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EFL League Cup Final – Match Betting Odds
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EFL League Cup 2017/18 – Outright Winner Betting Odds
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Top Teams Dominate EFL / Carabao League Cup Odds
The EFL Cup is often viewed as an opportunity for smaller clubs to obtain some silverware but it has been top-six sides who have lifted the trophy in each of the last four seasons, writes Nick. So with that in mind it may pay to concentrate on the front runners in the EFL Cup odds.
It was Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United who emerged victorious last time out with a 3-2 win over Southampton in an end-to-end final in which the Saints were unfortunate losers. That followed two triumphs for Manchester City, either side of one for Chelsea.
This recent swing back towards the bigger clubs, which followed wins for Birmingham City and Swansea in 2011 and 2013 respectively and consecutive lower-league finalists in 2012 and 2013, is reflected in the League Cup betting market this time around. The teams who finished in the top seven in last season’s Premier League represent the seven favourites for the 2017-18 EFL Cup, which will this year carry the name of its new sponsor Carabao.
It is always difficult to assess just how seriously each club will take the League Cup. In its early rounds, many use it as an opportunity to blood youngsters or give minutes to players who would usually find themselves on the bench. It is only really once it gets down to the final four, perhaps the last eight, that the bigger clubs truly take the competition seriously.
All seven of the favourites for this year’s competition have European football to contend with during the first half of the season and it is therefore likely to be those with the bigger squads who go furthest in the Carabao Cup. The two Manchester clubs are probably best stocked; Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur less so. It is necessary to go back to the 2010-11 season to find the last time Arsenal went further than the quarter-finals.
Everton might be considered a solid outside bet but much will depend on how their Europa League campaign develops. While their summer signings are unlikely to propel them to a top-six finish in the league, their relatively cagey style of play looks a good match for knockout football and they could put together a fair run in one of the cup competitions.
Outside of the seven favourites, last season’s finalists Southampton might also have been considered a decent pick this time around, but they were one of three Premier League teams to be eliminated in the second round following a 2-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Newcastle and Watford were the other top-flight teams to fall at that stage.
That leaves the likes of Bournemouth, Leicester City, Stoke City and West Ham (who eliminated Chelsea before falling to Manchester United in last season’s quarter-finals) as teams with potential to go relatively deep into the competition. West Bromwich Albion last reached the final eight in the 2003-04 season, but they did good business over the summer and may also fancy a strong run.
Surprises can be sprung. Hull City reached the final four last season and were competitive in their semi-final against eventual winners Manchester United despite suffering relegation at the end of the Premier League campaign. A team like Huddersfield Town, with a clear and well-drilled approach, could perhaps go further than expected.
There are also some Championship sides who will be hoping to upset the League Cup betting odds from the top UK betting sites listed in the comparison table above. While the importance of promotion to the Premier League and the riches it brings will often now take precedence over progress in cup competitions, there have been two lower-league finalists within the last six years. At least one lower-league side has reached the quarter-finals in each of last seven seasons.
Wolves already have one top-flight scalp to their name and could yet take others, while teams such as Aston Villa, Leeds and Middlesbrough will also hope to provide some shocks. It is necessary to go back to Sheffield Wednesday in 1991 to find the last lower-league winners of the competition but anything is possible.
For teams even lower down the league pyramid, just the opportunity to take on a Premier League team would be very much welcomed, both for the chance to pull off a giant-killing and for the funds it would bring to the club from gate receipts and potential television money.