Carabao Cup Semi Finals Preview and Tips

The New Year begins with the traditional double-helping of English Cup football as last weekend we saw the FA Cup Third Round take centre stage, with more than a few shocks in that tournament. This is then followed by the first two legs of the Carabao Cup Semi-finals which features three top Premier League sides, plus a Championship promotion hopeful all in with a chance of getting to Wembley to contest the final in February.

In this preview, we are going to take a look at the first legs of both these games and provide you with a number of tips for each of the matches as well as giving you the lowdown on who we think will be heading into the second leg of the semi-finals with the best chance of getting to Wembley to lift the first available silverware of the season.

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So once you are ready to go, why not begin your betting with a flutter on the weeks two big Carabao Cup Semi-finals, both of which are previewed below:

Manchester City v Bristol City (Tuesday 9th January – 7.45pm)

Tale of the Tape

  • League Position: Man City – 1st in the Premier League: Bristol City – 4th in the Championship
  • Points: Man City – 62 points from 22 games: Bristol City – 47 points from 26 games
  • Goals Scored/Conceded: Man City – 63 scored, 13 conceded: Bristol City – 40 scored, 31 conceded
  • Man City Likely XI (4-3-3): Bravo, Danilo, Adarabioyo, Magala, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Toure, Foden, Bernardo Silva, De Jesus, Diaz
  • Bristol City Likely XI (4-4-2): Steele, Wright, Magnusson, Flint, Baker, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Bryan, Paterson, Reid

How they reached the Carabao Cup Semi’s

Manchester City

  • First Round – Bye
  • Second Round – Bye
  • Third Round – 20th September – West Brom 1 Manchester City 2
  • Fourth Round – 24th October – Man City 0 Wolves 0 (City win 4-1 on penalties)
  • Quarter Final – 19th December – Leicester 1 Man City 1 (City win 4-3 on penalties)

Bristol City

  • First Round – 8th August – Bristol City 5 Plymouth Argyle 0
  • Second Round – 22nd August – Watford 2 Bristol City 3
  • Third Round – 19th September – Bristol City 2 Stoke City 0
  • Fourth Round – 24th October – Bristol City 4 Crystal Palace 1
  • Quarter Final – 20th December – Bristol City 2 Manchester United 1

Preview

After putting Manchester United out of the competition in the next round, their fourth Premier League scalp in what has been an incredible Carabao Cup campaign, Lee Johnson’s Bristol City now face the challenge of unseating the current Kings of English football, Manchester City, over two legs.

To stand any chance at Ashton Gate, Johnson’s team will need to go into the game at least level and against a Manchester City side that have swept all before them in competition this season, that is looking a rather forlorn prospect for the Championship side’s fans.

Pep Guardiola will likely rest a number of key men ahead of their big Premier League clash at the weekend away to Liverpool but even so, his team will be packed with top international stars. However it is fair to say that City have failed to show the same level of performance in this competition as they have in the league, relying on two wins by penalty shootout to reach the semi-finals.

If the home side do play a weakened team then I think Bristol City stand a better chance of going into the second leg losing by just one goal or maybe even all-square. Certainly, they’ve shown their quality against under-strength Premier League sides in this competition previously this year. However, this Manchester City team is still packed with star quality.

Our Tips

  • Match Result – Manchester City to win 1/8 with Coral
  • Both Teams to Score – Yes 6/5 with Coral
  • Man City to win and both teams to score – 7/4 with Coral
  • Man City to win and Under 2.5 goals – 17/5 with Coral

Chelsea v Arsenal (Wednesday 10th January – 8pm)

Tale of the Tape

  • League Position: Chelsea – 3rd in the Premier League: Arsenal – 6th in the Prem League
  • Points: Chelsea – 46 points from 22 games: Arsenal – 39 points from 22 games
  • Goals Scored/Conceded: Man City – 41 scored, 16 conceded: Arsenal – 40 scored, 28 conceded
  • Chelsea Likely XI (3-4-3)– Caballero, Rudiger, Cahill, Ampadu, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Barkley, Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro, Kenedy
  • Arsenal Likely XI (3-4-3) – Ospina, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Holding, Kolasinac, Elneny, Coquelin, Ramsey, Walcott, Welbeck, Xhaka

How they reached the Carabao Cup Semi’s

Chelsea

  • First Round – Bye
  • Second Round – Bye
  • Third Round – 20th September – Chelsea 5 Nottingham Forest 1
  • Fourth Round – 25th October – Chelsea 2 Everton 1
  • Quarter Final – 20th December – Chelsea 2 Bournemouth 1

Arsenal

  • First Round – Bye
  • Second Round – Bye
  • Third Round – 20th September – Arsenal 1 Doncaster Rovers 0
  • Fourth Round – 24th October – Arsenal 2 Norwich City 1
  • Quarter Final – 19th December – Arsenal 1 West Ham United 0

Preview

The two London giants meet once again just a few days after their last meeting at the Emirates Stadium where the game finished in an entertaining 2-2 draw. Earlier in the season, the teams had also fought out a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge, but it is worth noting that both the teams will likely rest key first teamers even though this is a semi-final match up.

That simple fact alone changes the dynamic of this game a great deal. With full-strength squads, I’d suggest that a score draw was likely the most obvious outcome here, especially given their recent performances against each other, but when it comes to the second-string players, I think that puts Chelsea at a much greater advantage,

That’s because Chelsea’s squad is much stronger with greater depth than Arsenal’s and they also come into this game having earned a 0-0 draw away to Norwich, while Arsenal were thumped 4-2 by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup at the weekend, relinquishing their hold on the trophy.

Add to that home advantage for Chelsea on a ground where Arsenal do not have a particularly great record in recent times, and I think this means that this semi-final first leg should well go the way of the home side.

Our Tips

  • Match Result – Chelsea to win 4/5 with Coral
  • Both Teams to Score – No 6/5 with Coral
  • HT/FT – Draw – Chelsea – 18/5 with Coral
  • Chelsea to win and Under 2.5 goals – 4/1 with Coral