The fifth round of the English FA Cup is almost over and we know the draw for the quarterfinals. I believe that’s a good moment to release my preview and predictions for the outright winner betting market.
Before I go through the different teams, let’s check all ties for the next round.
- Sheffield United vs. Arsenal
- Newcastle United vs Manchester City
- Norwich City vs. Derby County or Manchester United
- Leicester City vs. Chelsea
All quarterfinals will be played on March 21st and the date is important because some of the clubs will be engaged in the UEFA tournaments before that.
The other key factor is that the big guns all avoided each other, but face tricky away games. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the favorites, based on the odds of the online bookmakers.
The current holders of Manchester City are the big favorite for the FA Cup once again and I can easily see why. The side has a rather favorable draw compared to the other top teams, as Newcastle is arguably weaker than the likes of Leicester and Sheffield United.
On top of that, Pep Guardiola and his men will be eager to add as many trophies as possible to make up for the failure in the English Premier League. They already brought the League Cup home this weekend and hold a healthy advantage over Real Madrid in the Champions League.
The second leg of the tie will take place on March 17th, though, and that’s one of the reasons I wouldn’t bet on City. The team will be coming after a tough match against the Spaniards and that could affect the starting lineup.
If you add the laughable odds, there’s simply no value in backing Man City right now.
Frank Lampard will be pleased with the victory against Liverpool in the fifth round of the FA Cup and it opens the door for Chelsea. The problem is that the next match in the competition will be hard. The Blues have to play Leicester away from home.
They are also involved in a crucial fight for the top 4 in the Premier League which should be Lampard’s top priority. What bothers me is the lack of a return date for Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham.
If both of them are back from injury by the time the next round is played, I certainly like Chelsea’s chances but that’s a big if. For the time being, I prefer to skip any wagers on the Blues.
The FA Cup is probably the last chance for Arsenal to salvage the season. The club is out of the Europa League and a Champions League place in the EPL looks like mission impossible right now. Mikel Arteta doesn’t have much to do under the circumstances.
He has to go all-in in the English FA Cup and that makes Arsenal a dangerous opponent. The Gunners will face Sheffield United away from home in the quarterfinals and that’s a tricky fixture.
And yet, I believe that the price of 10.00 or so you could get at some places is one of the few options that are worth a shot right now.
The Rest of the Field
I don’t want to disrespect the other teams left in the competition, but I don’t see any value in the odds for them. You can get around 10.00 for Manchester United and Leicester, but that’s good enough.
The Foxes will need to face Manchester City next and two more top teams on the road to the trophy. I would expect a price of 15.00 or so to go for them right now.
As for Manchester United, the team still needs to beat Derby County which could be tricky. Even if that’s the case, the Red Devils will play in the Europa League several days before the next round of the FA Cup. That’s too many reasons to back off.
As for Newcastle, Sheffield United, Derby County and Norwich City, they can beat one or even two of the big guns but that won’t be enough. Eliminating three is a step too far, so I don’t think any of them can lift the FA Cup this year.