With just four teams left in the competition, we’re down to the business end of the League Cup and this week sees the semi-final first legs taking place.
Sunderland play Manchester United on Tuesday evening and then on Wednesday Manchester City face West Ham.
Sunderland v Manchester United
They may have had a dismal league season so far, but Gus Poyet’s Sunderland side feature in their first league cup semi-final since 1999, after beating Chelsea before Christmas.
The Black Cats may be rooted to the foot of the Premier League but their recent form hasn’t been too bad, with only one defeat in their last eight matches.
If they were to win the tie over the two legs, it would be their first appearance in the final of the League Cup since 1985, when they were beaten 1-0 by Norwich City.
Visiting manager David Moyes has not had the greatest of starts to his reign at Old Trafford with a mediocre Premier League campaign and most notably a third round exit to Swansea City in the FA Cup on Sunday.
One would expect that gaining some silverware in the League Cup would be one way to keep the supporters of the Red Devils satisfied with Moyes’ first season in charge.
But both he and Poyet could face selection dilemmas after playing their respective FA Cup ties just two days ago.
The hosts are struggling for bodies in defence with Carlos Cuellar, Modibo Diakite, John O’Shea and Valentin all ruled out through injury. Midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung could feature at centre back again after playing there against Carlisle.
United could be without Rio Ferdinand after he limped off with a knee problem on Sunday whilst Phil Jones is also unlikely to feature.
Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney also look set to miss out, with Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck likely to partner one another again.
My BET OF THE DAY is on Danny Welbeck as an anytime scorer with Bet 365 offering odds of 13/8.
The match is live on Sky Sports 1 from 7:45pm.
Manchester City v West Ham
With Sunderland’s surprise victory over Manchester United, West Ham’s hopes will be buoyed slightly as they face Manchester city, although they have the disadvantage of playing away first.
Manchester City have the unwanted problem of an FA Cup replay next week after drawing 1-1 at Blackburn Rovers on Sunday but boss Manuel Pellegrini says it is not a problem.
He is without a couple of players during this busy run of fixtures; Sergio Aguero and Micah Richards are not match fit despite returning to training this week and Jesus Navas who remains out with a knee injury.
The Hammers don’t have the issue of a cup replay after being annihilated 5-0 at Championship side Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
The Londoners Premier League relegation battle is not being helped by a crippling injury list with no fewer than six players out injured. Kevin Nolan remains suspended so Sam Allardyce is likely to put Roger Johnson who has been loaned in from League One side Wolves straight into the squad.
In truth anything other than a Manchester City win would be a monumental upset and Paddy Power provide the best odds on the hosts at 2/11. A 3-0 win is available at 15/2 with Bet Victor whilst Ladbrokes provide odds of a 4-0 City win.
If you fancy putting a bet on the struggling West Ham side to pull out a hugely surprising win, then Bet 365 offer generous odds of 18/1.
See the latest betting odds from the Capital One Cup with BritBets by clicking HERE.
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