FA Cup Offers City’s Rivals the Chance to Stake Silverware Claim
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FA Cup Offers City’s Rivals the Chance to Stake Silverware Claim

The allure of the FA Cup will be tested to the full in 2018, with the entire top six in the betting juggling multiple targets.

Manchester City, who are favourites at 4.50 with 188BET to triumph at Wembley in May, are the obvious place to start as their credentials are copper bottomed.

Pep Guardiola’s men are by some distance the best side in the country, which is evidenced by the 15-point lead they hold at the top of the Premier League. The Champions League and Premier League are bigger priorities for City, who are also still engaged in the EFL Cup, but European action does not resume until the middle of February and they look gone beyond recall in the Premier League.

But the problem facing City is that the draw has not been overly kind, as they were pulled out against Burnley.

Burnley have been as busy as City over the festive period, but the Clarets can put their feet up for a week after Saturday’s game at Eastlands. Conversely, City have a League Cup semi-final with Bristol City next Tuesday – which precedes arguably one of the biggest tests they have left in the league: a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool.

It will be interesting to see what sort of side Guardiola fields, given that he is without Gabriel Jesus and therefore has only one recognised striker in Sergio Aguero to call on. He could field an entirely changed XI and on paper they would be expected to beat Burnley, but Sean Dyche will have his men primed to fight for every ball and it may be worth a watching brief on City as opposed to backing them for outright glory ahead of the third round.

Chelsea are second best in the market, with Antonio Conte’s side priced up 7.00 by 188BET. The Blues are not going to defend their Premier League title, which makes a knockout competition of real importance for a club who are not known for sticking with managers who do not deliver silverware.

The EFL Cup is also in Chelsea’s sights, but the status of the FA Cup makes it of greater appeal and the Blues will be fully expected to get past Norwich City in the third round.

Manchester United are third best in the market at 8.00 and the Red Devils make genuine appeal. While not a penalty kick, a home game with Derby County in the third round should not present any problems for Jose Mourinho’s men.

While Mourinho will not publicly throw in the towel in the Premier League title race, they are not going to catch City – meaning the FA Cup may be their best chance of silverware.

Red Devils fans will point to the Champions League, but United look a step short against the continent’s best sides and the 8.00 for FA Cup glory makes greater appeal than 15.0 for Europe’s premier club competition.

Tottenham are the only other side in single figures, with 188BET pricing Spurs up at 9.00 for Wembley glory. A home game against AFC Wimbledon should be a stroll for Mauricio Pochettino’s men and with the Argentine desperate to bring silverware to the club, Tottenham could be worth a saver alongside a bet on Mourinho’s Red Devils.

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