No Man City Or Utd - Who Will Win The FA Cup?
As Liverpool knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup on Saturday, the trophy became a wide open race with England’s top two clubs out of the hunt, so who will win it?.
Indeed, holders Manchester City are also out after the Red Devils gave them the boot in the third round.
The bookies have predictably backed in Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal as the prime favourites.
To add to that, the fifth-round draw was rather kind to them all. Liverpool play host to second tier outfit Brighton, who did stun Newcastle in the fourth round.
Spurs have a trip to the outskirts of London to face Stevenage, while Chelsea face Championship promotion hopefuls Birmingham City, who famously won the Carling Cup last season.
Arsenal arguably have the trickiest encounter against the winner of the North-East clash between Sunderland and Middlesbrough. The Gunners will need to make the trip north too.
Indeed, for Arsene Wenger he says the FA Cup isn’t his priority, rather it is making the top four and claiming a 2012-13 Champions League spot. However, ending the club’s long trophy drought would be some relief.
Wenger said: “I love the FA Cup, I think it is a top-level competition and I will always fight to win it. I won it four times and lost one final, and I don’t know how many semi-finals. I always try to win every single competition.
“If you look at my record you will see the FA Cup is important for me. I think our record is better than all of them over the past 15 years. Even last year we went for four trophies. How many teams go for four trophies this season? Nobody.
“We always try to go for everything and for a long, long time last year we went for trophies late in the season, and still we will try to do the same and try to win the FA Cup.”
Meanwhile, for Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, lifting the FA Cup would go some way to easing the pressure on him after an underwhelming first six months in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham are exceeding expectations with their title challenge although that appears unrealistic after their loss to Manchester City 10 days ago. Perhaps the FA Cup is their best chance at silverware.
Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool are in the final of the Carling Cup and are hot favourites to lift that trophy.
Then, of course, there’s last season’s beaten finalists Stoke City, along with David Moyes’ Everton. It is wide open and it’s anyone’s guess who’ll come out on top.
Right now, given the fifth-round draw, you fancy the big boys will be there towards the end, but without the two Manchester clubs it will be a joyous afternoon at Wembley for someone different.
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