Arsenal have lifted the FA Cup in two of the last three seasons and are the joint-record holders of the world’s oldest cup competition. Such dominance in the prestigious competition during recent years has seen Arsenal’s trophy cabinet grow under the guidance of French boss Arsene Wenger.
It was Manchester United, the other side to have won the FA Cup a record 12 times, who managed to wrestle the trophy from the Londoners with their Wembley victory over Crystal Palace last campaign. However, after such a strong surge of form this year, Arsenal look more than capable of prevailing for a third time in four years on the illustrious Wembley turf. They are at 7/1 chances in the bet365 FA Cup betting to do exactly that this current campaign.
The capital club edged by Preston North End in their opening cup encounter for the term, with French frontman Olivier Giroud netting a late winner in a narrow 2-1 result at Deepdale. His 89th-minute goal came after Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey had cancelled out a surprise opener from Callum Robinson after just seven minutes played.
Arsenal showcasing impressive form
Despite that narrow success, Arsenal have been impressive domestically in the Premier League, showcasing their usual attractive attacking brilliance.
Clinical Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez has been one of the stars of the Gunners show, having dispatched 14 goals in all competitions at the start of the season last year. Meanwhile, German pass-master Mesut Ozil is another who is providing a host of chances for his fellow forwards and Giroud continues to prove his worth at the Emirates as well.
Wenger’s key aim this term will surely be clinching their first top-flight title since way back in 2002, though they trail current league leaders Chelsea by eight points and the Blues look unlikely of slipping up.
With that being the case, the FA Cup therefore looks like the most promising opportunity for silverware success this season.
Wenger believes in current crop
Arsenal’s confident coach believes his team have showcased the form and character that could see them challenge for trophies this term, having fought right to the end of each passing game they’re involved in.
“This team has shown qualities that are very important,” stated Wenger. “We are relentless, we keep going. We have produced more goals in the final five minutes than anyone else. There’s a great unity in this team.”
Another outright triumph for the Londoners would see them move ahead of long-standing rivals Man Utd in the overall number of victories, something that will be driving the current crop of Gunners on in their pursuit of history.
European exploits a distraction?
The London outfit also have the small matter of a Champions League last 16 tie against dominant German champions Bayern Munich on the horizon. Will that be a concern as they track down a record FA Cup coup?
It’s been well documented in past campaigns that European exploits can hinder teams domestically and in cup competitions, though Wenger will be confident his players can avoid such a scenario and rally towards a successful season.