- Round of 16 time in English football’s Carabao Cup
- Two big clashes involving the EPL’s big six
- Liverpool and Arsenal clash in the tie of the round at Anfield
In England, the midweek program is all about the Carabao Cup Round of 16, and the draw has thrown up some mouthwatering clashes. With the Premier League’s big six often using this competition as an opportunity to blood some of their talented youngsters, there’s often value to be had. The trick is identifying it.
Carabao Cup Round of 16 Odds
|Manchester City||-2.5 (-112)||-909||O 3.5, 4.0 (+100)|
|Southampton||+2.5 (+108)||+1150||U 3.5, 4.0 (-120)|
|Everton||-0.5, -1.0 (-115)||-149||O 2.5 (-102)|
|Watford||+0.5, +1.0 (-105)||+380||U 2.5 (-118)|
|Burton Albion||+1.5 (-113)||+660||O 3.0 (-111)|
|Leicester City||-1.5 (-117)||-294||U 3.0 (-109)|
|Oxford United||pk (-119)||+150||O 2.5 (-118)|
|Sunderland||pk (-101)||+172||U 2.5 (-102)|
|Crawley Town||pk (-106)||+169||O 2.0, 2.5 (-120)|
|Colchester United||pk (-114)||+156||U 2.0., 2.5 (+100)|
|Liverpool||-0.5 (-120)||-120||O 3.0 (-121)|
|Arsenal||+0.5 (+100)||+290||U 3.0 (+101)|
|Aston Villa||pk -0.5 (+101)||+135||O 2.0, 2.5 (-122)|
|Wolves||pk +0.5 (-121)||+193||U 2.0, 2.5 (+102)|
|Chelsea||-0.5 (-113)||-113||O 2.5 (-120)|
|Manchester United||+0.5 (-107)||+280||U 2.5 (+100)|
All odds taken October 29, 2019.
Carabao Cup Pick 1: Liverpool vs Arsenal
For Liverpool, it has to be said this competition is not the top priority. Jurgen Klopp’s men are well and truly in the mix for a Premier League/Champions League double and so the Carabao Cup is being used as a launchpad for some of the club’s talented youngsters.
In their third-round tie against MK Dons, the Reds fielded a mix of experienced players who were only on the fringes of the first-team and players from their development squad and still dominated their League One opponents, winning the game 2-0 at a stroll. Klopp is likely to pick a similar team for Wednesday.
Unai Emery adopted an almost identical approach for Arsenal’s third-round home tie with Nottingham Forest, with Mezut Ozil leading a Gunners’ team that was based around the club’s under-23 team. While Arsenal ran out 5-0 winners, it’s worth noting that up until the 70th-minute, their lead was a slender 1-0. Four late goals distorted the result of a game that Forest were will in until that late blast.
So, not an easy one to call but Liverpool’s win in Milton Keynes bodes well for them and Arsenal are an unhappy ship right now.
Pick: Liverpool to win 3-1
Carabao Cup Pick 2: Aston Villa vs Wolves
Villa and Wolves meet at Villa Park on Wednesday in what promises to be a feisty Midlands derby. Both of these teams will approach this competition with the intention of winning it and, unlike Liverpool and Arsenal, will be less likely to experiment with their line-ups.
The Villans lost 3-0 away at Manchester City at the weekend but until then had been in really good form, winning three of their last five games. Saturday’s defeat was their first in more than a month. They earned their place in the round of 16 by beating EPL rivals Brighton 3-1 back in late September.
Wolves are also in excellent form despite a difficult start to the season that was impacted heavily by their involvement in the Europa League. They are now unbeaten in their last eight games, having won five of their last seven, but they only qualified for this round by beating Championship side Reading on penalties.
Their continued involvement in Europe may take the edge off their hunger to progress and I fancy Villa to get this done with no need for extra-time or penalties
Pick: Villa to win 2-0
Carabao Cup Pick 3: Chelsea vs Manchester United
Two more of the big six clash at Stamford Road on Wednesday, both with one eye on adding another cup to the trophy cabinet. Neither are likely to win the EPL title, so the Carabao Cup – along with the FA Cup – represents their best chance of domestic glory.
These two met on opening day at Old Trafford with the Red Devils winning 4-0, but since then their fortunes have gone in opposite directions. Frank Lampard’s team are now on a great run, winning seven of their last seven in all competitions, and have more than settled early-season nerves.
By contrast, United have won only once in their last five league matches and only secured their passage through to the Carabao Round of 16, with a win against League One side Rochdale on penalties. They did, however, return to form at the weekend with an emphatic 3-1 win at Norwich.
Chelsea are odds-on for the home win but given how well United played at the weekend and the return to fitness of Anthony Martial, there’s value here with the away win.
Pick: Man Utd to win (+280)