Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
The Carabao Cup returns this week, with the first legs of the tournament’s Semi Finals set to be contested on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.
Of the 92 teams that entered the competition last August, only 4 combatants remain – Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City are part of an unsurprisingly large Premier League representation, while League One’s Burton Albion complete the quartet of semi-finalists as the rank outsider.
The 2018/19 Carabao Cup has been an incredibly exciting competition so far, with 3.19 goals flying on average in per 90 minutes of knockout tournament action.
While the four teams enter their respective two-legged ties with varying levels of expectation and belief, each fixture looks packed to bursting with potentially lucrative betting markets.
Check out our selection of Carabao Cup Semi Final betting tip specials below:
Tottenham Hotspur to score first – 4/6
Statistics show that grabbing the first goal in any game can often be crucial in determining the overall winner of the fixture, and in 100% of their last 6 matches at Wembley, Spurs were the deadlock breakers.
Scoring first is no iron-clad guarantee of success however – Spurs scored first in their last home outing against Wolves just before the turn of the year, though they eventually fell to a 1-3 defeat.
Spurs took an early lead against Chelsea in the teams’ last meeting which took place as recently as November 24th, and we think they look great value at 4/6 with bet365 to open the scoring again this week.
Tottenham vs Chelsea: Goal after 74:59 – 5/6
Chelsea have established themselves as one of the Premier Leagues “late goal experts” this season. The Blues have become strikingly adept at nicking goals in the final 15 minutes of their fixtures.
Remarkably, Chelsea have scored 34% (13 of 38) of their total Premier League goals this season inside the final 15-minute segments of their games in 2018/19.
Conversely, Tottenham Hotspur have conceded more league goals in the same final 15-minute period this season than in any other period of the same length in their fixtures.
A massive 38% (8 of 21) of the goals Spurs shipped this season arrived after the 75-minute mark. Furthermore, late goals were scored in 3 of the last 4 meetings between Tottenham and Chelsea.
Olivier Giroud scored an 85th minute consolation goal for Chelsea when the teams faced off in November, Marcos Alonso netted an 88th minute winner for the Blues at Wembley in August 2017, and Nemanja Matic put the icing on the cake in the 80th minute for Chelsea when they beat Spurs 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in April of the same year.
We feel another late goal could be in the offing at Wembley this week, and you can back that to happen at 5/6 with bet365.
Read the rest of our Tottenham vs Chelsea predictions and betting tips in our match preview here.
Man City to score over 3.5 goals – 10/11
This might make for pretty grim reading if you’re a Burton Albion fan, but it would be something of a shock if Manchester City didn’t plunder goals by the bucketful against the Brewers this week.
The Carabao Cup holders have been utterly relentless in their pursuit of goals this season. Pep Guardiola’s charges have hit the net an eye-watering 55 times in 16 competitive matches at the Etihad so far, and they scored at least 4 times in 5 of those fixtures.
If those numbers weren’t enough to turn Burton Albion’s defenders’ legs to jelly, City rattled 7 goals past Championship side Rotherham United just yesterday, proving that the Citizens are ready to dismiss any notions of holding back a little against lower league opposition.
Last season, Burton conceded 4 times in Manchester in the same competition in a 3rd round defeat to United, and Liverpool stuck 5 past them in the 2nd round of the tournament the year before.
The chances of another annihilation at the hands of a top-flight big hitter feel worryingly high for Burton this week. With that considered, we think Man City to score over 3.5 goals is priced brilliantly at 10/11 with bet365.
Man City vs Burton Albion: Goal Before 19:00 – 5/6
Burton Albion will also have to brace themselves for the customary early Manchester City onslaught on Wednesday. No other Premier League team has come close to matching the Citizens this season when it comes to nabbing early goals.
So far this term, City have scored 10 goals inside the first 15 minutes of their league fixtures. In comparison, their title rivals Liverpool have only managed to score 5 times inside the same period.
When we shift the time parameters out a little to match the 19 minute target set by the bookies, the numbers look even more impressive. In total, City have registered 14 goals in the Premier League and 20 goals overall before 19 minutes in their competitive fixtures in 2018/19.
Furthermore, in each of City’s last 5 big wins this season (by 4+ goals), they kicked off their goal-fest with a strike inside 19 minutes. The statistical evidence puts forth a pretty convincing argument here, and at odds of 5/6 with bet365, backing an early City goal on Wednesday looks one of the best value bets of the week.
Read the rest of our Man City vs Burton Albion predictions and betting tips in our match preview here.
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