Ever-reliable in the FA Cup, Chelsea coasted by Derby in a 2-0 win at Pride Park to set up a fourth round date with Stoke at Stamford Bridge, where they’ll be heavily fancied to advance further.
This kind draw hasn’t been enough to convince the punters though, with Jose Mourinho’s men loitering as 6/1 third-favourites to win the competition.
Given that the Blues have dominated the FA Cup in recent seasons, winning three of the previous five instalments and missing just one semi final in that time, this price is unarguably excellent.
Especially when contrasted to Manchester City’s 4/1 favouritism, despite not even having a fourth round berth booked yet.
They must beat Blackburn at the Etihad in order to cement a fourth round tie with either Bristol City or Watford, something they’re priced at a microscopic 1/20 to do.
The Citizens’ toils in seeing off a Championship side away from home were swerved by Chelsea, though, and using these differing performances as a basis, surely the Blues are the better outright bet of the two.
Sandwiched between the two moneybags clubs is Arsenal, who are attributed odds of 9/2 to win the competition for the first time since 2005.
A home draw with Coventry guarantees that only disaster will prevent them appearing in the fifth round of the competition, but a team with a personal best of one quarter final in the previous four years can’t be relied upon to hoist the trophy.
Blackburn, Sunderland and Stoke are among the teams to have sent them packing in the early part of the tournament in recent seasons, suggesting the Gunners haven’t been taking the FA Cup as seriously as they should be.
Similarly stingy odds are sticky taped to Liverpool’s back, priced at 5/1 for cup glory. The sole focus of the Merseysiders’, however, is to qualify for the Champions League, meaning they’re likely to forgo the FA Cup when the fixtures begin to pile up.
Other stand out prices include Everton at 9/1, Southampton at 16/1 and Manchester United’s conquerors Swansea a 25/1 shot.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date
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