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Tournament favourites may contest FA Cup final derby at Wembley

| 18.02.2013

With upsets once again prevalent in the FA Cup, Ladbrokes have an interesting market regarding the fortunes of non-Premier League sides in the competition.

Three sides from outside the top-flight are sure to contest the quarter-final stage of the competition, whilst it is possible that five teams in total will reach the last eight.

In reaction, Ladbrokes go 12/1 that one of these sides lifts the trophy this season.

The last time so many lower league teams remained in the competition at the quarter-final stage was back in 2008, when three teams outside the Premier League eventually made the last four.

Top-flight Portsmouth went on to win the tournament that year though, meaning a winner hasn’t emanated from outside of England’s top division since 1980, when West Ham claimed the accolade.

Thus, punters could be forgiven for approaching that price with caution, despite the impressive volume of lower echelon sides remaining in the competition this term.

At least one of the sides will make the Wembley semi-finals, with Millwall set to take on Blackburn at the Den in a last-eight tie.

Finalists in 2004, the Lions are 40/1 to go one better and win the tournament this year, whilst Rovers are 40/1 to win a seventh FA Cup, and first since 1928.

An alternative option comes in the form of 150/1 Barnsley, who must overcome Premier League champions Manchester City at the Etihad to reach the last four.

And Middlesbrough are the same price as the Tykes, with such hefty odds justified by their need to overcome Chelsea to make the quarter-finals.

Oldham are the final non-Premier League side in the competition, but it is difficult to envisage the 200/1 shots eliminating Everton to earn a last-eight home clash with neighbours Wigan.

In fact, Everton have been cut from 6/1 to 4/1 for the FA Cup crown, given that favourable home draw opposing the 22/1 Latics.

But what could prove the best bet is for an all-Manchester final to ensue, which Ladbrokes offer as a 7/2 chance.

6/4 tournament favourites City are heavily favoured in their bid to dispose of Championship Barnsley, whilst Manchester United can see off Reading at Old Trafford.

13/5 United would then face a likely trip to Stamford Bridge, a ground they have already won on in league competition this term.

And should the pair avoid each other at the semi-final stage, it would be difficult to bet against either of them making the Wembley final.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



John Klee