Arsenal v Blackpool: Both Teams To Score – 5/4
We’re big fans of backing BTTS when Arsenal are involved.
From 14 games played in all competitions this season, the London side would have triggered ‘Both Teams To Score – Yes’ on nine occasions, a solid 64% of the time.
Sure, the opponents are mid-table in League One, but this won’t be Arsenal’s full-strength lineup. We expect the kids to get a run-out at the Emirates on Wednesday, and although we’re not holding out much hope of Blackpool getting any result other than a loss, we reckon they’ll find a way to score.
Man City v Fulham: Man City to win and Over 4.5 total goals – 17/10
Generally, you wouldn’t go into a football match expecting five or more goals to be scored.
But, well, this is Fulham.
At the reigning Premier League and EFL Cup champions.
Who’ve won eight of their last 10 games.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Man City are very good, and Fulham are very bad. The Cottagers have conceded 29 goals in 11 matches in all competitions – City have 36 from 14. We reckon all that translates to a heavy-scoring game, with a minimum of five goals.
If you want to play it a bit safer, take City to win and over 3.5 total goals at 8/11.
Middlesbrough v Crystal Palace: Under 2.5 Goals – 13/20
Pulisball has taken root on Teeside with Boro just two points off top spot in the Championship.
Unsurprisingly for a team led by the former Stoke and West Brom boss, they hold the best defensive record in the division, with just eight goals allowed through 15 games.
They need to be tight because they’ve barely managed to score double that, registering just 17 goals for their 27 points.
Roy Hodgson’s Palace have been involved in similarly tense faceoffs this season. The previous round’s win over West Brom, a smooth 3-0 glide for the Eagles, stands out among a glut of tighter affairs before Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
Both wily old stagers are likely to prioritise their league positions over the cup, so we’d expect them to give run outs to reserves, but the approach will be the same, and we could see this being a dour 90 minutes and decided on penalties. We’d take under 2.5 goals at 13/20.
West Ham v Tottenham: West Ham to Qualify – 10/11
Spurs are in awkward spot of having to play just two nights after ploughing through Wembley’s turgid turf in a sterile showdown with Man City.
You’d expect Poch to keep some of his ace cards in his pocket with that quick turnaround.
Has Erik Lamela played his way into Spurs’ League Cup team with his miss on Monday night? We’ll have to wait and see.
For West Ham, the Carabao Cup has to look like a tempting tipple after their big-spending summer. Manuel Pellegrini looks to have them buzzing after a troubled start to the league, but their bubble was recently popped at home by their North London opponents in a 1-0 win.
Lamela hit the target that day, so the Hammers might be happy to see the back of him.
The fixture foul-up for Spurs has to be of benefit to West Ham here. They’re 10/11 to qualify and we think they’ll have the edge here.