Football matches continue to come at us thick and fast with the EFL Cup semi-final first legs set to take place over the next couple of days. We have previewed each game and given what we see to be the best value betting tip for each game …
Manchester City v Bristol City
Pep Gaurdiola’s all conquering City side go into this game showing no signs of letting their sensational form this season slip. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach has been quick to dismiss any talk of a unprecedented quadruple, although his team selection for this game will be interesting.
In previous rounds Pep has rotated his squad in this competition, bringing in a selection of youngsters and more experienced players like Yaya Toure who have been unable to secure first-team football in the Premier League, but if he names something close to his full strength team for this one it could be taken as evidence that City are more serious about winning all four competitions than they are alluding to publicly.
Bristol City are having a superb season themselves, they knocked Manchester United out in the last round and currently sit in fourth place in the Championship, as they aim to make playing against Premier League opposition a weekly thing from next season on.
Lee Johnson has done a superb job at Ashton Gate, and it’s hard to believe that only a year ago fans were calling for his dismissal after a record number of consecutive defeats. The Robins have had far from an easy run to this stage of the competition and have already beaten four Premier League sides to get here.
Despite, Bristol being in excellent form I just can’t see anything but a comfortable win for the home side here, although I do fancy Bristol to get on the scoresheet.
Man City win and both teams to score 8/5
Chelsea v Arsenal
All eyes will undoubtedly be on Chelsea manager Antonio Conte as his feud with Jose Mourinho continued to escalate this week. The Stamford Bridge club go into this game on the back of a disappointing 0-0 draw away to Norwich in the FA Cup last weekend.
Although most us would normally always back Chelsea to beat their London rivals the fact is that Conte has a pretty poor record against Arsene Wenger since he arrived in England.
Of the six times the clubs have met over the last couple of seasons, The Blues have only won once, including a defeat in last years FA Cup final.
Arsenal go into this game in poor form having won only one of their last five games and The Gunners were humiliatingly dumped out of the FA Cup by Championship side Nottingham Forest last weekend. Although Arsene Wenger has stuck to his normal approach to this competition and played a lot of kids, you would have to think he might be better off fielding a strong side for this game, as it is his teams only realistic chance of securing domestic silverware.
These teams of course recently played out a hugely entertaining 2-2 draw at The Emirates, and despite the heavy criticism Arsenal have received over recent days I expect them to come away from Stamford Bridge with a draw, to set up the second leg perfectly.