By Guest Author
The 140th edition of the oldest football tournament in the world, the FA Cup, is now in the third round proper, where the Premier League and Championship clubs enter the stage.
Most of the 32 matches from this round will be played on 9th and 10th of January, with two games on the 8th and one more on the 11th.
Apart from the 44 teams from the Premier League and Championship, there are a few teams from the lower leagues: Stockport County and Boreham Wood from the National League (5th tier), Chorley from the National League North (6th tier) and Marine A.F.C., from Northern Premier League Division One North West (8th tier).
Chorley defeated two League One sides in the previous two rounds (Wigan Athletic and Peterborough United), and they will meet Wayne Rooney’s Derby County from the Championship, while Marine will have a nearly impossible task, taking on Jose Mourinho and Harry Kane’s Tottenham in the third round.
With all the teams from the first two leagues in the competition, this means almost every fan in England gets to view their team playing in this stage. They can also bet on the games, and on the eventual trophy winner, with great odds from Unibet. If you are looking into Sports Betting Canada offers, you can see an impressive variety of betting options to choose from, and the FA Cup has its share.
And there are some very interesting games in this round, like Wolves – Crystal Palace, Stoke – Leicester, and Arsenal – Newcastle.
But who are the big favorites to win the cup this season? Needless to say that they are all from the Premier League.
Here are the top 5 FA Cup favorites for the 2020/2021 season:
Manchester City (+350)
Who else could be the main favorites? Guardiola’s team had an incredible 2019 end of season, winning the treble, including the FA Cup final, 6-0 against Watford. Last season, they were kicked out by the eventual winners, Arsenal, in the semifinals. City will take on Championship side Birmingham, in the third round proper.
Liverpool last reached the quarterfinals in 2015, the final in 2012, and won the trophy in 2006, but nonetheless they are the current Premier League champions and the leaders in the standings. Jurgen Klopp’s side will take part in the star match of this round, against one of this season’s performers, Aston Villa, who shocked the world with a 7-2 over the champions earlier this season. The game is scheduled for January 8th.
Chelsea featured in three of the last four FC Cup finals, winning the 2018 one against Manchester United. Last season, they were defeated by Arsenal, 1-2, the final being played in August. In the semis, they again met Manchester United, winning 3-1, while in the fifth round they defeated Liverpool, 2-0. So this is may be their competition. In the third round, Chelsea will face Morecambe, from League Two.
Manchester United (+800)
Manchester United are in a slightly better position than Chelsea in the Premier League standings. They last won the competition in 2016, and reached the semifinals last season. In the third round, United will play the 2019 finalists and former 2019/2020 Premier League side Watford.
Tottenham aren’t quite big fans of the competition. They reached the semis in 2018, but the last time they featured in a final was in 1991, when they also won it against Nottingham Forest. Since then, there have been three finalists outside the English top tier, and also two winners who now play in League One. But Spurs have a chance of a good start this season, facing the 8th tier team Marine.