Who are the bookies favourites to win the 2021/22 FA Cup?

Craig Hanson 1 month ago

With the third round draw complete, attention is turning to who might lift the trophy next May

The preliminary rounds are over. Round One and Round Two are over, but for Barrow and Ipswich Town's replay on December 15th, now we look towards the world famous FA Cup third round, where those plucky non-league and lower league sides that have battled their way this far can dream of a tie against one of the big boys, as the Premier League teams enter the fight. Upsets are sure to happen, and they are one of the things that make this cup so special and so loved. Those underdog stories are the heart and soul of the FA Cup, but more often than not, when we get towards the late spring and the final few contenders are becoming clear, there are some usual suspects in there.

Who will those contenders be this season and who will take the crown when all is said and done? Manchester City are the bookies favourites right now at 7/2. If you're looking for a realistic underdog shout, West Ham are a whopping 25/1 despite being fourth in the Premier League right now. You might be surprised to see Spurs way down at 14/1, only sixth in the list of top favourites to win this year's competition. Let's find out who some of the world's Best Sportsbooks have as their favourites to win this year's FA Cup. Here are the top four contenders.

*All odds provided by Oddschecker

Manchester City 7/2

For the blue side of Manchester, the FA Cup holds a special place in the heart. Yaya Toure's emphatic strike in the 2011 final proved pivotal in bringing them the first trophy of their new era in a 1-0 win over Stoke. It was the trophy which pre-empted their first Premier League crown the following year and their represented their first glory since capturing the League Cup way, way back in 1976. Nonetheless, that significant triumph under Roberto Mancini didn't open the floodgates in this competition. City were beaten finalists two years later against Wigan Athletic and had to wait until 2019 to win again when they hammered Watford 6-0. Man City may not have been the most prolific in the FA Cup since the turn of the century, winning only in 2011 and 2019, but on paper they have one of the strongest squads in Europe and quite possibly the greatest manager on the planet, and for that reason they must always be in the conversation to win any competition they enter.

Chelsea 6/1

Chelsea have been losing finalists two years running, having succumbed to Mikel Arteta's Arsenal side in front of an empty Wembley Stadium during the height of the pandemic, and lost to Leicester City last season with a slightly higher number of fans in attendance. Losing an FA Cup final is never something to celebrate but getting there two years running shows the pedigree of the club. Since Roman Abramovich took over in 2003, they've made it to eight finals and won five of them. Even before the takeover they regularly appeared in finals and won trophies in this competition. Add Thomas Tuchel to the mix and you can see why Chelsea must be considered one of the favourites to win this year's edition. Not only do they have probably the best squad in the world in terms of depth and quality, they have a manager capable of winning one-off ties better than almost any. He outsmarted Pep Guardiola three times in a row, knocked his rival out in the FA Cup semi final last year and beat him in the UEFA Champions League final a few weeks later. Tuchel is a fantastic big-game tactician and for that reason alone his team must be one of the teams to beat in this year's FA Cup.

Liverpool 7/1

Liverpool are a strange case, because while their current first team and manager make them a rightful inclusion on this list, their historical performance in the FA Cup leaves a lot to be desired. They haven't won this competition since the opening of the new Wembley, with their most recent victory coming in 2006 against West Ham, in the last FA Cup final played at the Millennium Stadium. Since then, they've managed to make one final in 2012 which they lost to Chelsea. Their performances in this cup during the last decade have been appalling for such a big club, managing to win no FA Cup trophies, while Arsenal, who don't even make this list, have won four, and also hold the record for all-time FA Cup wins. So why are Liverpool on this list above Arsenal? It simply comes down to the quality in the respective first teams right now. Liverpool have better players across the park than Arsenal do at this precise moment and they also have a better coach in the dugout. Will this be enough for them to win it this year?

Manchester United 42/5

Since the arrival of Ralf Rangnick, United are an unknown quantity in general. They've had a torrid time this season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and now fans have even more upheaval to look forward to. Long term planning will be put in place but in the short term it's difficult to predict how results will land. The Red Devils, like Liverpool, have not really dominated this competition since the move to the New Wembley. Like their greatest rivals, they can point to historical eras of glory littered with trophies, many of which are FA Cups, but in recent times, they have found this trophy a lot harder to win than Chelsea and Arsenal have. Since 2006, they've won one final against Crystal Palace in 2016 and lost another against Chelsea in 2018. They are on this list because of the ability of the players in their squad and perhaps some optimism that with Rangnick taking over they can shore up their position as the fourth best team in the league. It might be worth considering whether that will be the case in the FA Cup or indeed any other competition with teams like West Ham, Spurs and Arsenal looking more than capable of challenging them for that position. They have the players and the coach to potentially pull off a cup win but they are rightly favoured less than the other three.

Apart from the Barrow v Ipswich replay, the next step in the long road to FA Cup glory is the third round which will take place on Jan 8th. There are already some delightful draws pitting Premier League sides against lower league opposition. Most notably of all could be last year's beaten finalists Chelsea hosting Chesterfield of the National League, the fifth tier of English football. We also have Newcastle United welcoming League One Cambridge United which will surely be a fantastic day out for those away fans. Elsewhere, Antonio Conte's Tottenham will play host to League One Morecambe. The visitors will fancy their chances given Spurs' penchant for inexplicably losing to minnows in European competition this season. Also, Liverpool host Shrewsbury Town and Man City travel to Swindon Town. There are lots of potential upsets in there, and we may just see one of these four favourites drop out at the first hurdle. It's sure to be a Saturday afternoon of football that nobody will want to miss.

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