by Lee Dover
The Capital One Cup returned with a bang last night, with three Premier League teams being knocked out by lower league opponents and a 12-goal thriller the dish of the day as Arsenal came from behind to beat Reading 7-5 in extra-time.
Ready for more of the same this evening then?
Halloween came to Stamford Bridge a little early last Sunday, when Manchester United beat Chelsea 3-2.
To get to the final whistle, fans saw Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic being given their marching orders, a shouting match between Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Di Matteo lighting up the touchline and referee Mark Clattenburg even dipping into some controversy.
Sir Alex hopes that there is more of the same when the Premier League giants clash in the Capital One Cup, simply joking: “Good luck to the referee!”
If you think lightening will strike twice at Stamford Bridge – it is the spookiest time of the year today after all – Paddy Power is offering odds of 22/1 on another 3-2 scoreline in favour of the Red Devils.
Mind you, Chelsea are sure to be looking for swift revenge and the price of 6/5 on a victory for the Blues cannot be totally ruled out.
In another all-Premier League affair – all three ties tonight in the Carling Cup only feature top flight clubs in fact – Norwich and Tottenham Hotspur clash for the second time this season.
The last time these two teams met, at White Hart Lane in September, the match finished in a 1-1 stalemate. However, Spurs have grown in strength since that result as the regime of Andre Villas-Boas settles in.
Jermain Defoe is confident that Tottenham will come out on top at Carrow Road, stating: “It’s another away game for us, another tough game and another must-win game. We’re looking forward to it.”
If you believe in Defoe, then why not take a punt on the excellent price of 10/11 being offered on a Spurs win? Those more in favour of Norwich can take value in the 3/1 bet on the Canaries being on song and securing a brilliant victory.
Rounding out this week’s Capital One Cup action is a feisty tie that will see Brendan Rodgers leading Liverpool out to entertain his former club Swansea.
Unfortunately, fans cannot look at a recent result between the two in the Premier League as inspiration for deciding where to place their money. The Swans beat The Reds on the final game of last season but that was when Kenny Dalglish was still in charge of Liverpool and Rodgers hadn’t been lured away from the Liberty Stadium.
So instead, we’ve got the musings of Rodgers to give you an indication of this cup game: “We’re fighting on a lot of fronts at the moment. We’re making progress going up the mountain, as they say. We’re in a competition that the club won last year. For us it’s an opportunity.”