Wembley underdogs Wigan Athletic may be as big as 7/1 to earn 90 minute glory in Saturday’s FA Cup Final against Manchester City, but midfielder James McCarthy will have the number seven on his mind for a different reason.
It is seven years since a Republic of Ireland international lifted the FA Cup, with the 12-times capped McCarthy seeking to follow in the footsteps of Steve Finnan – who was part of the Liverpool team which beat West Ham on penalties following a 3-3 draw at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in 2006.
You have to go back to the last century and Roy Keane captaining Manchester United in their victory over Newcastle in 1999 for the last Irish Wembley winner, and so McCarthy will have history as well as the might of City against him come Saturday.
But with Ladbrokes offering money back on First Goalscorer, Correct Score and Scorecast bets should Roberto Mancini’s side fail to lift the trophy, those who do fancy an upset might be wise to back McCarthy to lead the Latics to success.
The stylish midfielder is 33/1 to open the scoring at Wembley, whilst you can get a huge 300/1 on McCarthy bagging the only goal in a 1-0 Latics win. Four of the last six FA Cup finals have ended with a 1-0 scoreline, whilst all of the last six have produced a one-goal winning margin.
Backing City to win 1-0 at 11/2 might be a wiser move though, especially given as that was the result when Mancini’s men beat Roberto Martinez’s boys at the Etihad Stadium last month.
City were also 1-0 winners the last time that Ireland were represented in an FA Cup final, when Yaya Toure’s goal beat a Stoke City team containing Jonathan Walters, Rory Delap, Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson in 2011.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing