This week sees the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals take place as part of a busy schedule for English clubs. Manchester City host Championship promotion contenders Bristol City on Tuesday night, while Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Manchester City v Bristol City
Bristol City’s preparation for their toughest game of the season didn’t exactly go to plan. A 3-0 loss away from home to Watford would’ve been disappointing for boss Lee Johnson, but he’ll know just what his side are truly capable of.
The Robins remain fourth in the Championship table in a season that has seen them impress on a number of occasions. It is in the Carabao Cup, though, that Johnson’s side has really caught the eye. Four Premier League sides have fallen victim to Johnson’s side so far in the EFL Cup. Watford lost 3-2 in the second round, whilst Stoke was beaten 2-0 at Ashton Gate in the third. The fourth round saw a resounding 4-1 victory over a then-struggling Crystal Palace, but it was the Quarter Final which saw the most impressive triumph. A 2-1 victory at home saw a true giant-killing when the Robins beat Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United to set up the semi-final tie against Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side has been emphatic this season and it remains to be seen how any side can defeat them. Cup ties often produce magic, though, and Bristol City could pull off one of the greatest upsets of the decade here.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Bristol City 1.75 at 2.970
Chelsea v Arsenal
The semi-final match on Wednesday sees to sides renew their rivalry. Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge in a game that is sure to be tight.
Arsene Wenger would’ve been angry at his side’s display in the FA Cup on the weekend. A 4-2 loss to Championship side Nottingham Forest exposed his side’s defensive frailties and fans will be calling for reinforcements this year.
Chelsea also struggled in the cup, only managing a 0-0 draw against Championship side Norwich. It means that neither side has won either of their last two games, so the hunger to correct that will be in place here.
On paper, I think Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side have the better players, but I think Arsene Wenger will be hungry for success in what could be his last year as Arsenal manager and the EFL Cup could be his best shot at silverware.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Arsenal -0.25 at 2.460