City installed as favourits to win the FA Cup
By Guest writer, Wed 06 December 2017 10:07
Man City have been handed a home draw against Burnley in the third round of the FA Cup and were promptly named the favourites to win it. It is understandable as City have an eight point lead at the top of the Premiership and are still unbeaten heading into the festive season. But they have only won the FA Cup once since Sheikh Mansour ushered in a new era of heavy spending, and that was back in 2011. There was the embarrassment of the 2012-13 defeat at the hands of relegated Wigan Athletic, and since then they have not been past the semi-finals. Is this a competition the Citizens should be trying to win? Or do they have bigger fish to fry?
No team has won a league-cup double since Chelsea in 2009-10 and the world’s oldest football competition has become a bit of an afterthought for the country’s elite clubs. Arsenal have won it in three of the past four seasons and not seriously challenged for the title, while Wigan’s win further fuels that argument. The season is so long and gruelling, especially when you factor in the multitude of Champions League fixtures, that having a crack at the FA Cup requires too much extra effort that could be better directed towards more prestigious competitions.
It is a nice trophy to win, and it might buy a beleaguered manager like Arsene Wenger a bit more time, but winning the FA Cup does not mark you out as a great team worthy of the highest praise. That is reserved for the Premiership and the Champions League, and City have a great chance of winning both this season. Check a review of Bookmaker to find the best odds and you will see that City are now second favourites to win the Champions League, behind only PSG. They are attacking with such flair and pace and incision at present that it is hard to see anyone stopping them, even PSG. They have a manager that knows how to win the trophy and a team capable of doing so, packed to the rafters with world class, expensively assembled talent. Meanwhile City are such heavy favourites to win the Premiership that it is hardly even worth bothering with.
They are also favourites to win the FA Cup, but remarkably the odds are lower on them achieving that than winning the Champions League. That is because they are not likely to take it seriously. Guardiola has a decent sized squad at his disposal, but it has its limits and City have their injury problems to contend with. Ask Guardiola what he would rather win and you will not hear him say the FA Cup. He is highly likely to send out a young team, perhaps with a smattering of first team stars, but that is the sort of side that could lose to Burnley, or a bigger team later in the competition.
For a team like Arsenal, the FA Cup is the biggest trophy they can win this season. They are well off the pace in the title race and not playing in the Champions League, so they may as well go for broke in the FA Cup and a full strength Arsenal could beat a Man City reserve team. The same would go for Spurs or Liverpool if they are knocked out of the Champions League. City are also favourites to win the Carabao Cup but the same logic applies: if it means players being tired for crucial games in more important competitions, stars are unlikely to be risked. The cups are merely a distraction for a City team going for bigger prizes and fans are unlikely to see the team win them this season, despite the odds. Not that anyone will care if the Premiership crown is gleaming in the trophy cabinet next summer.