The Capital One Cup dominates the midweek fixture list this week, and Wednesday night brings another round of excellent games. Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool all make their entrance to this year’s competition, and undoubtedly the tie of the night is the North London derby between Spurs and Arsenal.
For betting purposes two other Premier League teams stand out – Crystal Palace and Southampton – as they take on Championship opposition, and both can be backed at reasonable odds to find their way into the next round. For Palace it’s a home London derby against Charlton, while Southampton face a trip to MK Dons – to the very ground where Manchester United were humiliated 4-0 in this competition last season.
Crystal Palace v Charlton
First up it’s Crystal Palace who are a fair 4/61.67-1500.67-1.500.67 with Skybet and William Hill to take care of Charlton at Selhurst Park.
Palace looked set for another successful season after winning three of their first four Premier League games, but consecutive 1-0 defeats to Man City and Spurs have set them back. They’re still 8th in the early table though, and will appreciate a significant step down in terms of opposition when Charlton come to town. They had a tough time of it against Shrewsbury in the last round of this competition, drawing 1-1 before exerting their authority in extra-time to run out 4-1 winners, but Alan Pardew will be keen to avoid an extra half an hour this time around with a Premier League match looming on the horizon.
Charlton started the season exceptionally well, taking the scalps of Hull and QPR as they went unbeaten in the first four, but three defeats in the last four league fixtures have seen the wheels well and truly come off. They were comfortably beaten 3-0 at Blackburn on the weekend, and they’re in freefall down the Championship table. They’ve lost on their last two visits to Palace, and provided the Eagles field a strong side, this should be a routine home win.
MK Dons v Southampton
Southampton face a potential banana skin at MK Dons, but they were a League One side pushing for promotion when they achieved the giant-killing against United this time last year, whereas now they are a Championship side struggling for survival.
Southampton usually take this competition seriously, and a quote of 10/111.91-1100.91-1.100.91 with Skybet and William Hill looks worth taking.
The Saints haven’t had the sort of start they enjoyed last season, when they competed in the top four for so long, and already find themselves 16th in the table and looking over their shoulders. They played some very good football in the 3-2 defeat to Man United at the weekend though, and were a little unlucky to end up on the losing side. That was only their second loss of the season though, and they are proving to be hard-to-beat if nothing else.
MK Dons are on a run of four straight defeats in the Championship – to Birmingham, Middlesbrough, Burnley and Leeds – and are 20th in the table just a point above the drop zone. It looks like being a long hard season on the road to survival for the newly-promoted side, and the Capital One Cup is not going to be high on the list of priorities. They beat fellow Championship contenders Cardiff in the last round after extra-time, but the Cup run is fancied to come to a premature end on Wednesday night.
Spurs v Arsenal
Finally, Spurs v Arsenal is the game that all eyes will be on, and it looks primed to be an open end-to-end match. These two teams have shared some memorable games over the years, plenty of which have been littered with goals.
Over 2.5 goals is a decent price of 5/61.83-1200.83-1.200.83 with Skybet, and with neither side keen on the prospect of extra-time we can expect them to go toe-to-toe.
Arsenal will be reeling after the controversial loss to Chelsea at the weekend when both Gabriel and Carzola were given their marching orders, but Diego Costa inexplicably managed to stay on the pitch. The Blue’s striker divides opinion like no other player, and his antics on the pitch have earned him plenty of media attention. Jose Mourinho will secretly be delighted with the way Costa contributed to Gabriel’s sending off, but both him and his forward will find themselves in hot water if the same attitude continues throughout the season.
For the Gunners it was a bitter pill to swallow and they will be looking to respond when they visit White Hart Lane. Spurs secured a 1-0 win at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday with Son notching his third goal in two games, and it was also a third clean sheet in a row for Pochettino and his team. They haven’t quite scaled the heights of some of their football from last term, but they are slowly improving and working their way up the table. This particular fixture always brings out the best in Spurs, and it’s one of the fiercest derbies in the land. The fans won’t accept anything less than an attacking style but that can often play into Arsenal’s hands, and there should be more than enough goal-mouth action.
Only three of the last twelve fixtures between the two have had less than three goals, and with relatively little riding on this match it ought to be an open affair. Both sides have European competition to play in as well as the Premier League, so neither will want extra-time and weakened teams may be the order of the day. However, with bragging rights up for grabs, neither side will want to be humiliated so there may be more first-team players on show than expected.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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