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!
LEICESTER V LIVERPOOL
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.
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 V BARNSLEY
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!
ASTON VILLA V MIDDLESBROUGH
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 V LEEDS
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.
OUR FEATURED ACCA
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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