By William Hill
Last Updated: 18th December 2019
The Carabao Cup quarter-finals continue on Wednesday night following Aston Villa’s defeat of a very youthful Liverpool side on Tuesday. Manchester City and Manchester United are both among the teams in action. We preview their clashes.
Manchester City to run riot in Oxford
By their exceptionally high standards, City haven’t had the best of seasons so far, sitting a whopping 14 points off leaders Liverpool in the Premier League, but they will at least enter Wednesday’s clash with League One outfit Oxford United off the back of their 3-0 trouncing of Arsenal, in which they kept the Gunners at arm’s length throughout.
Oxford may be just one point off the play-offs in League One, but with City odds-on 1/12 favourites for the victory at the Kassam Stadium, and their opponents at 25/1, it’s hard to envisage an upset on the cards here.
Carabao Cup holders City are likely to rotate heavily for this one, particularly with a huge Premier League clash against Leicester on the horizon on Saturday, but should still be able to call upon some supreme talent.
Riyad Mahrez’s previous three Premier League appearances have all come from the bench for City, meaning he could be in line for a start here, and if so, the enhanced odds of 6/1 for the Algeria international to score two goals or more in 90 minutes could be worth taking advantage of.
City are also 4/1 to win by five goals or more in the 90 minutes, and this could be a match in which Pep Guardiola’s side let out their Premier League frustrations and rack up such a score.
Manchester United to join rivals in semi-finals
United are another side who should have few problems negotiating their quarter-final tie. They welcome League Two outfit Colchester to Old Trafford, who have already secured the scalps of Crystal Palace and Tottenham along the way.
Despite Colchester’s record against Premier League opposition in the Carabao Cup this season, it seems unlikely they’ll be able to pull off the same shock here – the victories over Palace and Spurs both came through penalty shootouts – and the odds for the game reflect that, with United heading into the clash as 1/9 favourites, with their opponents at 22/1.
Despite a relatively frustrating Premier League campaign to date, United have largely impressed during cup competitions this season, finishing four points clear at the top of their Europa League group as well as defeating Chelsea in the previous round of the Carabao Cup.
A number of fringe players have been given the chance to impress by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in these games, with Mason Greenwood, in particular, catching the eye in the opportunities presented to him. The 18-year-old has notched seven goals for United this season, with an average of 110 minutes per goal, with only Marcus Rashford having netted more for the club with 13.
Greenwood to score two goals or more in the 90 minutes at the enhanced odds of 3/1 look like taking advantage of, while given United have kept just one clean sheet in their last eight, a Red Devils win and both teams to score at 6/5 may also be the way to go.