January is here but more importantly, so is the FA Cup third round weekend. As football fans, this is one of the best weekends on the calendar and this season’s draw has thrown up a number of great encounters. We take a look at five possible contenders for the FA Cup crown this season. Spoiler alert, back-to-back winners Arsenal aren’t one of them…
Mauricio Pochettino’s men are growing in confidence and could challenge for the Premier League title this season. However, that’s not to suggest that Spurs cannot also win the FA Cup as well. Tottenham’s squad is incredibly deep and Pochettino has an abundance of talent at his disposal. While he may select a weakened side for the visit of Leicester City this weekend, the Argentine may take the competition a little more seriously if they advance to the next round of the tournament. Spurs are well priced at 14/1.
If Manchester United don’t finish in the top four this season, Louis van Gaal may need to win the FA Cup in order to save his job – and even then, it might not be enough. Traditionally, the Dutchman has enjoyed success in cup competitions but fell short last season as United lost to eventual winners Arsenal at Old Trafford in the quarter-finals. With the likes of Anthony Martial, David de Gea and Chris Smalling in the side, United are capable of going the distance this season and are decent value at 7/1.
There’s usually at least one surprise every year and this season, it could be Watford’s turn to reach the final. Quique Flores’ men are performing incredibly well in the Premier League and are full of confidence – which could give them the edge over Steve McClaren’s struggling Newcastle United in their third round clash. With a bit of luck, Watford have the talent, organisation and depth to challenge England’s elite clubs this season. You can back the Hornets to win the FA Cup at a MARKET-LEADING 75/1.
The Jose Mourinho era is over and the Blues look all the better for it. Guus Hiddink has led Chelsea on a four-match unbeaten run and the Dutchman may be targeting yet another FA Cup success. During his previous tenure, Hiddink led Chelsea to the crown back in 2009 during his first spell as interim boss and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Blues feature in the showpiece event once again. If they can avoid a potential banana skin defeat against Scunthorpe, they could go far. You can back Chelsea at 6/1.
In recent years, Liverpool have navigated through the cup competitions but have struggled to get their hands on trophies. Under Jurgen Klopp, that could all change. The Reds are on the cusp of reaching Wembley in the Capital One Cup but may decide to try their hand in the FA Cup too. During his Borussia Dortmund days, Klopp always took cup competitions seriously and his mind-set is unlikely to change at Anfield. At the time of writing, we are offering MARKET-LEADING odds of 9/1 for Klopp’s m