cup will qualify for next season’s Europa League unless already qualified. The Cup winners also take on the Premier League champions in the Community Shield at Wembley.
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. Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have been the teams that have won the trophy. Only twice in this period have there been shock winners. Portsmouth were a Premier League team when winning the cup in 2008 and Wigan Athletic were triumphant in 2013 but a few days later were relegated from the Premier League. The last five winners have been:
- 2018 – Chelsea
- 2017 - Arsenal
- 2016- Manchester United
- 2015- Arsenal
- 2014 - Arsenal
This hasn’t always been the case with many surprise winners from lower leagues winning the competition. These include Sunderland (1973) and Southampton (1976) who both won the cup while playing in Division 2 (now the Championship).Leading Contenders to Win the 2018/19 FA Cup A lot depends on the draw in the FA Cup as in any cup 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 it is possible.
2018/2019 FA Cup predictions
Arsenal have won the FA Cup a record 13 times and are regularly a good tip to win the cup or at least reach the final. Several times winning the trophy helped Arsene Wenger keep his job at the club. They have won three of the last five competitions but last year fielded a weakened side and were knocked out in the third round by Championship side Nottingham Forest. They will again field an understrength team this season, particularly in their early rounds but are always worth a bet. If you think that Unai Emery can lead Arsenal to FA Cup glory in his first season with the club, you can get odds of 9/1 at Bet365.
The London club are the current holders of the FA Cup after beating Manchester United in the final 1-0. That was their eighth win in this competition and the sixth this century. This season has seen them get off to a good start and with a strong squad of players can still field a powerful team even if leaving out some of the top guns. Another good FA Cup run is likely this season, though a lot depends on the draw of course, and they can be backed at 6/1 with William Hill to retain the trophy, something they did in 2010.
Since the takeover, City have had a great deal of success and are the current Premier League champions. Success in the FA Cup hasn’t been so plentiful though and they have only won the cup on one occasion when beating surprise finalists Stoke City in 2011. They have won the trophy on five occasions but before that win over Stoke hadn’t done so since 1969. They famously lost to Wigan Athletic in the 2013 final and lost to them again last season, even more shocking as Wigan were in League One. City have a massively strong squad and have every chance of winning the trophy, though it’s not too high on their priority list. Could they win the cup 50 years after beating Leicester City in the final? There are odds of 4/1 at Bet365.
United are second on the all-time winners list and have lifted the trophy 12 times, one behind Arsenal. They lost in the final last season and last won the cup in 2016 when beating Crystal Palace after extra-time. Before that though you have to go back to 2004 for their last FA Cup triumph. United are already out of the Carabao Cup this season and look unlikely to win the Premier League, so this competition looks like being their only chance of winning domestic honours this season. There are odds of 8/1 at Bet365 on them winning the trophy.
Jurgen Klopp has yet to win a trophy with Liverpool but with such a strong squad must have a chance of winning the cup for the eighth time in their history. They didn’t have such awealth of talent in their squad last season and paid the price when playing a weakened team at home to West Bromwich Albion. Liverpool haven’t won the cup since 2006 when beating West Ham United on penalties in the last final played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff while Wembley was being rebuilt. They have only reached one final since that victory, losing to Chelsea in 2012. Could 2019 see their first win at the new Wembley, they certainly have the depth to do so. You can get odds of 6/1 at William Hill.
Mauricio Pochettino is another manager who could do with winning a trophy and Tottenham have won the FA Cup eight times but not since 1991. They do well in years ending in 1, having won in 60/61, 80/81 and 90/91, so remember that in 2021; It’s 31 years since they reached the final but reached the semi-finals last season. They are 8/1 at William Hill to win the cup.
The top teams in the Premier League dominate the FA Cup but several teams lower down the table have reached the final in recent year, for example, Crystal Palace (2016), Aston Villa (2015), Hull City (2014) and Stoke City in 2011. Everton have won the cup five times, the last being in 1995. They could do well, especially with a few home draws and can be backed at 20/1 with Bet365 to win the FA Cup this year. Wolverhampton Wanderers have a good FA Cup history with four wins but the last one was in 1960. They have made a good start to their Premier League season and look like a team who could do well in cup competitions and are 25/1 with William Hill to lift the trophy.