Spurs can grind out victory to progress to semis
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur
Wednesday 23rd December, kick-off 17:30
Live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event
If you have ever wondered if Spurs could do it on a wet, cold, Wednesday night in Stoke, you can take 1.564/7 for the win to get your answer. Backers of odds-on shots could argue there is value to be had in that price considering the north Londoners were 2.166/5 against Premier League Champions Liverpool. However, as always with this competition, the team news plays an important role.
The visitors could bring in Cup regulars Joe Hart, Matt Doherty and Harry Winks and start Gareth Bale as he attempts to shake off the ring-rust.
Drawing conclusions from top flight matches is now becoming almost impossible such is the erratic nature of results. Liverpool this season have lost 2-7 and won 7-0, whilst Manchester United were all but written off until their big win against Leeds at the weekend – and now there is talk of a title challenge. Spurs themselves have switched positions and are down to sixth following defeats to Liverpool and Leicester.
However, Jose Mourinho does well in this competition and as a four-time League Cup winner, and with two steps closer to a final, I would be foolish to think this game doesn’t matter.
My hunch is to play bets with very few goals. Stoke have yet to concede a goal in four matches in the Carabao – and that includes three 1-0 victories, with two of those against Aston Villa and Wolves.
They line up with a compact defence and are happy to play without the ball. That was evident in Saturday’s 1-0 victory against Blackburn as they had just one shot on target with just 31% possession. There wasn’t lots of liquidity up in the Under 2.5 market on Tuesday when looking at the betting, but I was surprised with the 2.427/5 on offer for the Under bet. Surely that’s too big?
The Both Teams To Score market is also available to back at odds-against with a 2.186/5 price on offer. So I think we can base a few bets on that. The Spurs win and Under 2.5 bet on the Same Game Multi should also be considered at 1.981/1.
Reds can maintain their stellar cup run under Ole
Everton v Manchester United
Wednesday 23rd December, kick-off 20:00
Live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event
Praise and criticism come in equal measure for Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. The Champions League exit at the hands of PSG recently sparked more speculation that he wasn’t the right man for the job. Weeks later, and a thumping win against Leeds has put the Red Devils back towards the top of the Premier League in third. They are a maddening team from a betting point of view.
The drab 0-0 against Manchester City was a world away from the Leeds win. That was in the space of three games.
Everton are one of the form teams at the moment in the Premier League following a run of three successive victories. They have also been handy in the competition too as the top scorers with five against Fleetwood, four hit past West Ham and three versus Salford.
Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti has had a few injuries to deal with – notably both of his first-choice full-backs, whilst Solskjaer could rotate with reports suggesting some of the fringe players could feature. Although at this stage, you would have to question how many.
I have opposed United in two rounds of this competition at Brighton and Luton so I am no hurry to do so again. Solskjaer has an impeccable record winning all six of his Carabao Cup matches so far and United have been at their best on the road this season with six straight victories in the league.
Therefore I’ll be backing the 2.186/5 on the visitors.