The FA Cup is one of the biggest events in the English football calendar. In this guide, we’ve brought together all the essential information for this year’s final, including information on this year’s final two teams and some interesting trends from the event over the years.
First held in 1871, the final of the FA Cup takes place at the end of the English footballing calendar and has been held at the world-famous Wembley Stadium for most of its run. To use its Sunday name, the Football Association Challenge Cup, is in fact perhaps the most famous domestic cup competition in world football. You might also see it called the Emirates FA Cup, as Emirates have sponsored the prestigious competition since 2015.
Looking to make some money on the FA Cup Final? Learn how you can make a profit at the bookies with matched betting
- When is the FA Cup final?
- Who’s going to be in the FA Cup final?
- Who won the FA Cup final in 2018?
- FA Cup winners
This year’s FA Cup final date is Saturday 18th May 2019, 17:00. As has been the case for the last few years, the 2019 FA Cup final will be played at Wembley Stadium.
What channel is the FA Cup Final on?
However, if you can’t get tickets and want to watch the FA Cup final on TV instead, it will be shown on both the BBC Sport and BT Sport channels.
Man City and Watford faced each other in this year’s final. Let’s take a closer look at how they got there:
Man City: How they made the final
Manchester City will be hoping that the FA Cup final will be sealing their domestic treble and the third leg of their potential Quadruple.
City have been the favourites to win the FA Cup from the off and they began in emphatic style with a 7-0 triumph over Championship Rotherham United at The Etihad. Into the fourth round, another home tie but seemingly a tougher task as they hosted Premier League Burnley. However, another hammering followed as they won 5-0.
The fifth round and City were drawn at League Two Newport, who brilliant run came to an end, as City won 4-1, but it was anything but easy.
That saw City into the quarter-finals and things got interesting as they were again in South Wales, this time at Swansea. With just over 20 minutes left, Pep Guardiola’s men were going out as they trailed 2-0, but City somehow fought back and a late goal from Sergio Aguero booked their place in the last four.
In the semi-finals at Wembley and City took on Brighton, and there little to talk about as a fourth-minute goal from Gabriel Jesus saw them into their 11th FA Cup final – they have previously won five and lost five, with their last win coming in 2011.
Watford: How they made the final
Watford’s third round was a tough opener for them as they were drawn at non-league Woking, but they avoided a potential giant-killing with a 2-0 victory.
Into the fourth round and another tricky away trip, this time at Premier League Newcastle but the same outcome: a 2-0 win.
Watford’s travels continued in the fifth round. This time with a capital derby clash at Queens Park Rangers, and they edged through again with a 1-0 win.
The quarter-finals and another London clash awaited Watford, but this time they had home advantage and they used it as they beat fellow Premier League outfit Crystal Palace 2-1.
Into the semis and they had a tough clash on their hands in the shape of high-flying Wolves – and things were going badly as they went 2-0 down. But a last-minute penalty from Troy Deeney sent it into extra-time and they won it in additional time through Spanish winger Gerard Deulofeu claiming his second goal of the game.
It is only Watford’s second appearance in the final. They lost their only previous final to Everton in 1984.
[EDIT 20.05.19]: Man City 6 – 0 Watford
The 2018 final looked good on paper, with Chelsea facing off against Manchester United and their former boss, Jose Mourinho.
Going into the final, Chelsea looked like they had gone with quite a defensive formation with the likes of William, Pedro and Alvaro Morata all confined to the bench. Whilst United picked Alexis Sanchez along with Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard up-front, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial had to make do with places on the bench.
United began the day as slight favourites, but from the off it was not a classic. The only goal of the day arrived after just 21-minutes when Eden Hazard was fouled in the box by Phil Jones.
The Belgian took the spot-kick himself and beat David De Gea.
It was a good day for Belgium as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois pulled off a string of fine saves in the Chelsea goal – in what would turn out to be his final appearance for the club.
Sanchez saw a goal ruled out for offside, and VAR confirmed it was correct as Chelsea sealed the win – a first English cup for Antonio Conte, who would lose his job soon after.
The 2018 FA Cup Final was the first time Mourinho had ever lost a final in England.
Throughout its 138th year history, we’ve definitely seen some teams who’ve had more success than others when it comes to the FA Cup final. But who are the most successful?
Who has won the most FA Cup finals?
Arsenal have taken the title of most FA Cup wins with a staggering 13! They’ve lifted the trophy in 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1979, 1993, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2014, 2015 and 2017. And their winning record is even more impressive when you find out they’ve been in the final 20 times. Which means they’ve only lost 7 games! They share the record of most FA Cup final appearances with Manchester United, who’ve also played in 20 finals but are sitting just behind Arsenal on wins with 12.
Teams who’ve won the FA Cup final 5 times or more
- Aston Villa
- Blackburn Rovers
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- Newcastle United
- Sheffield United
- Tottenham Hotspur
- West Bromwich Albion
But among all these FA Cup final regulars, spare a thought for poor Portsmouth, who had to wait 69 years between their wins (1939–2008).
FA Cup final trends
- In the last 10 years, only one player has both held the title of Premier League top scorer and then scored in the FA Cup final. Didier Drogba was top scorer in the 2009/2010 season as well as scoring in 4 FA Cup finals (2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012).
- Newport’s Padraig Amond has five goals in this year’s competition, scoring in ever round up to the quarter-finals and he is the top-scorer.
- Seven different teams have “done the Double” (won both the FA Cup and Premier League) since the inception of the Football League in 1888:
- Manchester United (three times)
- Arsenal (three times)
- Preston North End
- Aston Villa
- Tottenham Hotspur
And it’s only happened twice this century: Arsenal in 2002 and Chelsea in 2010.
- Teams that have won the FA Cup have gone on to reach the final the following year on 16 occasions.
- The average number of goals scored in the final is 1.9 in the last ten years.
- However, in the FA Cup’s 137 year history, the average rises to 2.1.
- The biggest winning margin in an FA Cup final was 6-0 when Bury beat Derby County in 1903.
- Only one other team has scored six goals in a final. In 1890, Blackburn Rovers beat Sheffield Wednesday 6-1 – which is equally the highest scoring final of all time, with Blackpool’s 4-3 win over Bolton in 1953.
- Seven of the winners from the last 10 years have been odds-on favourites. Although two of these needed extra time to do it. However, the favourites have NOT won in the last two years. So what does that mean for this year’s final?
|2010-11||Man City||1-0||Stoke City||Favourite won|
|2012-13||Wigan Athletic||1-0||Man City||Favourite didn’t win|
|2013-14||Arsenal||3-2||Hull City||Favourite won||Went to extra time|
|2014-15||Arsenal||4-0||Aston Villa||Favourite won|
|2015-16||Man United||2-1||Crystal Palace||Favourite won||Went to extra time|
|2016-17||Arsenal||2-1||Chelsea||Favourite didn’t win|
|2017-18||Chelsea||1-0||Man United||Favourite didn’t win||Neither side was odds on|
There have been a few shocks and upsets over the years:
- The biggest winner in the last ten-years and one of the biggest ever was Wigan’s 2013 win over Manchester City. Wigan were as long as 9/1 to win the final.
- The biggest ever final shock was Wimbledon beating Liverpool in 1988. They were 16/1 to beat the Merseyside giants.
- Sunderland beating Leeds in 1973 is also one of the biggest shocks. Up to that point, Leeds were the shortest price in cup history at 1/8 but they lost to Sunderland who were 12/1
If you’re thinking about betting on the FA Cup Final 2019, you might want to take a look at matched betting. Check out our What is Matched Betting? guide to find out more.