The Emirates F.A. Cup, the oldest national football competition in the world, will back in action 10 days after the league begins.
After a three-month break, the Premier League will return to action on June 17 with two massive matches.
But that is not the only English competition that will be back this month: the Emirates , the oldest national football competition in the world, will also be back in action 10 days after the league begins.
All eight teams left are top flight sides, and at this point, could win the competition. Manchester City is the defending champion, after they to finish off the domestic treble last season at Wembley. The Cityzens are the current overwhelming favorites to lift the cup, but they are going to have to earn the title, with in the current Premier League still left.
While there have been some surprise teams making a run to Wembley over the last decade (Portsmouth 2010, Stoke City 2011, Hull City 2014, Crystal Palace 2016, and Watford 2019), the winners over the last three decades have overwhelmingly been from the power sides: Arsenal (eight), Chelsea (seven), and Manchester United (six) have won 21 of the 30 titles going back to 1990. It has been much the same in the last 10 years, with Arsenal and Chelsea each winning three, and Manchester City taking two titles: the lone team outside of the big clubs to win was Wigan, which beat , in one of the biggest upsets in tournament history thanks to Ben Watson.
Here are some reasons why each team can make a run to the final, which is set for August 1 (semifinals July 18 and 19), and a few why the teams may falter before the final at Wembley.
(Dates and times tbd.)
Leicester City v Chelsea
Newcastle United v Manchester City
Sheffield United v Arsenal
Norwich City v Manchester United
Manchester City (-125): The Cityzens are the heavy favorites, with no team even close in the odds to them. But before the COVID-19 break, City, which had shown some cracks all season, started to . After winning back to back Premier League titles with 100 and 98 points, City has seven losses this year, and are 25 points behind Liverpool.
Is Manchester City the most talented team left? Probably, but Manchester United has three wins this season over the Cityzens, and Newcastle United has a 2-2 draw already this season.
Worth a wager, but there are a lot of teams with value as well.
Manchester United (+800): With three wins over Chelsea and Manchester City already this season, and Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford back from injury to lead the top four and silverware charge, Manchester United could be very dangerous in this cup.
With the top four battle the priority (and its return to the UEFA Champions League), the Red Devils will have to juggle some lineups. With Norwich City first up, with its battle to stay in the league, United could get a break. At +800, definitely worth a play.
Chelsea (+800): The Blues have a tough match with Leicester City, which has all but locked up for next season. Chelsea has to have its eye on the fourth place battle, and the Foxes could be the better play here to make a run to the final.
Arsenal (+900): Who knows with the Gunners? Arsenal is not out of the top four battle, with a match in hand, but has drawn 13 games this season in the league. I don’t know if the Gunners have enough depth to do both. Which one is going to be more important to the club with the most F.A. Cup titles in history.
Leicester City (+1000): I will tell you what; this Leicester City team has been very dangerous for large parts of the season. The fact that the Foxes are all but in the Champions League next season with four or five wins could help them in this cup. If they get past Chelsea, the odds are going to drop drastically; so if you think Leicester could make the final, now is the time to pounce.
Sheffield United (+2200): The surprise team of 2019-20, the Blades have come up from the EFL Championship and made a run at a top four place in the Premier League. In this tournament, Sheffield United is one win from Wembley, and gets a home match with up and down Arsenal. It will be interesting to see which competition the Blades focus on, as the temptation of Europe might be too much to ignore.
Norwich City (+3300): The Canaries are still in it, and get a home match with Manchester United in the quarterfinals. As has been said, one team has come out of nowhere to get to Wembley often of late, and a win over the Red Devils would get Norwich CIty there. But once again, Premier League survival is almost certainly more important, so it could be a rotated squad that plays United.
Newcastle United (+4000): This team is on the threshold of a new dawn, with new owners that might have the deepest pockets on the planet. A win over Manchester City could open up this whole tournament. The Magpies are probably safe, with an eight-point lead over Bournemouth, so they could go for it against City. But it might be too much to ask for three wins.