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EFL League Cup 2017/18 – Outright Winner Betting Odds
To Win EFL Cup; Best odds bold; Each-Way Place Terms: 1/2 odds 1,2.
EFL League Cup Odds Favour Big Teams Despite Its Distraction
Manchester City defeated Liverpool to win last year’s League Cup and those two teams are again among the favourites to lift the trophy this time around, writes Nick.
The competition has been rebranded the EFL Cup this year in reference to the new name for the Football League organisation and also following the withdrawal of sponsorship from Capital One, who had previously lent their name to the trophy.
The competition was originally conceived as a method to revitalise interest in the game and increase revenue opportunities by taking advantage of the previously unused midweek time-slot.
Now, with the Premier League generating obscene amounts of broadcast revenue and star-studded European competition on the midweek schedule, it can feel like somewhat of an unnecessary burden in an already packed calendar. Yet it still clings on regardless.
The list of bookmakers’ favourites reads as a who’s who of the elite Premier League sides. While the competition has a reputation for being more small-club-friendly than the FA Cup – evidenced by wins for Swansea and Birmingham and two losing finalists from outside the top flight over the last six years – it has still been won at least once by each of Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham during the last 10 years.
Liverpool are by some distance the most successful club in the history of the competition, with eight triumphs and a further four losing final appearances to their name. This time around they have the advantage of not having any European football to contend with, which should certainly aid their progress through the early rounds. Their inconsistency since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival early last season could, however, prove their downfall.
Chelsea are also in the position of not having any European football to distract them and should be capable of fielding strong sides throughout the competition. New head coach Antonio Conte is obsessed with winning and may view the League Cup as an opportunity to get some early silverware on the board as he seeks to ignite that same drive within his squad.
Jose Mourinho (pictured) thrice lifted the trophy over his two spells at Chelsea and may likewise view this year’s competition as a chance to instil a winning mentality at Manchester United. Although he has Europa League football to contend with, given no tough draws his squad should be deep enough to successfully traverse the early rounds. If they do, they should be considered one of the favourites to reach the final in February. The bookies agree and have installed them at the head of the EFL League Cup odds.
Manchester City have won the League Cup in two of the last three seasons and have a large and talented squad that should be capable of juggling their various engagements home and aboard. Pep Guardiola rarely misses out on silverware and his side can be expected to at least reach the last four in his debut season at the Etihad.
Champions League commitments are likely to see Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur field weakened sides and it is therefore difficult to see them making significant progress, particularly as both were eliminated prior to the last eight last season in what were more favourable conditions. Arsenal’s last triumph in the competition came back in 1993 and they also fell early last year.
Below this group, and discounting Southampton due to their participation in the Europa League, the likes of Everton, Swansea (the 2013 winners) and West Ham can be expected to take the competition seriously and will have a solid chance of making good progress. Sides more likely to be troubled by relegation may, however, view it is as an unworthy distraction.
That opens up an opportunity for Championship sides to go deep into the competition given a favourable draw.
There have been two lower-league finalists in the last five years, while Hull City, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday all reached the quarter-final stage last season, with the latter pair seeing off Manchester United and Arsenal respectively to do so. It is, however, necessary to go back to Wednesday in 1991 to find the last lower-league winner.
So keep a close eye on the EFL League Cup odds in our betting comparison table above as the competition progresses. Bear in mind those teams that are actually taking the competition seriously, because as we have indicated, some of the bigger names will not be.