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HomeCarabao CupRanking the five favourites to win the 20/21 Carabao Cup

Ranking the five favourites to win the 20/21 Carabao Cup

England’s second domestic cup competition has proven a fascinating watch with the draw for the quarter-finals having now been made, each of the remaining sides now just two wins away from that elusive place at Wembley and a chance of winning silverware.

The Carabao Cup may not hold quite the same prestige as some of its rival competitions but it is undoubtedly a tournament that has its merits, and could offer an alternative route into Europe or long-awaited silverware for sides outside the traditional elite.

Everton – 7/1

It’s been a long, long wait for silverware for Everton who have now gone 25 years without lifting a major trophy, but the club’s positive start to the campaign has raised optimism they could challenge this season.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side have begun the season in flawless fashion with six wins from six fixtures in all competitions, setting the early pace at the top of the Premier League following an impressive summer of recruitment.

The signings of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure have transformed the Toffees’ midfield with the duo providing bite and dynamism to the engine room, whilst James Rodriguez has starred since his surprise arrival from Real Madrid.

The Colombian international forms part of an exciting forward unit alongside the ever-improving Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the latter having enjoyed a prolific start to the season to earn his first call-up to the senior England side.

Everton last lifted the League Cup in 1984 and host Manchester United in the last eight, though a flourishing side will be confident of reaching a first semi-final in five seasons on current form.

Arsenal – 6/1

Last season’s FA Cup winners have shown they have the capabilities to challenge for major trophies under the guidance of Mikel Arteta, the Spaniard having undoubtedly improved the Gunners’ faltering fortunes since arriving as head coach last summer.

The north London side have enjoyed a productive summer and have notably strengthened with the signings of Willian, Gabriel and Thomas Partey, in addition to securing the futures of key personnel in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal – for the first time in a while – have found a new sense of resilience under Arteta and their achievements in last season’s FA Cup, alongside their fourth round victory over Premier League champions Liverpool, have shown they can mix it with the nation’s finest when at their best.

Difficult ties against Premier League opposition in Leicester and Liverpool have already been safely navigated by the Gunners and a new-look side will not be overawed by a trip to face Manchester City in the last eight.

Manchester United – 5/1

Manchester United are another side safely into the next round after overcoming Luton Town and Brighton thus far, the latter a 3-0 victory and their most convincing performance of a difficult season to date.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be desperate to secure the first major trophy of his reign at Old Trafford this season as the pressure continues to surround the Norwegian, though the Carabao Cup may be down his list of priorities with the Red Devils likely to face a fight to secure a top four finish.

United have the talent to go deep into the tournament after reaching three semi-finals last season, and will be hoping to improve on that record having failed to lift silverware in each of the past three campaigns.

Solskjaer’s squad lacks depth beyond a solid starting XI despite their deadline day activity, however, and it remains to be seen how strong a side the club fields in cup competition ahead of a fourth round trip to Premier League rivals Everton.

Tottenham – 4/1

A four-time winner of the competition during spells at Chelsea and Manchester United, the League Cup provides Jose Mourinho with a fine opportunity to become the first manager in history to win major silverware with three different English clubs.

Tottenham have not lifted silverware in more than a decade and Mourinho’s appointment was designed to end that wait, the north London side regarded as the second favourites for the competition following an encouraging start to the campaign.

Spurs have bounced back from an opening day defeat to record emphatic victories over the likes of Southampton and Manchester United, whilst they have also made progress in the Europa League and eliminated Chelsea in the previous round of this tournament.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min look in fine form and that duo could prove the difference if selected, whilst Gareth Bale is also stepping up his fitness in what will prove a hugely exciting addition to the side.

Spurs face a trip to Championship side Stoke in the last eight, starting as heavy favourites to reach the semi-finals.

Manchester City – 2/1

Rightfully the favourites for the competition given their proven track-record on this stage, Manchester City are seeking a fourth consecutive Carabao Cup trophy this season after dominating the tournament in recent years.

Pep Guardiola’s side boast the deepest squad in English football and their wealth of options has helped compile a hugely impressive record in cup competitions of late, City now within one League Cup of levelling Liverpool’s record eight trophies.

Five of those successes have come in the past seven seasons and City will once again be expected to go far, despite facing a difficult-looking clash against Arsenal in the quarter-finals.

Guardiola’s side made little work of defeating Premier League rivals in Burnley in the previous round and remain the team to beat in this competition.

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