I do not think there is a single football pundit giving Wigan anything other than praise for reaching their first ever FA Cup final. However, when it comes to predicting the result for the 132nd FA Cup final, with the best will in the world, every single football punter is backing Manchester City to make it a 6th FA success adding to their last one won in 2011.
On paper it looks like a complete banker, a no-brainer. City’s endless list of A-list footballers earning wages totalling a monstrous £200 million a year compared to a Wigan team whose top earner is reported to be their keep Al Habsi (£25K per week).
The FA Cup has thrown up some unpredictable results in the past and here is a brief summary as to why Wigan will be hoping that they become the next fairly tale to come true.
In the 1987/88 season no-one gave the crazy dons of Wimbledon a prayer against the mighty Liverpool but Lawrie Sanchez’s goal was the difference on the day (not to mention John Aldridge missing a penalty). Who would have thought that Tottenham Hotspurs would have won the FA Cup back in 1901 when they were a non league team, up against a strong Sheffield Utd team who had won the cup only two years earlier? Or who gave Coventry City a chance against a classy Tottenham Hotspurs in 1987? Then there was the massive upset in 1927 when Cardiff City beat Arsenal by a goal to nil.
Wigan have not been to Wembley very often but their fans will remember 1985 with great fondness. There are many parallels that day to this year’s FA Cup final. Not many people gave Wigan Athletic a chance against a Brentford team who was being roared on bynearly 40,000 fans. Wigan brought less than 5,000 fans. That day Wigan taught Brentford a footballing lesson beating the West London outfit by 3 goals to 1 to lift what was the first ever Freight Rover Trophy.
Will history repeat itself come 7.30pm? Good luck to the Latics and may the best team win.