Can Arsenal defy the betting odds and win another FA Cup?
There is just something about Arsenal and the FA Cup. The Gunners have won the competition 13 times, more than anybody else, and nobody has reached more finals either.
The 2017 triumph was Arsenal’s most recent major trophy and Arsene Wenger’s last managerial honour in England but on Saturday, Wembley beckons once again for the north Londoners. Manchester City are understandably strong favourites, but you just can’t rule Mikel Arteta’s side out.
Arsenal are 5/1 with some bookies to progress from the last four and reach their 21st FA Cup final, while a win inside 90 minutes is a massive 17/2. If you buy into the idea that the formbook goes out of the window in cup semi-finals, then that may be tempting.
The two clubs met at the same stage of the competition in 2017 and the Gunners fought back from a goal down to win 2-1 after extra time on that occasion. 33/1 is the price for another 120-minute Arsenal success.
If you compare bookmakers on MyBettingsites.com, you can find online betting sites with a range of other markets ahead of Saturday’s game. Some bookies have a selection of Asian lines, whereas others offer bet builders, request-a-bets, player stats markets, and various other props.
While the Gunners came out on top in the most recent FA Cup meeting between themselves and City, that is where the good results against last season’s Premier League champions ends. Pep Guardiola’s men have since beaten Arsenal seven times in a row, including a comfortable 3-0 Wembley victory in the League Cup.
That was also the scoreline on the first night of the Premier League’s return last month, in a game that will be fresh in the memory of both managers heading into Saturday.
It was a bad night for Arsenal in Manchester on June 17, but there have since been signs of promise. A devastating 2-1 loss at Brighton followed the Etihad defeat, but four wins from four in all competition got them back on track and even gave them a sniff of Champions League football.
Things got even better when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave the Gunners a 1-0 lead against Leicester City, but Eddie Nketiah’s 75th-minute red card allowed the Foxes a route back into the game, which they took with aplomb through Jamie Vardy’s late equaliser.
More points were lost from a winning position in the north London derby away at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, and that loss, coupled with the overturning of Manchester City’s European ban, confirmed that Arteta would have to wait another year before he can attempt to lead Arsenal back into Europe’s premier club competition.
What the Spaniard can do, though, is bring more silverware to the Emirates Stadium. There have been longer droughts at Arsenal than the current three-year wait for a trophy, but given the constant disappointment since then, it would be a welcome end to the season and the perfect start to Arteta’s managerial career. You can get odds of 12/1 for that to happen.
If anyone knows how Guardiola will set up at Wembley, it is the man who was his understudy for more than three years. Whether he and his team can halt the City juggernaut, though, is another matter altogether.
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