The case for Crystal Palace as 2015-16 FA Cup winners

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As far as Ladbrokes’ odds suggest, all Manchester United need do to win the FA Cup on Saturday is turn up.

The bookmaker has the Red Devils priced as 8/11 favourites to beat Crystal Palace in 90 minutes at Wembley, with the Eagles a lengthy 17/4 for success.

As reluctant as Ladbrokes News is to rely solely on “the Magic of the Cup” as a theory to fuel a bet, there really is merit in backing an upset this weekend.

Alan Pardew’s Palace tossed all their eggs for this season into the FA Cup some months ago, when they travelled to White Hart Lane and grabbed a 1-0 win over Tottenham in the fifth round.

Although a cataclysmic loss of form briefly raised the prospect of relegation, by and large the Eagles have been saving their best form for games in the nation’s favourite cup competition.

Four of the five sides the Londoners beat on the way to HA9 shared the top flight with them this season. Each one ended the campaign higher up the Premier League table.

While Palace’s propensity to ruin FA Cup dreams has been extremely evident, United are also more than capable of self-combusting too.

All too often this season, when the chips were down the Red Devils choked.

They needed to beat Wolfsburg in their final Champions League group game in order to progress to the knockout rounds. They lost.

Facing a 2-0 deficit, Anthony Martial gave them the lead at home to Liverpool in the second leg of the Europa League round of 16. Then on the stroke of half time a killer Philippe Coutinho blow gutted their hopes.

Then, most recently, in the league, they travelled to the Boleyn Ground knowing consecutive wins to end the season would land them a top-four spot. We all know how that ended.

United are a lacklustre squad that seem to be passing the time before a new man takes the helm. They will be ill-equipped to better an Eagles outfit that has been hungry for FA Cup success since February.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.