THREE games in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) looks at the two non-live ones here.
Stoke v Sheffield Wednesday | Tuesday 19:45
When Sheffield Wednesday lined up against Arsenal in the previous round of this competition I backed them to score. Sadly I also backed Arsenal to win in a BTTS game, but the sentiment was there, Wednesday were a side to believe in when it comes to goals.
That run has continued since the Arsenal game with four of their last five matches producing notches. In fact they only fired blanks against unbeaten top of the table side Brighton.
Stoke might just be another matter though. Just 14 goals leaked in 14 Premier League games this season they’ve been fairly resolute. Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Sunderland was a big disappointment as it was only the second time since mid-September they’d conceded more than one goal in a match.
Their record in this competition has got more impressive as the event has progressed. They needed penalties to get past Luton in their opening match back in August when no one gave a shit but kicked on from that to win at Fulham and get the better of Chelsea (again on penalties) in the last round.
Stoke have made great progress in the last decade and their finest moment during that period came in 2011 when they reached the FA Cup Final. These are the occasions that matter, these are the goals that Stoke need to aim for. This match on Tuesday is a stiff test of that desire.
With that in mind and Sheffield Wednesday’s proclivity for scoring goals this season I’ll have a speculative punt on Stoke winning and both teams scoring at plump odds of 16/5 with Coral.
Man City v Hull | Tuesday 19:45
Huge respect to Hull and Burnley this season as they’ve coped with the devastation of Premier League relegation with decent aplomb so far. Burnley lie fifth in the table with just two defeats to their name while Hull lie a place higher, both sides have decent automatic promotion claims.
Hull though face a huge task against the top side in the Premier League Manchester City and have been chalked up at 16/1 to knock them out and reach the semi-finals.
It’s so hard to have steely-eyed faith in Man City this season. One game they’re amazing, they next they draw with Aston Villa (lol!) or get destroyed by Liverpool but there’s no doubt they’re reaching a level other sides can’t find.
So far in this competition they’ve been outstanding with a 4-1 win over Sunderland preceding a 5-1 destruction of Crystal Palace. Not many sides do that to Pardew’s Palace.
On Tuesday they’re 2/5 best price to beat Hull which I think is pretty reasonable. These players will be able to get a feel for Cup glory now they’re so deep in the competition and Manuel Pellegrini will be eager for some silverware as he bids to polish up his CV for his inevitable departure in the next year or so.
Hull, of course, have bigger things on their mind as all guns and artillery are aimed towards regaining their Premier League status. I’m happy to back Man City to win by two or more goals here at odds against 41/40 with Bet365.
Stoke v Sheffield Wednesday – Stoke to win and both teams to score (16/5 Coral)
Manchester City v Hull – Manchester City -1.5 (41/40 Bet365)
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