Another midweek full of footballing action…this time it’s the turn of the EFL Cup, and the fourth round. Just 16 teams left in the competition – and there are battles all around!
Many are likely to rotate their squads, and with battles that are similar to what you see in the Premier League and Championship each weekend, it should remain competitive and fairly even. Man City travel to Man Utd, Liverpool host Spurs, Newcastle take on Preston in what will be the first of two meetings this week, while you also have games such as Norwich vs Leeds, Southampton vs Sunderland and Reading vs Arsenal. I’ve picked out four in what adds up to a 28/1 accumulator:
(1) Newcastle vs Preston: BTTS + Over 2.5 Goals @ 8/5 (Tuesday)
Newcastle are one of the form sides in the English leagues so far this season – after their opening two losses, they have won 10 of the last 12 – as well as two cup games. They will rotate – Benitez loves a good shuffle. I expect to see the likes of Mitrovic, Lazaar, Atsu, Sels, Hanley and Hayden given game time. Preston on the other hand are also in good form – unbeaten in 7 and have beaten Norwich and Huddersfield in their last two games. With Newcastle’s changes, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them concede.
(2) Leeds vs Norwich: Norwich Over 1.5 Team Goals @ 11/8 (Tuesday)
Norwich are the top scoring club in this competition I believe, while are also good value from game to game on the goals front. They have a fantastically attacking side, and with Gary Monk likely to yield a few changes in the Leeds ranks in a bid to boost their promotion push – the cup might well be an unwanted distraction. Leeds home form is good, but with the changes, and Norwich’ record of 6/8 in terms of scoring 2+ in away games this season, I believe it to be a cracking bet!
(3) Man Utd vs Man City: BTTS + Over 2.5 Goals @ 6/4 (Wednesday)
Both will desperately want to win this – both out of form, and both potentially playing a few players who have not had a lot of games time. Bailly injured, Smalling out of form…Utd should be vulnerable at the back more than usual, with someone like Phil Jones to come in. Luke Shaw should get game time, while Rooney and Rashford should feature. For City, Iheanacho is a guaranteed starter after impressing at the weekend, while a whole host of their star-studded substitute bench should see playing time. This should be a cracker!
(4) Southampton vs Sunderland: Southampton -1 Goal Handicap @ 11/10 (Wednesday)
Sunderland boss David Moyes has already stated there will be changes, possibly for a few youngsters, and to give their battered ego’s a bit of a rest after yet another loss. The 2nd string couldn’t do any worse, and against a Southampton side who could feature Sofiane Boufal and James Rodriguez among others, I think they won’t fair any better. One of those 2-0, clean sheet games in my eyes.
As mentioned this pays around the 30/1 mark, with Newcastle/Preston odds going up overnight.
Best of luck!