Football | EFL Cup | Tuesday's Preview and Hotpicks

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Football | EFL Cup | Tuesday's Preview and Hotpicks

The EFL Cup (or Carabao Cup, if you're a stickler for propriety) gets underway tonight and there are some tasty-looking ties to get our teeth into. Leicester host Liverpool at The King Power, whilst we have the south coast derby in Bournemouth v Brighton. Aston Villa face rivals Middlesbrough, and table-toppers Leeds travel to in-form Premier League Burnley.       

We're Top Price Guaranteed BOTH TEAMS on all tonight's televised games but who'll come out on top? We run the rule over our pick of tonight's matches and suggest a x/1 accumulator that could see us dancing in the streets with delight! 

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Leicester 7/5 |  Draw 9/4  |  Liverpool 23/10


Leicester, who face Liverpool in the league again at the weekend will come into this game with something of a pep in their step: not only has the home side won the previous four games between the teams, but Leicester also arrive having a full squad to call from, with Jamie Vardy's tweaked hamstring not being of concern to manager Craig Shakespeare. With two wins, two losses and a draw in their opening five league games Leicester have begun solidly enough, with games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United amongst those fixures. However, the old saying is that confidence breeds success and following on from the heroics of winning the championship and enjoying those heady Champions League games it will be interesting to see if the boss sticks to his rotation policy. If so, expect the exciting winger Demarai Gray and forgotten forward Islam Slimani to look to stake a claim in the Foxes first team. Iheanacho is likely to partner Slimani, whilst Mahrez should start on the bench.  


It's safe to say that Jurgen Klopp has bigger fish to fry this season, but he'll be another looking to instil some confidence in his troops after a bruising couple of weeks. Since walloping Arsenal 4-0 they got caned 5-0 by Man City, drew 2-2 with Sevilla in the Champions League and couldn't see Burnley off at the weekend, drawing 1-1 with the Clarets at Anfield. However, expect to see rotation in the Red's squad as well: with Mane out through suspension and Clyne, Bogdan and Lallana all injured this is an ideal time for Liverpool's youngsters to push their claims. Mignolet and Karius haven't impressed between the sticks and Jurgen has already stated he'll be going with Welsh stopper Danny Ward. Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to feature, as is midfielder Marko Grujic. Expect former blue Dominic Solanke to also start and the former Chelsea man could be the difference maker tonight.      


Possible Teams:


Leicester City starting XI: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell; Mahrez, Ndidi, King, Gray; Slimani, Iheanacho 

Liverpool starting XI: Ward; Gomez, Lovren, Klaven, Robertson; Grujic, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum; Solanke, Sturridge


What We Sayin’?


A really tough one to call, this one. It could simply be a case of 'who's up for the cup/' either team are capable of winning this, but we're going to buck the trend of the home team winning and go for a Liverpool win, albeit a slender one. 1-2 is 7/1. Solanke to score at any time is 13/8: to grab the first he's 5/1.     





Tottenham 1/10 |  Draw 17/2  |  Barnsley 18/1
People may be asking why we've included this match as a 'hotpick'... well, if ever there was a team to get all 'Spursy' and slip up, then it's, well, it's Spurs! Their Wembley Woes may become something of a psychological barrier to the players. Manager Mauricio Pochettino has already gone on record to state that he'll be prioritising other competitions this term, but with the likes of Marcus Edwards and Kaziah Sterling screaming for a place in the first-team squad, Spurs' second string should have enough to see off Barnsley. Should!
Barnsley come into this game with their confidence at its lowest ebb: The Championship side sit 20th and have lost four of their opening seven games. They have been terrible on the road, failing to win a game away from home since February, when they, against the odds, beat Aston Villa 3-1. Manager Paul Heckingbottom will not expect miracles, but he'll be looking to see a resilience and fighting spirit about his team.  

