The winners of the League Cup qualify for the Champions League but four of the eight teams left in the competition would be hoping to be playing in the biggest club competition in the sport next season through other routes. Leicester City will not finish in the top four in the Premier League so the domestic cup competitions are important for a club and its fans who got a taste of playing in Europe after their astounding rise to be champions of England in the 2015/16 season.
Leicester play Manchester City at home tonight in the EFL Cup and team selection will have a massive impact on the result. Bookmakers have priced up the match on the assumption that Pep Guardiola will send the City first string for this match. The side are certainties to qualify for the Champions League through their league position so tonight it will be a question of motivation and incentive.
City’s best eleven are unstoppable and unbeatable just now but how many who will be playing tonight is just conjecture on the morning of the match. On the one hand you could say the fringe players will be trying to impress the coach but City’s second string have often failed to deliver this season. Whichever way you read this tie LEICESTER are a huge price at 13/2 to win this match in 90 minutes.
Tonight’s other quarter-final brings together a home side in Arsenal and opponents West Ham. Arsene Wenger doesn’t have the luxury of resting players but historically he is not a huge fan of the EFL Cup which is the current guise of the League Cup. West Ham have suffered defeat in six of their last seven matches away to Arsenal and their main focus is staying in the Premier League. In this case the superior team may represent some value so ARSENAL are the bet at 8/15 with William Hill.
The racing leading up to Christmas is at best moderate but on days like today is dire. The King George on Boxing Day is the mid-season championship for chasers and the Christmas Hurdle is the equivalent in that discipline. There is an inspection at Fakenham so the only turf jumps meeting certain to take place is at Catterick. The most valuable race on the card is a beginner’s chase at 1.20pm. The race is a good opportunity for ALZAMAAR to win a first chase so the horse is the standout racing bet of the day at 9/2 with Ladbrokes.