FA Cup

The FA Cup – in official parlance the Football Association Challenge Cup – is an annual knock-out cup competition in English domestic football. It is the oldest and best known national cup competition of its kind in the world.

Played annually, it is open to all English clubs down to level ten of the football pyramid. Hundreds of non-league teams entering the competition each year. Nearly 800 teams participated in the cup last year.

There is no seeding in the FA Cup but teams are introduced to the competition based on their league status, so sides in Division One and Two of the Football League enter the First Round, whilst sides from the Premier League and Championship come in at the third round stage.

When are the FA Cup Tips available?

The competition itself begins in August, and runs through to the following May, with a final played at Wembley in front of 80,000 spectators, and millions of television viewers, both in the UK and around the world. It consists of 12 rounds of knock-out football with replays use in case of draw. If the result is still undecided after the second match and extra time has been played, then a penalty shoot-out is used to decide the winner.

(To avoid fixture congestion for the bigger teams, there is no replay in the quarter-finals or semi-finals. Everything decided on the same day).

In terms of FA Cup predictions, certain teams have a history of success in the competition. Arsenal have won it more times than any other club (13 times) followed closely by Manchester United (12 victories). Both teams have made it to the finals on 20 occasions each. Followed by teams like Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers, but, for some of these teams, their last success came a long time ago. Blackburn, for example, are six times winners of the competition, but their last triumph came in 1928.

Much though is dependent on the draw. The fourth round this year saw Arsenal and Manchester United matched together in the fourth round; meaning one of the two favourites could be ruled out immediately.

Important factor when you bet on FA Cup matches

An important factor to consider when making FA Cup predictions is the unpredictability of the tournament itself. Giant-killing acts, where a team from a lower division beats side one, two or even more leagues above them are frequent. This makes FA Cup betting tips subject to more risks than many normal football bets.

There are several reasons for this. Firstly, playing in the FA Cup is a prestigious undertaking for teams, players and supporters of lower league sides, and they motivate their game when matched against sides from a higher division. For their part, big sides sometimes do not take the competition seriously enough in the early rounds. They might field weakened sides, hoping to save their main players for the league. This is especially true of those sides fighting relegation. They can thus be guilty of underestimating their opponents.  Another factor that comes in play can be the pitches. Premier League sides are used to playing on pitches of the highest quality, where the ball runs true with no deviation. However, they can find it hard to cope when drawn away to a lower league team who play on a muddy field full of divots.

Use strategy to bet on FA Cup Betting Tips

In terms of FA Cup betting tips, the advice is, to stay away from the early rounds of the competition. You are unlikely to know anything about the teams involved and, if there is a betting market for these matches, it is likely to be a very thin one. Wait instead until the First Round proper of the competition, or the Third Round, when the bigger teams enter.

If you want to bet on the winner of the competition, look at the teams towards the top of the Premier League, and try to find cup specialists like Arsenal, or Chelsea, for example. Consider also avoiding teams that are fighting it out for the league title. These teams may prefer to focus their energies on that competition. Beware of reputations. Traditionally known as being “up for the cup” but it has been 18 years since they won it. Research teams thoroughly before making a bet.

In regard to head-to-head matches, the normal strictures apply about conducting research into the teams involved. However, FA Cup tips are different because of the nature of the competition itself, and the unpredictability involved. There may not be any recent history between the two teams involved, and it is difficult to know how a Premier League side will cope with lower league opposition, or who will feature in their team.

In fact, the main FA Cup tip is to be very careful. This is a very volatile market on which to bet.