A good cup run can offer a good distraction when your team is hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons. Yes, Granit Xhaka, your ears should be burning. Arsenal manager Unai Emery could keep the wolves at bay with a win over Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday night too.
However, the Gunners haven’t won there since 2012, but with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp rotating his side maybe they can get their first victory at Anfield in seven meetings?
Aston Villa will be kicking off against Wolves 15 minutes later and try as they might, nobody is buying that this is a derby match. Both teams are enjoying a spell of good form with Villa having lost just one of their last five in all competitions, while Wolves are unbeaten in their last eight matches.
Let’s take a further look at both matches and find a value double.
Liverpool v Arsenal: Liverpool to Win – 10/11
When Liverpool played Arsenal in August they were priced around 9/20 to win. Thanks to goals from Joel Matip and a brace from Mo Salah they were comfortable winners, so we’re getting a very good price here at 10/11.
Why is it so high though? Liverpool’s assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders has confirmed that goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher will make his second appearance of the season, having kept a clean sheet against MK Dons in the previous round and both Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk are unlikely to feature after picking up injuries in the Red’s 2-1 win over Spurs last Sunday.
Emery probably won’t play Xhaka here after what happened at the weekend, so Lucas Torreira will get a rare start. Torreira’s been impressive in the Europa League so he’s going to have to take this opportunity to stake a claim for Emery’s usual starting XI.
Mesut Ozil is rumoured to feature, this is just the kind of match Ozil could score a hat-trick in and disappear again, or he could stand on the halfway line with a face like a wet Tuesday until he’s substituted.
Liverpool haven’t lost at Anfield since September 2018 and with both teams set to play rotated line-ups, home advantage is going to play a huge role here.
Aston Villa v Wolves: Over 2.5 Goals – 19/20
The home side are unbeaten in their last four matches at home and the Villains have history on their side coming in this clash. This will be the 60th meeting of the clubs where Villa have been the home side and they’ve lost just 14 of the previous 59 meetings.
They’ve been in good goal scoring form of late as well, netting six in their last four at home and 12 in their last five in all competitions. For Wolves, this will be their 21st match of the season so far. Impressively, they’ve only lost three times in that run of 20 matches. Away from Molineux, Wolves have won three and drawn two of their five most previous matches in all competitions – scoring seven and conceding three.
In team news, Villa will be without Jack Grealish who picked up a knock against Manchester City last weekend, while Wolves will be without defenders Willy Bony and Ryan Bennett.
Over 2.5 goals has landed in five of Villa’s previous matches, they’ve scored at least two goals in four of those last five games too. Our tip has only occurred in one of three previous away matches for Wolves, however, they have netted in their seven previous away matches.
We could go with Both Teams to Score at 3/4, but with both teams in such good goal scoring form, we’re going to go with Over 2.5 goals.
* All odds correct at time of posting.