The EFL Cup is back in the limelight this week as the competition reaches the stage where clubs start to take things a little more seriously.
We’re down to the last eight and one thing is certain, we’ll have a non-Premier League club in the semi-finals; the winners of the tie between League One Port Vale and Middlesbrough from the Championship at Vale Park.
The Vale have sneaked through to last eight without encountering a club ranked above them until tonight so it’ll be a stern test for Andy Crosby’s men.
Boro scored a much needed win at manageress Swansea at the weekend, ending a run of three straight defeats while Ethan Chislett notched at hat-trick for Port Vale in a 3-2 win over Wigan Athletic.
Both sides find themselves mid-table in their respective divisions but you’d have to expect that if Michael Carrick goes full-strength then the visitors’ quality will prevail at 17/20.
With four wins from four, Everton are the form team in the Premier League at present and Sean Dyche will be keen to keep that run going in the cup against Fulham tonight.
But for a ten point deduction the Toffees would be above tonight’s opponents in the table and five points better off.
The Cottagers were well beaten at Newcastle at the weekend, following two terrific home wins and it’s been their away form that’s been the issue this season. However, their solitary league win from nine on the road came at Goodison Park, on the opening day of the season.
The Toffees have some nice momentum about them at the moment however, and even money looks a fair price for a win inside the 90 minutes.
Tonight’s live match is at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea welcome Newcastle.
The Blues have enjoyed three home ties en route to the last eight, disposing of Wimbledon, Brighton and Blackburn whereas the Magpies have done it the hard way, knocking out Manchester City and holders Manchester United.
They’re desperate for silverware on Tyneside and Eddie Howe won’t want all that hard work in previous rounds to have gone to waste by exiting the competition at this stage.
However his side have struggled away from St James’ Park, with just one win on their travels in the league but that 3-0 win Old Trafford in the previous round of this competition will give them some hope that they can do the same in London tonight.
Chelsea may have won against bottom side Sheffield United on Saturday but tellingly they’ve won just six points from 30 against teams above them in the league table, their only win coming against 9th place Brighton.
That makes the 3/1 on Newcastle appealing tonight.
Man City join the FIFA World Club Cup in Saudi Arabia at the semi-final stage tonight with Fluminense awaiting them in the final.
Former Ross County striker Alex Schalk scored the only goal of the game for this evening’s opponents, Urawa Red Diamonds, in their second round win over CONCACAF representatives, León from Mexico.
It’s no surprise to see City as short as 1/6 but Guardiola might ring the changes so they might not run up a cricket score. A win for the European champions coupled with under 4 goals pays 11/10.
- Man City to win & Under 4 match goals 11/10 Bet365
- Newcastle to win 3/1 Bet365
- Everton to to win 1/1 Bet365
Upcoming Match Previews & Tips
- Tue 18:00 Urawa Red Diamonds vs Manchester City
- Tue 20:00 Chelsea vs Newcastle United
- Wed 19:45 Rangers vs St Johnstone
- Wed 20:00 Liverpool vs West Ham United
Two selections have been picked out for Tuesday's racing from Rizzel.
As always, post your tips for today in the comments section below.