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Friday, 24 January 2014

FA Cup: Man City are favourites but can Arsenal or Chelsea win the cup?

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Manchester City are the bookies' favourites to win this season's FA Cup but anything can happen in the world's greatest cup competition.

The fourth round gets under way tonight with Premier League leaders Arsenal hosting the 1987 winners Coventry City. The Sky Blues head to the Emirates for a reminder of what it is like to be in the top flight. Coventry have gone from one nightmare to another following their relegation from the Premier League 13 seasons ago.

Arsenal are 1/9 to win the game and 5/1 to lift the trophy aloft in May. Coventry City are 30/1 for victory and a whopping 1000/1 at Bet Victor to repeat their 1987 heroics. I like an outsider, but even this is too far for me.

Fac upFor Arsenal the double is still on. They lead the way in the Premier League and should progress into the fifth round here comfortably. With a kind draw in the next round, Arsenal's hopes of ending their trophy drought - their last major piece of silverware was the FA Cup in 2005 - comes ever nearer. 

However, it's Manchester City who appear to be the team to beat. They've wiped the floor with everyone this season and they are on course for a historic quadruple. They face Sunderland in the Capital One Cup final in March and the Spanish giants Barcelona in a much-anticipated Champions League clash. But before all that they host Watford at the Etihad in the FA Cup. Pellegrini will take this opportunity to give game time to a few more fringe players, but it will still be packed with talent and internationals. 

City are 7/2 favourites for the trophy and 1/10 to see off the Hornets. Watford are 33/1 for a cup shock.

Chelsea are joint second favourites with Arsenal and they face the toughest task of the three by hosting Stoke City. The Potters beat the Blues earlier in the season 3-2, but Stamford Bridge has never been a happy hunting ground for them. Mark Hughes though would love to break that cycle at his former stomping ground.

Jose Mourinho's men are 5/2 for the cup and 1/4 to reach the next round. Stoke City are 14/1 to beat the Blues again.

Liverpool are the bookies' fourth favourites at 11/2. Brendan Rodgers' men face a tricky tie away to Bournemouth but they should pick the Cherries off.

Then it's Merseyside rivals Everton at 9/1. Roberto Martinez won the trophy last season with Wigan and they face a potential banana skin on Saturday away at Stevenage. The Borough have knocked out Newcastle in previous seasons and will fancy another giant killing against the Toffees. However, Everton should be too strong for Stevenage and should safely progress. The Toffees are 3/10 for victory on the day.

After that you have Southampton at 16/1, Swansea City at 33/1 with Sunderland and Hull at 50/1.

The true long shots include Kidderminster at 10,000/1, Southend at the same price, and Stevenage at 2,500/1.

Here is a rundown of the latest betting odds on who will win the 2014 FA Cup:

Man City 7/2 Bet 365

Chelsea 5/2 YouWin

Arsenal 5/2 YouWin

Liverpool 11/2 Bet365

Everton 9/1 Coral

Southampton 16/1 Ladbrokes

Swansea City 33/1 Ladbrokes

Sunderland 50/1 Ladbrokes

Hull City 50/1 Ladbrokes

Fulham 66/1 Ladbrokes

Cardiff City 66/1 Ladbrokes

Crystal Palace 80/1 Ladbrokes

Stoke City 80/1 Betway

Nottingham Forest 100/1 Boylesports

Brighton 125/1 Boylesports

Wigan 150/1 Boylesports

Bolton 150/1 Boylesports

Huddersfield 300/1 Bwin

Charlton 300/1 Bet Victor

Sheffield Wednesday 400/1 Ladbrokes

Sheffield United 400/1 Bet Victor

Birmingham City 400/1 Bet Victor

Watford 500/1 Bet Victor

Yeovil 500/1 Bet Victor

Preston 500/1 Bet Victor

Bournemouth 1,000/1 Bet Victor

Coventry 1,500/1 Bet Victor

Port Vale 1,500/1 Bet Victor

Rochdale 2,000/1 Bet Victor

Stevenage 2,500/1 Bet Victor

Southend 10,000/1 Bet Victor

Kidderminster 10,000/1 Bet Victor

Whose your money on?


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Colin Illingworth



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