Arsenal v Chelsea is arguably the highlight of Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup clashes, however in addition to the Sky-televised London derby, four other eagerly anticipated matches are taking place, with three Championship sides hoping to claim a Premier League scalp.
Birmingham City v Stoke City
Mark Hughes was a disappointed man on Saturday as he watched his team throw away a valuable lead not once, but twice over Manchester United as they finished as 3-2 losers. The slender lead was wiped out by late goals from Rooney and Hernandez at Old Trafford, with Hughes claiming that Stoke should have left with something to show for their troubles.
Birmingham are in the wrong half of the Championship and desperately need something to cheer their fans up. A 4-0 hammering against Leeds at Elland road was followed by a more respectable 1-1 draw with Derby on Saturday, and Lee Clark will hope his boys can recreate their victory of two seasons ago when they won the trophy.
Paddy Power offer 21/20 for a stoke victory, a decent backable price especially considering the class of players they have in their ranks, such as Charlie Adam, Glen Whelan and Kenwyne Jones.
Birmingham beat Swansea in the last round of the competition and can be backed at a generous 29/10.
Burnley v West Ham
Claret and blue meets claret and blue in a clash which is difficult to call. Burnley are riding high in the Championship and West Ham are strong away from home.
Sam Allardyce’s men have been on consistently fine form on their travels this season, however it may be a second choice defence running out onto the Turf Moor pitch for this match. The visitors are well priced at 17/10 to head home with a victory under their belts, however Burnley will be no pushovers and have their own ambitions of reaching the last eight.
A 2-0 win over QPR was Burnley’s eighth straight win under Sean Dyche, and the Turf Moor men are 7/4 to emerge victorious from this match.
Leicester City v Fulham
Considering Nigel Pearson’s Leicester City are riding high in the Championship, a Foxes win over premiership Fulham shouldn’t really be billed as a shock. Nevertheless after Fulham’s impressive 4-1 hammering of Crystal Palace last week, it’s hard to see any sort of shock with this tie.
Leicester have amassed 29 points so far this season, in just thirteen games, and a 29/20 price for a home win is being offered by BetVictor. Ladbrokes offer 10/1 for a 2-1 scoreline, a good price considering that City’s last five matches at home have finished with that very score.
Fulham beat Everton with a very strong side in the last round of the cup, and are 2/1 to beat the Championship side, with a draw after normal time being priced at a creditable 12/5.
Manchester United v Norwich City
Moyes must be hoping that the tide is turning for his Red Devils following a scrappy and scarcely deserved 3-2 victory over Stoke City on Saturday. With a win over Real Sociedad the previous week, the fans are hoping that the season is now back on track, although it is unlikely that any of the big guns will be risked against Norwich, with Rooney and Van Persie unlikely to be featured.
Hernandez scored against Liverpool in the previous round, and should be a decent shout with a price of 9/2 for opening the scoring for the home side. A strong team should also feature Antonio Valencia, Adnan Januzaj and Marouane Fellaini, helping explain why United are priced at 4/11 with Coral to win the tie.
The Red Devils have had an inconsistent season so far, and Norwich will be far from daunted. Odds of 9/1 for a canaries win is generous, especially considering they will be going for an all-out win, however with a league match against Manchester City on Saturday yet to come, Norwich might take no chances, and may well field a weakened team, to concentrate on Premier League survival.
A favourite bet is for a 4-0 victory for the home side, with a best price of 16/1 from BetVictor. Tempting indeed.
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