Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

The Punter: Manchester United’s Cup of cheer

Robin van Persie celebrates his equaliser against West Ham which earned a replay

Hard to understand why Chelsea and Man City are ahead of Man United in the betting to lift the FA Cup in the 150th year of the competition.

Alright, United still have to overcome West Ham in a replay at Old Trafford next week but that shouldn't be a problem and sets them up for a home clash with Fulham or Blackpool, neither of whom will give the Red Devils too much to worry about.

And that makes 11/2 reasonable odds in the circumstances, especially as City (5-1) face a potential trip to Stoke where no-one wants to go.

And even if Stoke come a cropper in their replay with Crystal Palace, that would still present an awkward tie.

Chelsea surely can't fail at Southend or Brentford but it should hardly make them 5/1 joint favourites with City.

And if anyone thinks Sir Alex Ferguson is not really interested in this particular trophy, they only had to witness his reaction when Robin van Persie scored that brilliant equaliser at Upton Park at the weekend.

Fergie still craves the silverware and it isn't beyond United to land the double.

Once they account for the Hammers, United are likely to be no better than 7/2 for outright cup glory as they'll be the only team in the top seven in the market who are not on the road in the next round.

This competition presents Arsenal with their best chance of ending an eight-year trophy drought, although firms are offering 5/1 that they remain potless until 2020. That's not a bet worth considering — too long a wait and very poor value.

And don't even think of taking a miserly 11/10 on Arsene Wenger leaving the Emirates in 2014. Instead grab the 4/6 that he wins another trophy before making his exit which won't be for some time yet.

When will Arsenal win their next trophy? 11/2 2013; 3/1 2014; 4/1 2015; 7/1 2016; 5/4 no trophies during this period.

Will Arsene Wenger win another trophy with Arsenal? 4/6 yes; 11/10 no. When will he leave Arsenal? 7/2 2013; 11/10 2014; 9/5 2015; 5/1 2016 or later.

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