The Football Association Challenge Cup or the FA Cup as it is more known is a yearly men’s football competition for domestic teams in England. It is named after the Football Association, the football governing body of England, and is considered as the oldest national football tournament in the world. Due to sponsorship reasons, the tournament is called the Emirates FA Cup since 2015.

The competition is open to all the 92 professional clubs in the English Premier League ( Level 1 in the English football system )  and all the eligible clubs all the way down to Level 10. The entrants are not seeded in this tournament but there exists a system, of byes that ensure league levels are recognized with the higher-ranked teams entering in the later rounds.

The first six rounds of competition are the Qualifying stages where 32 teams progress to the competition proper, where they meet the first of the 48 total professional teams from the English Football League One and English Football League 2. Teams from the English Premier League ( Level 1 ) and the English Football League Championship ( Level 2) enter the competition in the third round of the competition proper.

The winner of the FA Cup not only received the FA Cup trophy but also automatically qualifies for the next season’s UEFA Europa League. The champions also qualify for the single-match FA Community Shield the following season. The Community Shield is the traditional season opener between the FA Cup winners and the Premier League Champions. If a team achieves the “Double”, meaning it wins the FA Cup and the league title, then the runners-up play the double winner.

The 2020 FA Cup will start on August 10, 2019, and will end on May 23, 2020.

The schedule for the 2020 FA Cup is as follows:

  • Extra Preliminary Round – Saturday 10th August 2019
  • Preliminary Round – Saturday 24th August 2019
  • First Qualifying Round – Saturday 7th September 2019
  • Second Qualifying Round – Saturday 21st September 2019
  • Third Qualifying Round – Saturday 5th October 2019
  • Fourth Qualifying Round – Saturday 19th October 2019
  • First Round Proper – Saturday 9th November 2019
  • Second Round Proper – Saturday 30th November 2019
  • Third Round Proper – Saturday 4th January 2019
  • Fourth Round Proper – Saturday 25th January 2019
  • Fifth Round Proper – Wednesday 4th March 2019
  • Quarter Final – Saturday 21st March 2019
  • Semi Final – Saturday 18th April 2019
  • Final – Saturday 23rd May 2019

Arsenal has the most wins in FA Cup history with 13. They are also tied with Manchester United for the most appearance in the FA Cup finals. Last year it was Manchester City who won the 2019 FA Cup. This year, the back-to-back English Premier League champions are also the favorites to win next year’s FA Cup. They are joined on top of the odds board by their fellow EPL top teams.

Here are the complete current odds to win the 2020 FA Cup. Odds were taken from TitanBet as of 7/8/19:

Team Odds
Manchester City +320
Liverpool +500
Tottenham +800
Chelsea +900
Manchester United +900
Arsenal +1000
Wolverhampton Wanderers +1600
Everton +2000
Leicester City +3300
Newcastle +3300
West Ham United +3300
Watford +4000
Bournemouth +5000
Crystal Palace +5000

“Soccer" Who Are The Favorites?

Manchester City won its second consecutive Premier League title by winning their last 14 games and edging out Liverpool by a solitary point 98-97, during the final day of EPL competition. Liverpool’s 97 points are the highest points ever earned by a runner-up team in the English Premier League. Chelsea was third but at 25 points behind the runner-up. Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United followed in the standings.

If you take a look at the current odds board, the Top 6 teams are the Top 6 teams in the 2018-19 English Premier League final table. The same six teams were in the Top 6 of the 2017 and 2016 EPL final table as well. Eight out of the last nine FA Cup winners have also come from those six teams so there is a good reason to think that the next winner is coming from that group as well.

“Soccer" Who Wins?

Since the FA Cup is a knockout competition, then you might say that this is a good venue to make money in betting on longshots and underdogs. But while one study revealed that it was 99.85% likely for one team to score an upset over an opponent one level higher in the system, that probability decreases to 48.8% in a two-level gap and to 39.28% in a three-level gap. The bigger that gap, the lesser the probability of the minnows accomplishing a giant-killing feat. In the modern history of the FA Cup, only one non-league team has ever made it to the quarterfinals and no team below Level 2 has ever reached the final of the FA Cup.

The reason we mentioned that is the fact that the soccer betting favorites to win the 2020 FA Cup are the top tier teams in England and while the enticing odds at the bottom of the odds board ( we didn’t bother to include them ) may be just wishful thinking  with those teams having effectively no chance of winning the FA Cup. That said, it’s best to make your picks from the top.

When we talk about betting on the outright winner of the FA Cup, it’s about betting on the Premier League elites.

Premier League Champions Manchester City won the 2019 FA Cup. In 2018, it was Chelsea who was 5th in the Premier League standings and winners of the Premier League in 2016-17.  2017 saw Arsenal win the FA Cup after finishing 5th in the Premier League standings. Arsenal was second in the Premier League during the 2015-16 season. Manchester United won the FA Cup in 2016. The Red Devils were 5th in the EPL in 2016 and were second in the league in 2015.

There seems to be a pattern that exists. A Premier League team that finished in the Top 3 the year before and finished in the Top 5 of the current year’s EPL is a strong contender to win the title. This two year period gauge qualifies the top teams in our odds board: Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Chelsea. I’d like to think the next winner is among the four.

The English transfer window doesn’t close until August so there is no way we can compare teams fairly because a lot of transfers can still happen and they could make a difference here. If I were made to pick my winner based on the current odds, I would go with Liverpool who was barely edged by Manchester City ( by a point!) in the EPL standings last season. With two Golden Boot winners, I think Liverpool can be a much better team if they address their midfield needs this summer. I trust that Jurgen Klopp is going to make those adjustments. Prediction: Liverpool

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