MANCHESTER United and West Ham battle it out for a place in the EFL Cup semi-final. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) offers a succinct view.
Manchester United v West Ham | Wednesday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
Manchester United and West Ham meet for the second time in three days with a place in the League Cup semi-finals at stake.
League Cup importance
My gut feel is to get with the Manchester club. This is a competition that increasingly looks vital for the club as they struggle in the league. United are as big as 2/1 to finish in the Top 4 and that's a realistic price when you look at the table.
The advent calendars aren't open yet Manchester United lie a massive eight points off the Champions League places. On what we've seen so far this season it's hard to make a case for them penetrating that promised land.
Therefore the League Cup becomes hugely important for Jose Mourinho and his players. The Portuguese is a past master of this competition having won it in both his spells at Chelsea.
The ex-Blues boss can boast an unbeaten run of 10 in this competition and the last time he suffered defeat was in December 2013. While others turn their nose up, Mourinho revels in it.
West Ham priorities
It looks like Slaven Bilic will rest players on Wednesday night for West Ham and with a poor three months under his belt in the league survival will be his main priority. I can't imagine he'll be gutted if they get knocked out with a tough match against Arsenal next on the radar.
Despite my enthusiasm for United, the price (just like last Thursday in the Europa League) looks short again at 2/5. How can you back a side who have failed to win eight of their 13 league games at those odds?
Draw/Man Utd in the Half-Time/Full-Time market is where I'll get involved. The Manchester club have a habit of being level at half-time at home so let's have another suck on that.
Manchester United v West Ham – Draw/Manchester United (100/30 Skybet)