Weblog: The football punter

FA Cup final upset may not be pie in the sky

IT’S been a fair while since the FA Cup final was the biggest gig in town and even this weekend, in terms of financial implications, it pales next to Reading and Huddersfield on Monday.

But with nothing much to grab our attention in the footy calendar this summer, we need to savour every last drop of the final, the culmination of a season-long competition which has featured among other things low crowds, weakened teams and a reserve keeper with a penchant for steak and kidney.

Arsene Wenger, cursed by Jose Mourinho for so long, now comes up against a Chelsea team not managed by him.

Yet, just a few days after Mourinho picked up his second trophy of the season, the Arsenal chief is still languishing in The Narcissistic One’s shadow especially as United (sixth) have pipped Arsenal (fifth) for a Champions League spot. It’s got to hurt.

So Wenger’s gonna be more determined than ever to beat Chelsea and if Arsenal don’t there will be 747s, never mind light aircraft, circling Wembley with ‘Wenger Out’ banners by the time Chelsea have finished their lap of honour.

Having said all that, I actually fancy Arsenal can turn over their neighbours. With all that attacking zing on display, if Watford can slap three past the champs then Arsenal definitely can.

Antonio Conte’s got his wish with the title, JT has had his send-off and now it’s Wenger’s turn for something good to finally happen this season.

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Match in Focus

15:00 Sa 25Nov

C Palace v Stoke

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Palace’s only five points of the season have come from their last three home games
Expert verdict
Things are slowly picking up for Crystal Palace, who have beaten Chelsea and drawn with West Ham and Everton in their last three games at Selhurst Park. A home clash with Stoke looks winnable for the Eagles as the Potters have conceded 20 goals in their last eight league matches.