CHRIS Graham (@chrisgraham79) looks ahead to Tuesday's EFL Cup Quarter Final between Hull and Newcastle.
Hull v Newcastle | Tuesday 19:45
We're down to the last eight of the EFL Cup and Tuesday night brings together Hull and Newcastle for a place in the semi-finals.
The home side are of course in the Premier League while the away side play in the second tier but that's certainly not reflected in the odds with Newcastle 6/5 to win here and the Tigers as big as 13/5 to oblige.
6/5 away to Hull? That's essentially putting Newcastle in the same class as a Southampton, Leicester or a West Ham 2015/16. If you feel Newcastle would finish top half in the Premier League this season then no doubt you'll agree with those odds.
For me, they feel a little short; especially when you consider Rafa Benitez has said he will rotate his team. With Newcastle fans so desperate to win a trophy I find that an odd one. I'm sure he can walk on water up in the North East but defeat here with a weakened team would leave a bitter taste I would have thought.
The Championship leaders come into this game nursing a rare defeat. Indeed, Saturday's 1-0 loss to Blackburn disrupted a run of nine consecutive wins in all competitions.
Like a brilliant racehorse, Newcastle have found their gears after a sloppy start and cruised past the opposition in the Championship. Treble figure points look a possibility and the future seems bright with Rafa in charge.
Rotating Newcastle line ups in this competition has certainly not been an issue so far this season for Benitez. In fact Newcastle have yet to concede in the EFL Cup and arrive in Hull with 10 goals in the F column in their three matches.
As befitting their season, it's been more of a grind for Hull in the EFL Cup. One goal wins over Bristol City and Stoke followed a 3-1 victory over Exeter back in August.
Their league form has of course plummeted since balmy August and you have to wonder whether Hull really need a two-leg semi-final in January with relegation a huge concern.
It's one league win in 11 for Hull and eight of those matches ended in defeat. Their form is the complete antithesis of Newcastle who of course boast nine wins in their last 10 matches.
So, yeah, as you can probably tell, I'm struggling with this one. My intention was to get with Newcastle but as mentioned above I find their price a little short.
My next step was looking at Under 1.5 Hull Goals but it's an incredibly short price so with Hull scoring 0 or 1 on my mind I'll pitch total goals at between two and four in this game. The bet that suits that line of thought better than most is Exactly 2-3 Goals at 21/20 with BetVictor.
Hull v Newcastle – Exactly 2-3 Goals (21/20 BetVictor)