By William Hill
7th January 2019
It may come as little surprise to find Manchester City priced up as the dominant favourites to win the 2018/19 EFL Cup. Pep Guardiola’s men head the EFL Cup betting at 4/7 and this may relate to them being the defending champions or the fact they were drawn out alongside League One Burton in the semi-finals.
Our first-leg preview for the Etihad encounter can be read here. But before that Wednesday wrangle is the first leg of the other final-four showdown – a repeat of the 2014/15 final between Tottenham and Chelsea.
The difficulty in calling which of the London duo will come through the tie is evident in the odds, with both clubs 10/11 to qualify for the final and 3/1 to win the EFL Cup. And it is the latter of these prices which is most appealing for backers of either team at present, because of the following statistic.
The record of first semi-final winners in the EFL Cup
This is the third season that the League Cup has been rebranded as the EFL Cup, following the withdrawal of Capital One as the competition’s main sponsor. In each of the two tournaments under the EFL guise so far, the winners of the first semi-final to play have gone on to lift the trophy.
Manchester United saw off Hull in 2016/17 at the last-four stage, before Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s double in the final helped them to a 3-2 triumph over Southampton. Then, Manchester City did the same in the last campaign, defeating Bristol City in the semis and then Arsenal 3-0 at Wembley.
Will Chelsea or Spurs complete the hat-trick in an expected final with Guardiola’s Citizens?
A good bet for the Spurs vs Chelsea first leg
Spurs are the 11/10 favourites to secure the semi-final, first-leg advantage, with Chelsea available at 23/10 and the draw on offer at 5/2.
Michael Oliver is the man in the middle and a constant trend is developing among the games he officiates in recent weeks. His last four fixtures have seen a total of 22 goals and five converted penalties.
Over 3.5 goals at Wembley can be backed at 2/1, while it’s 3/1 that a penalty is awarded, to either team.