Arsene Wenger is looking for an excuse to send the cleaning ladies into the Arsenal trophy room this weekend as the Gunners take on Hull at Wembley. The dust in that cabinet has gone beyond settling and has started breeding it has been untouched for so long.
Hull City on the other hand have never experienced an FA Cup final, but they’ll have fond memories of Wembley and local legend Dean Windass scoring the goal against Bristol City to send the Tigers into the top flight. That’s the stuff dreams are made of.
It has the makings of a tasty little contest, sandwiched in between the Premier League’s finale and the Champions League showdown between Atletico Madrid and Real.
To get you geared up for the oldest cup final in English football we’ve crunched the numbers from the last 20 years and rustled up the strongest trends. These could help you out with your Saturday punting and make you look really cool and smart when you casually drop them into conversation at the pub on Friday night. It’s a win-win.
- Do you follow the stats or set the trends? Get the latest odds on Arsenal v Hull right here: Desktop | Mobile
The good news for Arsenal fans is that 70 per cent of the time the favourites win inside 90 minutes, which should indicate a fairly comfortable match without the buttock-clenching thought of a penalty shoot-out. Favourite backers who like a short price will also be buoyed by this nugget and can plough into the Gunners at 1/2.
If you fancy a punt at a bigger price though, it might be worth casting your eye over the midfielders. They have opened the scoring in 50 per cent of the last 20 FA Cup Finals including the last three on the spin. Aaron Ramsey (7/1) has two goals in his last three games including that red-hot volley against Norwich on the last day of the season while Mikel Arteta (12/1) will get plenty of support as he’ll be on penalty duty for Arsenal. David Meyler (22/1) has two goals in six FA Cup appearances this season and might tempt optimistic punters from the North East at a juicy price.
Unfortunately for neutrals, the FA Cup Final in recent years has been far from thrilling. In fact it has been as edgy as one of those hipster bars were everyone has a beard and several piercings and they stare you out if you order a Heineken over a pale ale brewed in Norway by a man called Dennis. Super edgy.
A whopping 14 of the last 20 finals have featured less than 2.5 goals which is a 5/6 shot this weekend. In half of the finals the teams have gone in 0-0 at the break and that is 15/8 to be goalless at the break in Arsenal’s clash with Hull. If you fancy the trend to continue but are after a slightly more appealing price, it is 16/5 for the teams to be level at the oranges but Arsenal to win the game.
Despite the frequent stalemates, just two defenders and not one goalkeeper have picked up the man of the match award in the last 20 years, so if you’re delving into that market an attacking player is the way to go.
There is unlikely to be much bite in the tackle either. Last year, Pablo Zabaleta’s sending off was the only time a player has been sent for an early bath in the last 20 years. There are on average three yellow cards shown by the man in black during the FA Cup Final and that has also been the case in four of the last seven finals to boot.
The trends favour Arsenal, and in particular their attacking midfielders, in what the stats suggest will be a cagey affair featuring either plenty of well-timed tackles or a lenient referee. With that in mind the Blog is going to have the £1.27 that’s left in the drinking fund on an optimistic Arsenal 0-0 Hull half-time/Arsenal 2-0 Hull full-time result bet at 17/1.