Possible Teams:


Tottenham Starting XI: Vorm; Walker-Peters, Foyth, Vertonghen, Davies; Sissoko, Winks, Dier; Dele, Llorente, Son

Barnsley Starting XI: Davies; McCarthy, Jackson, Lindsay, Pearson; Williams, Hammill, Potts, Moncur; Barnes, Bradshaw



What We Sayin’?


If Spurs grab an early goal, expect Barnsley to crumble. 5-0 is not beyond the realms of possibility and an 11/1 is worth a nibble. Spurs -3 at 13/8 also seems value, so we'll pinch a little of that as well!





Villa 13/10 |  Draw 85/40 |  Middlesbrough 11/5
Two Championship teams with major designs on returning to the Premier League clash at Villa Park for the second time in a week, in an ill-tempered clash which saw both sides reduced to ten-men. Can we expect a repeat of the passion and fight tonight? Hell yes - maybe!
Both teams are in fine form, with Villa unbeaten in six and Boro five and neither will want to disrupt that continuity. However, with one eye on the main prize, both managers will look to make changes for tonight's affair. Despite struggling with cramp at the weekend, forward Keinan Davis should be fit to start for the Villans, though Bruce may consider consigning him to the bench, especially with the likes of Gabby Agbonlahor, Micah Richards, Tommy Elphick, Ross McCormack, Ritchie De Laet and Mark Bunn all desperate for game time.   
Middlesbrough, on the other hand, could continue to rely on the goal-scoring exploits of Britt Assombalonga, who has scored half their goals this term. It depends if manager Gary Monk decides to lay down a possible marker here. The problem he has is that Adama Traore is suspended, whilst Rudy Gestede is also unavailable. On the plus side, he can call upon the services of Martin Braithwaite.  


What We Sayin’?


Another really tough game to call. Villa have (traditionally) the upper hand over Boro in cup games, winning their four meetings in the League Cup. Bruce also likes a cup run and, like the Leicester v Liverpool game this could come down to a case of who wants it the most. We're going to take a draw in 90 minutes (0-0 is 13/2 | 1-1 9/2) and Villa to qualify: 4/6





Burnley 5/6 |  Draw 5/2  |  Leeds 3/1
A really interesting clash as in-form Burnley welcome table-toppers Leeds United to their Turf Moor fortress. Burnley have started the season well under Sean Dyche, the ginger ninja having guided them t seventh on the Premier League, with notable performances such as the opening day's 3-2 victory over champions Chelsea and last weekend's 1-1 draw against Liverpool showing jus how far they have come. Indeed, with only one defeat in six, they come into the game in fine fettle.  Vokes and Wood have scored twice each in the league so far, though the Kiwi may be given the nod to start against his former employers. Charlie Taylor is another who could feature, whilst Tom Heaton and Dean Marney remain sidelined. Guðmunds­son, who was replaced by Barnes last time out could be rested for this clash.
Leeds lost their first match of the season against Millwall last time out and it will see how much manager Thomas Christiansen invests in this game: sure, they'll be a desire to test his charges against a PL team, but surely promotion is the target this term. Despite drawing a blank last time out, Leeds have hit 16 goals so far this term, though they may find a stubborn Burnley hard to break down at the back. Pontus Jansson is out for Leeds, though Liam Cooper has recovered from a back injury and could feature.  Roofe and Dallas came off the bench for Leeds at the weekend and also remain in contention.


What We Sayin’?


As we say, confidence breeds confidence and we can see a vibrant Leeds side causing Burnley all manner of problems, perhaps doing what few Premier League teams could last season and score at Turf Moor. Kemar Roofe at 13/2 to grab the first goal isn't the worse shout we've heard... However, ultimately we can see Burnley prevailing: BTTS (yes) Burnley win is 14/5. Burnley 2-1 is 7/1.





A £10 punt on our featured bets: Liverpool win 1-2 | Spurs -3 13/8 | Villa/Boro 1-1 13/2 | Burnley 2-1 7/1 currently returns £12,590.00*


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