Leicester vs Aston VillaEFL Cup, KO: 20:00 Jan 8, 2020, King Power Stadium
Brendan Rodgers became accustomed to winning silverware in Scotland and the Leicester boss could soon be penciling another cup final into his schedule if he can outfox Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup semi-final.
The Foxes will go toe-to-toe with Villa over two-legs – the first of which comes from the King Power Stadium on Wednesday night – to determine who will take their place in next months Wembley showpiece.
Leicester have made giant strides under Rodgers stewardship following his move south less than 12 month ago – the Foxes are flying high in the Premier League and look well on course to qualify for next season's Champions League.
The King Power club disposed of Newcastle, Luton and Burton before holding their nerve against Everton to prevail on penalty-kicks to clinch a place in the last-four of the Carabao Cup.
Aston Villa, having dumped out Crewe, Brighton and Wolves during the earlier rounds of the competition, also eliminated Merseyside opposition at the quarter-final stage when overcoming Liverpool's youngest-ever starting XI.
Dean Smith's side are currently embroiled in a fight to survive in the English top-flight, however, the Villans appear to be up for the battle after bagging a morale-boosting 2-1 win away at Burnley on New Year's Day.
The Betting Odds
Leicester brilliantly dismantled Aston Villa in the Premier League last month and the Foxes are odds-on favourites at 4/11 (Bet 365 ) to take an advantage to Villa Park in three weeks time.
The Betting Angles
Both respective managers made wholesale changes at the weekend in the FA Cup with contrasting consequences – Leicester knocked out Wigan, meanwhile, Aston Villa crashed to a 2-1 defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
With a ticket to Wembley up for grabs, both bosses are expected to field stronger sides on Wednesday night, however, Dean Smith is dealing with an ever-growing injury list and that does not bode well for a Villa team who could come up against the Foxes fit-again talisman Jamie Vardy.
Given how much fluency the Foxes are playing with, coupled with the high number of Claret and Blue casualties, I like the look of backing Leicester in the half time/full time market at odds-against of 21/20 (Ladbrokes) – a bet that would have banked profit in the recent tussle between these two teams at Villa Park.
Aston Villa struggled to cope with Leicester in the Premier League last month and Dean Smith's depleted side will do well to avoid another comprehensive defeat this time around in the Carabao Cup.
Yet, Smith tends to set up his teams to attack and the Villa boss will hoping that Jack Grealish can once again be Villa's driving force after he scored another stunning goal last midweek.
Our man Kevin Mac cashed in by tipping Grealish to score against Leicester when the sides locked horns last month and although the 5/1 (UniBet) on offer for a repeat on Wednesday night appeals, I'm going to take a slightly more conservative approach by backing Grealish to have at least one shot on target at 6/5 (Coral) – the Villa skipper is averaging 2.1 shots per game in the Premier League this season.
Whether or not Grealish hits the target remains to be seen, however, either way, I still fully expect Leicester to make the trip to Villa Park with one foot in the League Cup final.
Indeed, there is no value in backing a home win at 4/11 (Bet 365), however, I'm going to utilize Bet 365's Bet Builder by backing Leicester to win, over 1.5 match goals, over 1.5 match cards and over 4.5 Leicester corners at 10/11 (Bet 365) – a combination that would have landed in seven of the Foxes last eight Premier League triumphs.
This EFL Cup match between Leicester and Aston Villa will be played on Jan 8, 2020 and kick off at 20:00