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EFL Cup Predictions > Jan 7th & 8th


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The EFL Cup Semi-Finals 1st Legs are coming up this week. It's a mouth-watering Manchester derby coming up on Tuesday night with the intriguingly set Leicester versus Aston Villa on Wednesday night. Check out the odds and give us your thoughts on these two matches below!

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Manchester United vs Manchester City

The first of the EFL Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg matches is up tonight when the Manchester derby between Manchester United and Manchester City takes place in an 8pm GMT kick-off from Old Trafford. 13 points may well separate these two teams in the league table but it was actually the red side of Manchester that was celebrating a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium back in December. Who will win here?

Manchester United are going through one of their dodgy spells again under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Just 2 wins in their last 6 matches across all competitions means that Solskjaer now has a worse win percentage with United than he did with the Cardiff side that he got relegated and then struggled with in the Championship. Continuing rumours of players being unsettled and shocking transfer targets for a club their size (did somebody say Emre Can?!) are putting pressure on Solskjaer with the spirit of free agent Mauricio Pochettino still floating around. The club's run to this stage of the competition has included wins over Rochdale, Chelsea, and Colchester. Worth noting that Marcus Rashford has scored 5 goals in his last 5 games in this competition.

Manchester City have adjusted to life after Mikel Arteta seamlessly. Pep Guardiola's men have won their last three matches in all competitions with relative ease reacting well to that disappointing 3-2 loss away to Wolves. Their journey to this stage of the competition hasn't exactly been the toughest with victories over Preston, Southampton, and Oxford. City can come into this game confident knowing that Guardiola has won his last 5 domestic cup Semi-Finals. Interestingly, since 2013/14, Raheem Sterling has been involved in more goals than any other player in the EFL Cup with 8 goals and 6 assists.

This game would normally seem like a given when you consider how far apart these two teams are in quality. However, United's win last month has thrown a spanner in the works. I still think this is a game City will win but the odds on that aren't appealing at all. Especially when you consider that Pep will likely field fringe players but I can see United fielding a full strength side. Solskjaer has done OK against the big sides this season. I can see a close game and I wouldn't necessarily be surprised if United sprung a surprise and took it beyond full-time.

BTTS @ 1.73 with Sportingbet

Anytime Scorer: Marcus Rashford @ 3.45 with Unibet

 

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What will happen, who knows. What has happened is interesting. Go back 15 years in this competition, and away favorites of under 2.00 do not perform well in the first leg of the semis. Home dogs have gone 4-2-0:

Wycombe 9.90 1-1 Chelsea 2006-07

Ipswich 9.44 1-0 Arsenal 2010-11

Derby 7.79 1-0 Man Utd 2008-09

Sunderland 4.84 2-1 Man Utd 2013-14

Bradford 4.27 3-1 Aston Villa 2012-13

Blackburn 3.47 1-1 Man Utd 2005-06

In all six, leg two was won at home by the overwhelming favorite.

Will be interesting to see how Man U do as a dog, as they failed to win three times as a favorite at this point in the competition.

 

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Leicester vs Aston Villa

The second EFL Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg is set to take place tonight in an 8pm GMT kick-off when Leicester and Aston Villa go head-to-head at the King Power Stadium. This all-Premier League affair is a big opportunity for these sides to reach a domestic cup final with the winners likely to face Manchester City. Can either side gain an advantage heading into the second leg?

Leicester have enjoyed a superb season so far with the club currently sat in 2nd place in the Premier League. Brendan Rodgers is building a cracking side and this is a fantastic chance for them to win some silverware. The Foxes last won this competition back in 2000 under the management of Martin O'Neill. Their fans will be hopeful they can continue their decent record in EFL Cup semi-finals with the club having reached the final in each of the last five times they've been at this stage. Interestingly, Rodgers has progressed in his last 30 domestic cup ties with Liverpool, Celtic, and Leicester. The last club to inflict a defeat on him in a domestic cup? Aston Villa back in 2014/15. Big news on the team front is that star striker Jamie Vardy is expected to return to action.

Aston Villa will be satisfied with their performances this season as the club hovers precariously above the relegation zone. Survival is the objective and right now they are on course to achieve that. Dean Smith's side will have to deal with a few long term injury blows including Wesley, Tom Heaton, John McGinn, and Jed Steer. The Villains have suffered defeat on both of their last two away matches at Leicester. Their last win at Leicester was back in 2006 in an EFL Cup tie.

I feel that this game is Leicester's to lose. This will be a huge January transfer window for Villa with some key additions needed in light of the new injury crisis. This game has probably come at the worst time for Smith's men. They'll do well to limit the damage and head into the second leg at Villa Park with something to fight for. I can see Leicester winning this by 2-3 goals.

Leicester -1 @ 1.83 with Paddy Power

Leicester HT/FT @ 1.87 with Coral

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