Norwich to shade Cup tie

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: December 11 2012, 19:38 GMT

Norwich look capable of continuing their impressive run with victory over Aston Villa on Tuesday night.

Sebastien Bassong: Has three goals in four games
Sebastien Bassong: Has three goals in four games

The pair clash in the quarter-finals of the League Cup at Carrow Road, a ground which has become something of a fortress over the past couple of months.

The Canaries have won their last five on home soil, with Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal among their opponents during that spell.

Overall it is now 10 games unbeaten for Chris Hughton's men - a highly impressive recovery after a worrying start to the campaign.

A side that appeared to be conceding for fun at times is now a much more disciplined outfit and certainly one capable of coping with Aston Villa's goal-shy attack.

To be fair, Villa have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks and they are actually unbeaten in four, a run which includes three clean sheets.

However, goals have been thin on the ground and Norwich, with higher confidence levels, look worthy of support.

The hosts can be backed at 23/20 to win in 90 minutes but a way of boosting that price up is to turn to the winning margin market where Norwich are offered at 31/10 to win by a single goal.

All eight of Norwich's victories this season have been by that margin and with Villa keeping things pretty tight of late, it seems a decent bet.

It's also worth pointing out that man of the moment Sebastien Bassong is offered at 14/1 (Betfred, totesport) to score at any time. He has managed to do so in three of his last four games.

Given goals may well be at a premium, backing him at 40/1 (or 33s each way) in the first scorer market may be a better bet if you fancy jumping on that bandwagon.

The night's other tie sees Arsenal head to Bradford and despite recent problems it's no surprise to see the Gunners at a short price.

Bradford did well to eliminate Premier League Wigan in the previous round but Arsenal's second string is a major step up compared to the team they faced at the DW Stadium.

The Bantams will draw hope from the fact that Arsenal were 4-0 down at Reading that same night, but the recovery is perhaps more significant.

The Gunners eventually won that game 7-5 after extra time, showing exactly what their second string is capable of. That is in addition to the six they put past Coventry back in round three.

The likes of Andrey Arshavin, Sebastien Squillaci and Francis Coquelin have plenty of Premier League experience and ability to match, while Arsene Wenger - wary of the need to land silverware for the first time since 2005 - has also thrown Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud into Capital One Cup action this season.

Frankly this looks a big bridge for League Two Bradford to gap, even though they have kept three clean sheets in their last five games.

They may be able to keep the score down - certainly I wouldn't be going anywhere near odds-on quotes about Arsenal scoring three - but betting angles look in short supply.

I'll happily put my betting bank of the other game where the markets look to offer better value.

  • The Bradford game is being televised live in the UK on Sky Sports.

  • Preview posted at 1625 GMT on 10/12/2012.