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Andrew Mount, football betting expert, chats through his predictions for this week’s Carabao Cup matches…
The Carabao Cup returns this week, with some of the biggest forces in English football vying for a place in the fifth round.
Arsenal v Norwich City | 24 Oct 19:45
Arsenal may have been slightly underwhelming in the Premier League so far this season, but they will attempt to make their mark in at least one cup competition and will fancy their chances against Norwich City at the Emirates.
The visitors have won their last five away fixtures, including a 1-0 verdict over arch rivals Ipswich Town on Sunday. However, the 48-hour gap between fixtures is not ideal and they have only beaten the Gunners once in the past 24 years, despite several spells in the Premier League.
It’s difficult to oppose the home side here.
Bournemouth v Middlesbrough | 24 Oct 19:45
Bournemouth welcome a Middlesbrough side who haven’t quite been thriving under Garry Monk in the way the board may have been hoping.
The visitors are without a win in their last five league games while the Cherries have hardly been setting the world alight in the top flight, where they’re currently placed above only Crystal Palace.
With both teams out of sorts, a draw in 90 minutes seems a likely result.
Bristol City v Crystal Palace | 24 Oct 19:45
Bristol City suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Leeds United on Saturday but have one of the easier draws of the round in Crystal Palace. The fire the Eagles showed when beating Chelsea was firmly extinguished with a defeat at Newcastle on Saturday and City are well-positioned to bounce back here.
Considering Palace’s poor defensive record, a 2-0 victory (priced at 12/1) seems a reasonable possibility.
Leicester City v Leeds United | 24 Oct 19:45
Bristol City’s recent conquerors Leeds head to Leicester City, another of the teams currently struggling in the top flight.
Undefeated in their last four visits to the King Power Stadium, Thomas Christiansen’s men looked very dangerous on the front foot on Saturday and that win stopped the rot after three straight Championship defeats.
The Foxes, in their first game without Craig Shakespeare, recorded a 2-1 victory away to Swansea last weekend but the effect of a managerial change can be short-lived, and it would be no surprise to see Leeds make it to the fifth round in for the second year in a row.
Swansea v Manchester United | 24 Oct 19:45
In general, Swansea haven’t been in the best of form at the start of the season despite signing well over the summer, and they seem likely to struggle against Manchester United at the Liberty Stadium.
Despite the visitors’ recent wobble in the Premier League they remain one of the best teams in the country and should be winning this comfortably.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan may well return to the starting line-up and backing the attacking midfielder to get on the scoresheet seems the way to go.
Manchester City v Wolves | 24 Oct 20:00
Free-scoring Manchester City, 3-0 winners at home to Burnley on Saturday, have gone from strength to strength this season and are the only unbeaten team in the Premier League.
They will no doubt send out a weakened side for this midweek fixture but, such is the depth of their squad, they should still get the better of Wolverhampton Wanderers, despite their opponents’ own recent good form in the Championship.
Chelsea v Everton | 25 Oct 19:45
On Wednesday Chelsea host Everton, with the Premier League champions facing a side which has all but fallen apart in recent weeks.
Defensive frailties were exposed against Arsenal in a 5-2 defeat on Sunday and though Antonio Conte’s men aren’t as formidable as they were last season they should still easily have enough to see off the Toffees.
Everton haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since 1994, and with that record looking set to continue a scoreline of 3-0 (priced at 17/2) is a realistic prospect.
Spurs v West Ham | 25 Oct 20:00
Tottenham play West Ham at Wembley in what is sure to be a hard-fought London derby.
The ‘home’ side finally having hit their stride at their temporary stadium with an emphatic victory over Liverpool on Sunday but, with a Champions League campaign to worry about, Mauricio Pochettino is likely to send out a weakened side.
The Hammers have a fair record against Spurs, losing only 3-2 at the London Stadium earlier in the month, and perhaps they can hold them to a draw in 90 minutes on this occasion.
Grosvenor Sport Odds
Arsenal to beat Norwich City (6/25)
Bournemouth to draw with Middlesbrough (3/1)
Bristol City to beat Crystal Palace (31/20)
Leeds United to beat Leicester City (24/5)
Manchester United to beat Swansea City (4/9)
Chelsea to beat Everton (21/50)
Tottenham to draw with West Ham (19/5)