Home Sports Football EFL Cup Spurs to stifle shot-shy Blues
Spurs to stifle shot-shy Blues

Spurs to stifle shot-shy Blues


Tottenham can move a step closer to winning their first trophy for more than a decade by beating Chelsea and reaching the League Cup final.

In the 2008 final Spurs came from behind to beat the Blues 2-1 at Wembley with Dimitar Berbatov and Jonathan Woodgate scoring the goals for Juande Ramos’ side.

Although Spurs have reached two League Cup finals since that victory, and have finished in the top three of the Premier League in each of the last three seasons, they have not won any silverware since that triumph 11 years ago and Mauricio Pochettino will be keen to end that run this season.

Exact Score 1st Half 0-0 @ 37/20

However, it will not be easy for Spurs, who won the first leg 1-0 thanks to Harry Kane’s first-half penalty.

They will be without a host of players, including Kane, Son Heung-min, Mo Sissoko, Victor Wanyama and Dele Alli, who sustained a hamstring injury during Sunday’s 2-1 victory at Fulham.

Lucas Moura could return though and his inclusion will add some much-needed flair and firepower to the Lilywhites.

It is asking a lot of a Spurs squad, that had no new additions last summer, to battle for glory on four fronts and a lack of depth may hamper their chances in the Champions League.

However, they can certainly reach the League Cup final this week, particularly as Chelsea are in a certain amount of disarray heading into the fixture.

Christian Eriksen to score the first goal @ 12/1

An angry Maurizio Sarri said his players were difficult to motivate after watching them produce a limp display on Saturday in the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal, their fourth Premier League loss in their last 11 matches after they had remained unbeaten in their first 12 games.

The poor run started with a 3-1 defeat at Spurs two months ago and, although it is too early to say Sarri’s days are numbered at Stamford Bridge, berating your players in public is not usually the best policy to improve team morale.

Spurs, available at 11/4 to win the League Cup this season, can benefit from Chelsea’s problems, although they are not in great form themselves having lost at home to both Wolves and Manchester United this month.

With so many players absent it may be worth looking at Fernando Llorente (9/1) or Christian Eriksen in the first goalscorer market.

Llorente looked off the pace at Craven Cottage on Sunday, and even managed to score an own goal, but he has shown in the past that he is the man for the big occasion and could come up with the goods on Thursday in what looks set to be a very tight and cagey affair.

Spurs to draw 0-0 at Chelsea @ 37/4

Goals continue to be Chelsea’s problem with Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud failing to hit the back of the net on a regular basis.

Sarri’s team have only scored 13 goals in their last 12 top-flight matches, and five in the last six, nowhere near good enough for a side challenging for a top-four spot.

With goals at a premium, odds of 51/20 on there being under 1.5 on Thursday should be taken up while a 0-0 draw is certainly not out of the question.

A goalless draw certainly does not appear to be on the cards at the Pirelli Stadium where Burton Albion will be playing for pride following their 9-0 humbling in the first leg a fortnight ago at Manchester City.

The Brewers’ capitulation at the Etihad Stadium came as something of a surprise as they had knocked Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Burnley and Nottingham Forest out of the competition.

Pep Guardiola’s side were ruthless two weeks ago and have now scored an incredible 27 goals in their last six games in all competitions following the shock of their back-to-back defeats over the festive period to Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

Manchester City to win both halves @ 1/1

Those setbacks seem even stranger now than they did at the time with Sunday’s 3-0 win at Huddersfield Town as routine a victory as is possible in the Premier League.

With City still striving for glory on four fronts, Guardiola seems certain to rotate his squad although, whoever he picks for Wednesday’s game, another comprehensive victory for last season’s Premier League champions seems certain.

Gabriel Jesus will be licking his lips at the prospect of adding to the five goals he has already scored in the League Cup this season while Phil Foden will surely get the opportunity to make a rare start. Jesus is 3/1 to score the first goal.

Riyad Mahrez could also start against Nigel Clough’s side and the former Leicester City star is 5/1 to score the first goal.

Manchester City to score a penalty @ 33/10

The Brewers look set to finish in mid-table in League One this season following last term’s relegation.

They secured a well-merited point on Saturday in the 2-2 draw at Doncaster Rovers, a good result following the setback of the 3-2 home loss to Gillingham a week earlier.

It is difficult to see Burton breaching City’s defence but, if they do, Liam Boyce seems the most likely Albion player to get on the scoresheet with the Northern Ireland international available at 11/4 to score at any time on Wednesday.

However, Clough may also opt to field a second-string side as Burton have a key League One fixture at home to Bradford City to look forward to on Saturday.

It has been a superb run by Albion and it would be sad to see them suffer another drubbing in the second leg.

A 3-0 victory for City would almost seem like a moral victory for Burton, and can be backed at 8/1, while the odds on there being over 5.5 goals in the second leg is available at 3/1.

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Mark Race Having worked in the media for nearly 30 years, Mark knows his sport inside out and at all levels. An avid football fan, Mark also has serious knowledge of the tennis world and is quick to point out value bets in a number of other sports.