From a financial perspective, Premier League survival is worth more to Wigan than lifting the FA Cup while boss Roberto Martinez insists his priority is to keep his side in the top flight.
However, the final represents a huge day out for the club and on such a significant occasion in their history, it seems unlikely that the Latics will be anything other than entirely focused on the Wembley showpiece.
Nevertheless, it’s Manchester City who are well fancied to return home with the trophy, bet365 pricing them at 4/11 to repeat their 2011 success in normal time and BetVictor marking 17/2 against Wigan.
The final is 19/5 with Stan James to require extra-time but this is City’s only chance of silverware in what has otherwise been a fairly disappointing campaign so they’re sure to come out all guns blazing and their extra quality can tell in 90 minutes.
Still, they won’t find it easy against a Latics side under less pressure and that’s why the favourites might be worth an interest at 11/4 courtesy of Skybet to shade it by a one-goal margin. That was the outcome when the pair met in the Premier League a few weeks ago and a case can be made for a repeat of Manchester City’s 1-0 success from that clash, at 15/2 (BetVictor).
Alternatively, any triumph combined with a clean sheet for Roberto Mancini’s team is a 6/5 chance at William Hill and at the other end Carlos Tevez is an enticing 4/1 with Ladbrokes to break the deadlock.
In the Premier League, Aston Villa are almost safe and it’s a good job because they’re odds-on at 4/5 via Stan James to lose their final home match of the campaign, against Chelsea. The Blues crushed Paul Lambert’s side 8-0 in the reverse fixture but at 17/2 (BetVictor) a more modest 1-0 triumph is more likely this weekend.
Looking to stay in the hunt for a top-four berth, Tottenham are bet365’s 10/11 jollies ahead of the trip to Stoke but Paddy Power’s 5/2 marked against the stalemate is a more enticing proposition at the Britannia Stadium and at Old Trafford Manchester United can cruise past Swansea in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last home match in charge of the club. BetVictor quote the champions at 4/11 to secure a maximum haul and in bet365’s handicaps, the hosts are 20/21 when kicking off a goal in arrears.
At the bottom, Newcastle will be hoping that relegated QPR’s players are already dreaming of their summer holidays and Paddy Power offer 13/10 about the Magpies capitalising on Rangers’ lack of incentive at Loftus Road.
Sunderland and Southampton meanwhile, are 12/5 courtesy of Stan James to draw their crucial-looking showdown at the Stadium of Light and an inconclusive contest, priced by the same bookmaker at 5/2, is also on the cards as off-colour Norwich entertain West Brom.
Finally, Merseyside pair Everton and Liverpool are both set to register victories, Ladbrokes marking 8/15 and 19/20 respectively against the duo as they come up against West Ham and Fulham.
Sebastian Vettel is already 10 points ahead as he seeks to capture Formula One’s Drivers’ World Championship for the fourth successive year and with the German gathering momentum, he’s now odds-on at 10/11 via BetVictor to retain the title.
The competition heads to Europe and Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya this weekend, with Vettel again the favourite at 9/4 courtesy of William Hill, to rack up another victory while Stan James price Fernando Alonso at 11/4 and Kimi Raikkonen is next in the betting at 9/2 with bet365.
The same firm chalk the Finn up at an enticing 8/11 to finish on the podium in the Lotus and BetVictor offer 16/1 about Paul Di Resta sneaking into the top three for the first time in his career, as he almost did in Bahrain last time out.
Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell and Mexican scrapper Julio Ceja go head-to-head for the vacant IBF bantamweight at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday and it’s the visiting fighter that gets the nod from bookies at 1/2 (Paddy Power).
The 20-year-old remains unbeaten and has racked up an impressive 22 stoppages in his 24 victories but he has yet to fight outside Mexico and it could prove to be a bit of a shock to the system for such a young fighter as he steps into what will surely be a bear pit atmosphere in McDonnell’s backyard.
Stan James’ 2/1 for the 27-year-old to make home town advantage count looks a touch big then and the same bookie makes McDonnell a generous 10/3 to prevail on the judges’ scorecards.
Also on Saturday, Ricky Burns defends his WBO lightweight title against Jose Gonzalez at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena. Despite the challenger’s blemish free record, the champion is a strong favourite at 1/4 with Stan James and bet365 post 10/11 against Burns defeating the Puerto Rican on points.
Bet of the week: Sebastian Vettel to win the Spanish GP – 9/4 (William Hill).
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com