At this stage, we do not know if we will see a rescheduled FA Cup this season. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive uncertainty, putting the Premier League, European football and domestic cups at risk.
Still, as it was Arsenal’s last chance of some glory this season, we thought we would have something of a retrospective, while also looking at the Gunners’ chances should the tournament be rescheduled.
No team in the storied history of the world’s oldest knockout football competition has won the FA Cup more times than Arsenal. After first lifting it 90 years ago in 1930, they have gone on to have a dozen more successes, with six of those coming in the last 18 years.
The FA Cup has been pretty good to the Gunners. They won it either side of World War 2 in 1936 and 1950, then twice in the 1970s and as many times during the 1990s.
Who can forget the Invincibles vintage lifting the FA Cup three times in four years around their unbeaten 2003-04 Premier League campaign? The infamous 2005 final with Manchester United was anything but a spectacle, but by then familiarity between Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, and the two sets of players bred plenty of contempt producing a cagey contest.
The destiny of the FA Cup was decided by a penalty shootout for the first time between them, with Arsenal prevailing 5-4 after Paul Scholes’ spot-kick was saved by Jens Lehmann. The Gunners then had a trophy drought lasting nine years despite twice reaching the League Cup final in that period.
Wenger repeated the feat of steering the side to three FA Cup triumphs in four years courtesy of victories in 2014, 2015 and 2017 – the latter at the expense of Chelsea. That made him the most successful manager in the competition’s history with a record seventh winners’ medal.
That is quite some reputation for the current Arsenal team to live up to. However, current boss Mikel Arteta captained the Gunners to FA Cup glory over Hull City back in 2014, so knows what is required of the players.
What you’ll find here are FA Cup odds for Arsenal lifting the trophy once again, and they’re currently a top-price 9/1 with Betfred to do just that. Five sides above them in the Premier League table remain in the competition, though, so that explains they are a relatively big price to win it outright.
The FA Cup market this year is headed by 8/11 odds-on favourites Manchester City, who landed a clean sweep of the major domestic trophies available in English football last season. Arsenal’s old rivals Chelsea and Manchester United are both 8/1 chances with Sky Bet, meanwhile.
2020 FA Cup Odds Overview – odd supplied by Sky Bet
These Premier League heavyweights all avoided one another in the quarter-final draw. Leicester City are another side still involved in the FA Cup but sitting above the Gunners in the league, yet are 10/1 chances to bring silverware back to the East Midlands under Brendan Rodgers.
Norwich City and Sheffield United, who are Arsenal’s sixth-round opponents, complete the final eight in this year’s competition. Both were promoted into the Premier League for this season, but have had very different fortunes indeed.
Arteta and Gunners players cannot afford to underestimate the Blades. The opposition, and the tie is away at Bramall Lane, have been on a serious upward curve under Sheffield native boss Chris Wilder. They have caused upsets involving Arsenal before, so they must respect the next hurdle before thinking about the semi-final and a day out at Wembley.