We suggested in our preview of Sunday’s Premier League game between Stoke City and Arsenal that Tony Pulis would be using the game as a rehearsal for the FA Cup final.
Well the Stoke boss couldn’t have been happier with his sides display ahead of the biggest game in the club’s history and the 3-1 victory over Arsenal has punters contemplating an FA Cup upset.
Stoke are currently 7/4 to lift the FA Cup trophy at Wembley on Saturday 10/3 to beat Manchester City in 90 minutes, and with Roberto Mancini’s side losing at Everton last Saturday, the Stoke squad will enter the game with the confidence to win.
Arsenal may have been sluggish and off the pace in Sunday’s match but nothing should be taken away from Stoke who were the more threatening in front of goal with a counter-attacking strategy that should frighten Mancini.
Having beaten Manchester United in front of a capacity Wembley crowd, Manchester City should be better equipped to handle the occasion and are rightly favourites at 2/5 to lift the trophy and 8/11 to win in 90 minutes.
Despite Mancini’s defensive mentality, with their wealth of attacking talent and the fact that they are the favourites, Manchester City will be expected to take the game to Stoke and that could play into the hands of Pulis’ side.
The way Stoke immediately restored their two-goal lead after Arsenal had pulled a goal back on Sunday suggests there is plenty of self belief running through the club, and this is a club that has never lacked heart.
The players play for their manager and you can guarantee that every member of the Stoke squad will be desperate to lift the FA Cup on Sunday, and in cup finals, it’s usually heart that prevails.
A £10 stake on Stoke lifting the FA Cup would return £27.50. New customers can sign up here to take advantage of a free bet worth up to £30.