The English FA cup is finally back. The lower tier clubs are done with the lower knockout stages. The round of 32 is active with all the premier league clubs in the competition. Last season, Arsenal convincingly won the competition after beating Chelsea in the finals. This achievement cemented their position at the top of the England FA cup leaderboard. They have won 14 of the cups. Manchester United are the closest rivals with 12 FA cups. With most clubs eyeing the coveted trophy, the competition is stiffer this season.
Bigwigs Who Have Qualified
Despite the competition being open to every English club, only a few get mentioned as the favorites. In England, 6 top clubs are always at the forefront of every competition. Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool are the routine top 6 clubs. These are the top six favorites to clinch the trophy. This is due to their experience in the competition and general quality as clubs. Arsenal has qualified for the next round by beating Newcastle 2 goals to nil. Liverpool is also in the next round having put 4 past Aston Villa.
Moreover, Manchester United are also through to the next round. They won 1:0 vs Watford, thanks to a Scott McTominay early goal. Chelsea take on Morecambe while Tottenham face Marine FC. Manchester City will be visited by Birmingham City.
Furthermore, the competition is tougher this season given the quality of other clubs. The likes of Everton, Southampton, Wolves, Leicester City and West Ham are capable of challenging for the trophy. The clubs have decent squads that have impressed in the EPL this season. This is a big reason to worry for the big boys. More effort will be needed to dispatch off these clubs. The big boys must put their best feet forward if at all they want to win the trophy. Otherwise, they might be in for a rude shock from the impressive mid table clubs.
After the FA Cup quarter finals clash over the weekend, four clubs; Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City proceeded to the Semifinals of the tournament. Arsenal were drawn to face the title holders, City and Chelsea were drawn to face Manchester United and it doesnâ€™t get bigger than this. This is definitely going to be a London vs Manchester affair as the four clubs who have had a history of rivalry face each other for domestic cup glory.
United against Chelsea has been quite a one sided fixture since the Reds havenâ€™t lost a game in their last 6 meetings. This season alone, the two clubs have met thrice, twice in the Premier League and once in the EFL Carabao Cup and United have emerged victorious in all the games. Itâ€™s a pretty embarrassing domination for the blues considering theyâ€™re both currently in the clash for the top 4 spot in the League Table. Frank Lampard is obviously working on a plan to beat Manchester United because being beaten in 4 out of 4 games would not look good for them. United on the other hand are currently on fire with a 14games unbeaten streak and a squad in top form. Both clubs seem optimistic about proceeding to the finals and hope to add this silverware in their trophy collection. The two will meet at Wembley on Saturday July 18th behind closed doors.
Arsenal on the other end will seek to beat a club they havenâ€™t won a game against since April 2017.Manchester City has beaten the Gunners in all their last 7 meetings and this seems to be a very tight fixture for the red Londoners. Arsenal has never lost in a FA Cup semifinal against Mancity and has defeated City in their last 5 meetings in their FA Cup. They are currently not in their best form with a number of their key players injured. Pep Guardiola, who will meet his former assistant coach, Mikel Arteta for the second time this season, isnâ€™t intending on loosing this crucial game. He is clearly seeking his second domestic trophy this season. The two will meet in the weekend of July 18/19 at Wembley stadium. The Finals of the tournament will be on 1st August on the same venue.
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Arsenal’s all hopes are on today’s FA final match against Chelsea as it will determine if they will be in the Europa League next season. The final game will kick-off at 7:30 pm (EAT) at Wembley.
Their win in today’s match will not only determine if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stays but also help attract their main transfer targets in this summer transfer window.
Chelsea will be in the European football next season since they finished third in the Premier League. Arsenal finished in the eighth position and will have to win in today’s match to secure a spot in the Europa League campaign.
Today’s match is also significant to both Mikel Arteta and Frank Lampard since they all have expectations of winning their first cup for their respective clubs as managers. Who will it be?
The Gunners have a record of 13 FA Cups and hopes to extend their record to 14 Cup wins.