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The FA Cup: Will This Be The Year Dark Horses Prevail?

Despite all the discussion around the FA Cup and whether it is taken seriously, this competition is dominated by the big six. This year has been slightly different, only three remain in the competition and we will see one exit the competition when United visit Stamford Bridge in this rounds Clash of the Titans. 

The quarter-final draw is still dominated by Premier League sides, just not the ones we were expecting, some would say league success and survival is more important. Take a look at how the cup may have a larger impact than the results here. Brighton, Watford, Wolves and Palace all secured their places in the hat with victories over lower league opposition.

Could this year be the one we see an unexpected winner lift the famous trophy and secure some domestic success or will the dominance of the top clubs continue?

Wolves

In our dark horses article Wolves and Watford were mentioned to keep an eye on as they progressed through the competition. Two rounds later both are going strong and into the quarter-final. You can see why we made these predictions here.

After some tense encounters Wolves have booked their place the next round. A solid performance today saw them see off a Bristol City team who went into the game unbeaten in nine. Their odds of 14/1 at the time of writing look good value as after securing the victory today can now be found at 13/2 with bet365. If you hadn’t backed them after reading the last post, now might be the time.

Wolves have shown their best form this season against sides above them in the League. They took a point against both the red and blue sides of Manchester whilst taking all three from Chelsea and Spurs. They have already beaten Liverpool to get this far in the competition and their best chance of a semi-final at Wembley may come if they draw one of the remaining favourites. 

Watford

FA Cup - Woking vs Watford

Watford sit pretty in 8th in the Premier League. In no trouble of entering a relegation fight but remaining too far off European football, Watford can focus attention on the cup. Tougher tests will arise than Newcastle and QPR but the Hornets will be fancying their chances of a Wembley day out, whoever they draw on Monday night.

At the time of writing dark horses, Watford were at 33/1 to win the FA Cup. Their prospects are looking brighter now as they sit at 10/1 at Paddy Power with only three games standing in their way of domestic glory.

Potential Value?

Brighton and Crystal Palace both remain in the competition and with the unpredictable nature of the cup, their spirits will remain strong. Both teams will be hoping for favourable home draws next round with the potential of Championship opposition being the desired outcome. Swansea and Millwall both produced good results to ensure their names were in the hat for the quarter-finals but it’s no doubt teams will be looking to draw one of these two. 

Both Palace and Brighton remain outsiders despite the lack of star names in the quarterfinals. Palace are the more favoured of the two and can be backed at 9/1 with BetVictor whereas Brighton’s hopes look slim at 14/1 with Betfair. If you do fancy Swansea or Millwall to make a challenge, both can be found at 66/1 with Betfred reflecting the very small chance they do have.

The luck all rests in the draw of course and that’s what makes the cup so special. We could see Chelsea/United face City in the next round bringing hope to these dark horses. Whatever happens, they will all be happy to be in the hat and we can look forward to another weekend of cup Magic.

Let us know your thoughts on Twitter. Will any of these teams progress to the final and lift the trophy? Tune into the draw on Monday night as the FA Cup action continues

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