The English F.A. Cup is the oldest football tournament, and one of the most highly regarded trophies English teams vie for. From Wanderers F.C. and Preston North End, who won the old trophy back in the early 1900s, to Manchester United, the most recent F.A. Cup winners, every team that lifts the cup knows that they are part of history. That tradition gives it a ‘magic’ that few trophies can match. Despite the competition having the reputation for so-called 'giant killing', the most recent winners of the F.A. Cup have been bigger clubs.
With each F.A. Cup starting back in the summer, the qualifying and early rounds traditionally pitch teams of similar quality together, before the 3rd Round introduces Premier League teams into the mix.
Manchester City (+500 for this coming season to win the cup) along with Arsenal, Manchester United & Chelsea (+600) have won seven of the last eight trophies on offer, with Wigan's 1-0 win over Manchester City one of the few recent shocks.
Should we identify this year's winner from that exclusive group, however? The odds might suggest not. Although most of the cup shocks tend to come between rounds 3-5, when big clubs have other shots at glory to concentrate on, and/or haven't gone far enough in the competition to focus on winning it, the grand old competition is due a surprise winner.
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Want to bet on this year's F.A. Cup? Will it be a shock winner from the lower reaches of the like Wigan or Portsmouth? Or will one of the big guns take the plaudits? Get the latest odds here.
What Are The English F.A. Cup Standings
Who has already booked a place in the next round? This season's F.A. Cup will start soon, with summer seeing over 700 teams begin their quest to follow in Manchester United's footsteps.
How To Win FA Cup Bets
Who can we look to this year for a moment of F.A. Cup glory? If we look through the archives, perhaps the best goal ever scored in the F.A. Cup in one of the best games ever produced in the tournament can provide the clue. With faster players than ever, solo goals in the F.A. Cup are something truly majestic, and here is the very best - Ryan Giggs' winner against Arsenal in the F.A. Cup semi-final replay in 1999.
We've talked about the favorites to win the F.A. Cup this season, but who else could come from the pack to surprise the big players? Well, the teams that hover below the top four places, Southampton (+2200), West Ham (+1600) or Tottenham Hotspur (+1100), all have great chances. But why can't last season's Premier League champions Leicester go on to add the F.A. Cup to last year's success?
Analyzing the sort of team it takes to win the F.A. Cup, Leicester have many of the ingredients. A resolute defense? Check. A ball-winning midfielder? Check. Game winners all over the pitch? Mahrez, Vardy, Okazaki, triple check.
Leicester, however, are +1600 to take the trophy in 2016/17, and would be our value tip. Just as Claudio Ranieri rested players in the F.A. Cup last season, so might the opposite be true if they have no chance of winning the title come January and are out of the Champions League.
Comebacks are a huge part of F.A. Cup football. Check out these stunning five last-minute goals that either won the game or took the match into a replay or overtime for the scoring team:
2015/2016 saw Manchester United become the record-holding winners of the F.A. Cup, joining Arsenal on 12 F.A. Cup victories thanks to a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in May 2016.
After Crystal Palace striker Jason Puncheon lashed the Eagles into the lead, Spanish midfield maestro Juan Mata drove United level, before an overtime winner from Jesse Lingard carved the young Mancunian's name into the history books and gave United their record win.
If you want to bet on next season's F.A. Cup, check out the best online sportsbooks below and make it happen...you'll be hoping for glory to happen!