There's never a dull moment in the FA cup, but what is it that makes this English Championship so different to other knockout competitions around the world?
First held in 1871, the Emirates FA Cup is the oldest football competition in the world. Consisting of an outstanding 737 teams from all over England, this competition is open to any club from the Premier League (Level 1) to Step 6 of the National Football League System (Level 10). Renowned for the amount of shocks that it provides, over the years many lower league teams - or "minnows" - have been labeled as "Giant killers" for knocking out Premier league sides. It is the magic of the FA Cup, known worldwide as one of the most competitive cups to play for.
Read on to find the key facts about this competitive competition so you don’t make any mistakes while betting.
Full of surprise upsets, most years a top division team can be beaten by a much lower tier team, who can sometimes even win the cup! Did you know that Wigan Athletic won it against Manchester City in 2013? Portsmouth also beat Cardiff in 2008 to claim their first title. Anything is possible.
One reason for that is because managers give younger players a chance to show their worth. In the early stages of the cup, it is ideal for bigger clubs to integrate their youngsters with some of the established players. A manager must be careful not to play too many young players as this increases the chance of a cup upset. Also, with the FA Cup 4th round usually scheduled for mid-January, players will have already played a lot of games throughout the festive period when many mid-week games are scheduled. Managers will have to manage their squads, trying to rest players while also needing to field a strong team so they don't get knocked out prematurely. Being drawn away can also be a big issue for Premier League clubs. The small stadiums and poor-quality pitches make it difficult for the big clubs, with a hostile home crowd in the background trying to make it worse. Such is the beauty of the FA Cup.
While the FA Cup has been renowned for it's unpredictability over it's long history, in recent years it is the top Premier League sides that have been successful in the competition. In the last 10 years, only one team from outside the Premier League top 6 has won the competition - when Wigan achieved a shock win against Manchester City, only to be relegated to the Championship at the end of the season. In the last 10 years, Chelsea have been the most successful club in the competition with 4 titles, followed by Arsenal with 3 and reigning champions Manchester City with 2. For this reason the competition has lost a lot of is magic for fans, as many neutrals enjoy this competition because it gives a chance to the underdog. Still, that is not to say that we will not see a surprise winner in the upcoming season - anything can happen in the FA Cup
Winner: The FA Cup was one of the three domestic competitions that Manchester City won this season, the sixth time that they were crowned victors of this knockout competition.
Final: Pep Guardiola’s side beat Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup Final in Wembley, thanks to goals from David Silva, Gabriel Jesus (2), Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling (2).