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Tuesday, 08 November 2011

Can Arsenal or Liverpool will win the Carling Cup?


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It’s getting down to the business end of the Carling Cup and the quarter-final draw has produced some mouth-watering games. The pick of the bunch are rejuvenated Arsenal taking on Premier League leaders Manchester City at the Emirates and Kop kings Liverpool hosting AVB’s Chelsea. But who is the smart money on to actually win the competition?

After avoiding the other Premier League big guns and landing Championship outfit Crystal Palace, Manchester United are the bookies’ favourites to lift the first piece of silverware of the season. They are 2/1 with most bookmakers but Coral currently have them at 9/4. If you think Dougie Freeman’s Palace can shock the champions at Old Trafford and then go on to clinch the cup bwin is the place for you as they are offering odds of 100/1.

Despite being at home for the visit of Manchester City and starting to show some of their old form on the pitch, Arsenal are fifth favourites for the cup. If you fancy them getting the better of Mancini’s millionaires and ending their trophy drought, head down to Coral now where they are offering odds of 15/2. The all-conquering Manchester City meanwhile are best priced at 3/1 at Totesport and Unibet.

Liverpool are the competition’s most successful club and are 7/1 at Paddy Power to win it again, but they are behind Chelsea with the bookies – probably due to the Reds’ poor home form as of late. Chelsea, who kept a clean sheet against Blackburn at the weekend, are best priced 9/2 at a host of bookmakers including Bet365, Coral and Victor Chandler.

In the final tie of the round, struggling Blackburn Rovers – who knocked out Newcastle United in the previous round – travel to hostile Cardiff City. Steve Kean remains under intense pressure from a section of the fans and it remains to be seen whether he actually leads his team out for this game. With their Premier League experience behind them, Blackburn are best priced 20/1 at Bet365 and Victor Chandler to see off their Welsh rivals and win the competition. Cardiff meanwhile, led by Malkay McKay, are 50/1 at the above bookmakers to beat their Premier League visitors and win the cup at Wembley.

However, who is your money on?

Manchester United 2/1

Manchester City 3/1

Chelsea 9/2

Liverpool 7/1

Arsenal 15/2

Blackburn Rovers 20/1

Cardiff City 50/1

Crystal Palace 100/1

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Colin Illingworth

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