The FA Cup may have seen its popularity dwindle in recent years but with so many Premier League clubs desperate for silverware this year’s competition looks set to be keenly fought.
Just one of the last 10 finals have included a club from outside the Premier League (Cardiff in 2008) while the last team to win from outside the top flight was West Ham in 1980.
As such this year’s winners are likely to be a Premier League outfit but one of the unlikely sides on this list could pip 5/1 favourites Manchester City to the trophy.
Newcastle’s fans are often accused of having lofty expectations but after riding the storm and keeping his job after a dismal end to the season manager Alan Pardew could renew his focus in order to bring the Toon Army some long-awaited silverware.
This focus on the cup, along with new additions, (at time of writing the Magpies are on the brink of adding Daryl Janmaat and Emmanuel Riviere to the signings of Remy Cabella, Siem de Jong, Jack Colback and Ayoze Perez) could mean a seventh FA Cup triumph at St James’ Park.
With 11 wins United are level with Arsenal as the FA Cup’s most successful side. However, the Red Devils have not lifted the trophy since 2004!
Louis van Gaal could struggle to claim the league in his first season and without European distraction the FA Cup represents perhaps his best route to silverware in his debut campaign.
No club has been to more finals (18) than the Red Devils and with players like Wayne Rooney missing the cup from their honours list the desire could be there this year.
Only United and Arsenal can beat Spurs’ eight FA Cup wins and with United looking to re-establish themselves as a top four outfit the north London club could place a ninth win high up on their list of priorities.
Spurs strength as an outside bet comes from their ability to turn final appearances into wins. They may not have won since 1991 but in nine appearances as finalists they have lost just once.
West Ham have wasted no time in boosting their ranks this summer with World Cup star Enner Valencia joining Diego Poyet and Mauro Zarate already at Upton Park.
The Hammers are three-time winners of the trophy and reached the final as recently as 2006. Sam Allardyce has brought in Teddy Sheringham as a coach to give the Irons more ruthlessness in front of goal and this makes the east Londoners a great each-way shout at the odds.
With 13 appearances only Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have more final experience than the Toffees and five of those visits have proven victorious.
Last finalists in 2009 Everton have managed to keep much of the squad that played so well last year despite operating on an extremely tight budget.
The arrival of a striker – perhaps last year’s loan sensation Romelu Lukaku – will surely see the 14/1 pricing tumble before the Goodison Park boys even know the identity of their first opponents.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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