Chelsea have been made favourites to win the FA Cup by the bookmakers at bwin.com.
The Blues, who will play 2008 winners Portsmouth at Stamford Bridge in round three, are priced at football betting odds of 11/2 to collect the silverware for the seventh time in their history.
They have certainly taken something of a shine to the competition in recent seasons, with skipper John Terry lifting the trophy in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Still, eyebrows will be raised at seeing their name at the head of the market, considering their recent struggles under new boss Andre Villas-Boas.
But this can largely be explained by yesterday’s third-round draw pitting bitter rivals and Premier League top two Manchester City and Manchester United together.
Depending on which way you look at it, this either makes the two northern giants harder to back to go all the way or more appealing prospects at the longer odds.
City, who will have home advantage, are second-favourites at 6/1 to retain the trophy they won by defeating Stoke at Wembley in May, with United available at 15/2.
The semi-final meeting between the sides last season, which was settled in City’s favour by a Yaya Toure strike, will no doubt spur United on to gain revenge when they pitch up at the Etihad Stadium on the weekend of January 7th/8th.
Football betting fans receive a free £25 bet for joining bwin.com and placing it on United to win the FA Cup would return £212.50 if the Red Devils achieve their goal.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have a home tie with either Southend or Oldham in round three and are the meat in the Manchester sandwich as they are currently rated as the 7/1 third-favourites.
The Reds are without a trophy since their last FA Cup triumph in 2006, when they defeated West Ham on penalties after Steven Gerrard rescued a 3-3 draw with a wonder goal in the final minute of extra-time.
Tied for fifth place in the betting are north London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal, who have not had their hands on the famous old pot since 1991 and 2005 respectively.
Spurs face an easy passage into round four in the shape of a home tie with Cheltenham, while the Gunners will welcome Leeds at this stage for the second year running.
Punters looking for some longer shots may be tempted by Everton (20/1), Aston Villa (25/1), Newcastle (33/1) or Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland (40/1).
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