Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.
The Carabao Cup third round kicks off this midweek, with the Premier League sides in European competition joining in this week’s ties.
Given how the cup has been dominated by the top teams in recent years, that means that the winner likely plays their opening game of the competition this week. Ahead of those matches, I’ve picked out 7/1 and 18/1 contenders to lift the trophy.
Both of our selections are priced with bet365 and new customers can get up to £30 in free bets through the link below!
Carabao Cup 2023/24 winner predictions
Arsenal at 7/1
Arsenal flew out of the traps last term and built their Premier League title charge on impressing while Manchester City were struggling early on. It’s been a bit of a theme in recent years that City have started slowly before hitting their groove in the final months of the campaign. Things are slightly different this time around, as Pep Guardiola’s side have won all six games so far.
While it’s far too early to write Arsenal off in the title race, the fact that they’re already four points shy of City is something to consider. While last season remains a success for Mikel Arteta’s side, silverware surely has to be on his mind.
The Gunners could look to the Champions League or FA Cup, but this competition is their earliest – and potentially easiest – route to a trophy.
With the level of investment the Gunners have made this summer, some kind of silverware should be expected this term. They have enough depth to progress through the early rounds of this competition and few sides can match their strongest side in the latter stages.
Round by round the Gunners should take this competition more and more seriously, so they stand out as real contenders at 7/1 to lift the trophy.
Aston Villa at 14/1
If one of the traditional big six don’t go all the way in this competition, then Aston Villa are a side that could emerge as real contenders. Unai Emery has turned this team around in less than a year, taking them away from a relegation battle and into Europe.
Emery has an excellent record in knockout football, winning four cups with PSG alongside his four Europa League wins. The Villa boss has turned his side into a team that can mix it with the best in the league, while the club have an impressive tradition in this competition having won it five times.
Villa were also busy in the summer and they’ve added the depth needed to balance this competition with the league and their European commitments.
This is also a Villa side which boasts plenty of winners outside of Emery. World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emi Martinez was joined this summer by Pau Torres – who lifted the Europa League under Emery – and Youri Tielemans, scorer of the winning goal in the 2021 FA Cup final.
There’s plenty to like about this Villa team, from a shootout-tested keeper to plenty of difference makers in attack, Emery’s side could make a mockery of their 18/1 price with some luck in the draw and a little momentum.
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