With the Capital One Cup quarter finals fast approaching, Sportingly Better takes an early look at the outright betting market, with Chelsea and Arsenal amongst the favourites to lift the trophy at Wembley.
Capital One Cup – Betting Odds
Chelsea – 2.50
Arsenal – 2.87
Swansea – 8.00
Aston Villa – 13.00
Norwich – 13.00
Leeds – 21.00
Middlesbrough – 23.00
Bradford – 101.00
Chelsea followed up their 6-0 win over Wolves in the third round with a pulsating 5-4 victory over Manchester United in the fourth round after extra time.
That win at Stamford Bridge set up a quarter final tie with Leeds and the reigning European champions are odds-on favourites to reach the semi finals.
Interim manager Rafael Benitez has already signalled his intent to play for every trophy this season, so the Blues are expected to name strong sides in the Capital One Cup, FA Cup and Europa League.
Chelsea’s trident of Mata, Hazard and Oscar are capable of taking the Blues all the way in the Capital One Cup and Benitez will be looking to add the League Cup to his FA Cup winners medal with Liverpool in 2006.
It’s been over seven years since Arsenal have last won a trophy and the Capital One Cup remains one of Arsene Wenger’s most realistic chances of ending that run.
Arsenal face Bradford in the quarter finals after beating Reading in an incredible match in the fourth round, which the Gunners won 5-7 after extra time.
Wenger has a tendency to field his emerging talents in this competition and the likes of Gnabry, Miquel, Jenkinson and Coquelin have all received game time.
Whilst Arsenal’s focus will again be on a top-four finish in the Premier League and European progression, the Gunners should have enough about them to ensure progression in this competition.
Swansea’s victory over Liverpool at Anfield in the last round underlined the Swans potential as dark horses in this year’s competition.
Manager Michael Laudrup is no stranger to cup runs and famously took Getafe all the way to the Copa Del Rey final in 2008.
Laudrup’s Spanish contingent of Pablo Hernandez and Michu have excelled in the Premier League and the Welsh club have showed they are already capable of beating the big sides after victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium earlier in the month.
Swansea could be boosted by the return of Michel Vorm and Neil Taylor later in the competition, but Michael Laudrup’s side are likely to continue to impress this year.
Paul Lambert’s side have struggled domestically this season, but the Villains did manage to navigate their way past Premier League champions Manchester City in the third round, before beating Swindon to reach the quarter finals.
Darren Bent’s exile remains an issue for Aston Villa who remain short of goals, but Christian Benteke has looked a handful up front. Whether Villa will be able to bring in an adequate replacement in January remains to be seen, but the future of Bent looks almost certainly to be away from Villa Park.
Aston Villa have won the League Cup five times in their history, but the prospect of a sixth title looks set to be too much for a youthful Villa side.
Norwich’s impressive run domestically continues to go on and the Canaries 2-1 victory over Tottenham in the last round highlighted the improvement that Norwich have made under Chris Hughton this season.
A lack of goals is still a concern, but the solidity, organisation and team spirit that Norwich have shown of late under Hughton make Norwich a realistic bet to reach the semi finals.
Norwich City face Aston Villa at Carrow Road on Tuesday.
Dutch on Chelsea to win the Capital One Cup @2.50 AND Arsenal to win the Capital One Cup @2.87 to guarantee a profit should either side win the competition
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