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 - so be sure to make the most of your bets with the Bwin welcome bonus and the Betfair welcome offer.
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 (for which you can also check out our Premier League score predictions) 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. Each year, you can find exciting odds on the outright winner of this prestigious competition at online betting sites.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
Current Premier League champions Manchester City have had plenty of success in recent years. Guardiola's men have already taken home the Carabao Cup this season, and are still in contention in both the Premier League and Champions League title races. Success in the FA Cup has not been so plentiful for the Sky Blue's however - even though they have won the trophy 5 times, this has occurred only once since 1969, when they beat Stoke in the 2011 finals. Their history of FA Cup finals also includes their famous loss to Wigan on 2013, so their success in this year's final is by no means guaranteed. Even so, City are bookmakers favourites to add another trophy to their collection this season, with their odds valued at 1/5 at Sportingbet.
Watford will have plenty of confidence in their ability to cause an upset and win the FA Cup, in a competition that is known for it's shocks and suprises. This will be the Hornets first FA Cup final since they were runners-up in 1984, which was the only time they ever made it to the FA Cup final. In a classic FA Cup semi-final, a game of end-to-end football that resulted in a magnificant Watford comeback to propel them into the Final, Javi Garcia's men showed why they are not to be underestimated in this year's competition. Their odds of the Rocket Men taking home the FA Cup for the first time are valued at 9/2 at Sportingbet - remember, this is the FA Cup, anything can happen!