There’s some tasty fixtures in English football during the week as the EFL Cup takes centre stage. We’ll be previewing the third round action on both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and there’s little doubt about which match catches the headlines on the first night.
Premier League Champions Leicester welcome Chelsea to the King Power Stadium for a live TV game that has plenty to offer. This competition will not be the priority for either club this season, so we can expect squad rotation, but there is enough quality within both sides to make it a special match. Several other Premier League teams are also in action on Tuesday including Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Bournemouth. The Reds and the Gunners are both on the road in the midlands against Derby and Notts Forest respectively, but it’s the Toffees and the Cherries that warrant attention as they play lower league opposition on home soil.
Leicester v Chelsea
Marathonbet stand out at 41/501.82-1220.82-1.220.82 on over 2.5 goals when Chelsea visit Leicester, and if recent history is anything to go by it should be easy money.
The last seven games between these two at Leicester’s ground have seen over 2.5 goals, and both sides have been in good goal-scoring form so far this season. Four of the Foxes last five matches have featured at least three goals, while all of Chelsea’s most recent five fixtures have gone over the mark.
The two shared a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge in May last season when Leicester were already confirmed as Champions, with Claudio Ranieri fittingly receiving a guard of honour at his previous club. The Foxes had won the earlier fixture at the King Power stadium 2-1 with goals from Vardy and Mahrez.
Those two stars of Leicester’s season may not play a part on Tuesday night as Ranieri tinkers with his team, but there are some good players in reserve in his growing squad. The likes of Ulloa, Okazaki, Musa and the talented youngster Gray are all set to start, as the boss keeps his charges fresh for their Champions League campaign.
Chelsea have no European football to contend with this season, so it will be interesting to see how Antonio Conte approaches this match. Winning a trophy in his first season in charge will do his reputation no harm, but it’s clear that the priority is winning the league or achieving a top four place at the very least. After a perfect start, he has been brought back down to earth with a draw at Swansea and defeat at home to Liverpool, and what is telling is that they have failed to keep a clean sheet in all but one game so far. The man who has been hailed for his defensive organisation has yet to stamp his mark on this Chelsea side, and there are goals in this for Leicester. Equally he has some great options going forward with Batshuayi set to start, while Kante will return to his former club for the first time.
It all adds up to a great game in store and both teams would probably gladly avoid extra time and penalties by going for the win in normal time.
Everton v Norwich
Norwich have a woeful record at Everton and the 57/1001.57-1750.57-1.750.57 on offer with Bet365, BetVictor and Coral is worth taking on them having another fruitless trip to Merseyside.
The Canaries haven’t beaten Everton at Goodison Park since 1993 and that record looks unlikely to change against Ronald Koeman’s 2nd placed Premier League side. The Dutchman has brought all the style he instilled at Southampton to his new team, and Everton fans can’t get enough of it. Romelu Lukaku is almost certain to be rested for this one, but Everton are a very strong team at home and have won their last five EFL Cup matches against lower league opposition.
Norwich are also likely to make changes as their priority is a swift return to the Premier League. They’ve lost their last five Cup ties against top flight sides while in the football league, and there’s every chance that sequence will be extended to six after this match.
Bournemouth v Preston
Bournemouth are 67/1001.67-1490.67-1.490.67 with Betfred to beat a Preston side that lost 5-0 at Brentford in the Championship on Saturday, and that looks too good to miss,
Eddie Howes men may be suffering from second season syndrome in the Premier League, with just four points from five matches, but they are more than good enough to beat an average Preston team. Howe may well see this as a good opportunity to gain some confidence with a win, and this is arguably their best chance of winning any silverware this term. Jack Wilshere is set to start the game, and the Cherries have a fully fit squad to choose from.
Preston were humiliated 5-0 by Brentford over the weekend, and they’re teetering above the Championship relegation zone after six defeats in eight league games. Manager Simon Grayson has promised to make changes to the team but it’s unlikely to make any difference to the outcome here.
Leicester v Chelsea – Over 2.5 Goals
Tuesday 20th September, 19:45 GMT
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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