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In The Mixer: Experts pick their Carabao Cup winners
Gareth Freeman
Gareth Freeman
September 21, 2021
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Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.

In The Mixer is FST’s weekly column where we catch up with seven experts in football betting and get their opinion on the hot topic of the week.

With the big guns entering the Carabao Cup this week, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to get our experts’ thoughts on who may go all the way and win the trophy this season.

Understandably, the general consensus is it is hard to look beyond Manchester City as they embark on their bid to win the competition for a fifth year in a row – but a few interesting outsiders have caught the eyes of our experts too.

Man City deserve favourites tag

Henry Hardwicke

Sports Journalist at Racing Post

Man City have the unrivalled squad depth that allows them to negotiate the early rounds of the competition when they rotate their starting line-up and keep the big-hitters fresh for the business end. City are the 3-1 to lift their fifth League Cup on the bounce and I still think they are value at that price.

Pep Guardiola’s side have a nice third-round tie at home to Wycombe and the four all-Premier League ties in this set of fixtures will clear the way for another City success.

Alex Wrigley

Football Journalist at Free Super Tips

Aided by one of the deepest and most talented squads in world football, Manchester City’s record in this competition is just incredible. They are the joint-most successful side in the EFL Cup and six of their eight wins in the competition have come in the last eight years. This includes four on the spin and they have only lost one Carabao Cup game – an inconsequential second-leg loss to Manchester United – in their last 24 matches. I can’t look beyond them.

Aaron Ashley

Sports Journalist at Racing Post

Manchester City have made the EFL Cup their own in recent years and at 3/1 look a fair price to record a fifth straight success in the competition.

The Citizens have the greatest strength in depth in the Premier League so are able to ring the changes without it affecting them and the mentality of Pep Guardiola means they won’t give up their crown without a fight.

With Wycombe their third-round draw, City have a place in the last 16 at their mercy and there are a number of all-Premier League ties which could soon see the competition crash.

Last season’s semi-finalists Brentford, who host Oldham in the next round, could outrun their odds at 66/1. The Bees have settled well in the Premier League and this term they don’t have to mix a cup run with a 46-game campaign.

Leicester, Arsenal and Manchester United in the mix

Rob Eddy

Sports Journalist at ICS

It is no surprise that Manchester City are the favourites given their recent record in the EFL Cup but at around 3/1 is hardly a price to get excited about.

In fact 10/1 about Man United – the last side to triumph in this competition before their neighbours’ dominance – offers more value, particularly given their summer acquisitions, on the back of recent runs deep into cup competitions.

West Ham are tricky opponents first up but they needed to get past Brighton and Everton to reach the semi-finals last year – and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows he needs to win silverware.

James Milton

Sports Journalist at Racing Post

Obviously Manchester City set a high standard but the draw could open up for Arsenal, who host AFC Wimbledon in the third round.

With four all-Premier League ties and Everton, Leeds, Southampton and Leicester away to Championship clubs, there may well be plenty of top-flight casualties.

The Gunners thumped West Brom 6-0 in the previous round, won the FA Cup in 2019-20, have reached the semi-finals and final of the Europa League in the past three years, and their under-pressure manager Mikel Arteta could do with a decent cup run.

Aaron Rogan

Football Journalist at Free Super Tips

With Man City and Chelsea short-priced frontrunners, the best value in the market is Leicester at 14/1. Fresh from winning the FA Cup in May Brendan Rodgers and his side look like a serious threat in this competition.

The final stages of the Carabao Cup take place early in 2022 – the part of the season when Leicester tend to peak. Having lifted two trophies at Wembley in the last few months, they are a great outside bet to return for more success early next year.

Jack Ogalbe

Sports Journalist at ICS

Manchester City are rightly the favourites to win their fifth straight Carabao Cup and clearly have a knack for finding the right blend of youth and experience as the tournament goes on. However, it may be worth looking for a bit more value with this arguably the most open of the two cup competitions.

Leicester’s campaign seems to be stuttering and having won last season’s FA Cup, this competition could prove their salvation. Injuries are hurting them at the moment but they have real depth in their squad so can afford to chop and change.

Brendan Rodgers has shown at both Celtic and Leicester that he knows how to win trophies and with Millwall coming up on Wednesday, they will expect to progress.

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