Our Andy Schooler has 8/1, 17/2 and 13/2 tips for Tuesday night's Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
Leicester v Man City (1945 GMT, Sky Sports Football & Main Event)
It’s hard to find much value regarding Manchester City right now but this match may offer us an opportunity to do so.
City will once again go off odds-on to win the game and reach the semi-finals, something which would see their Quadruple odds shorten once again, and rightly so.
It’s now 18 consecutive wins in domestic football, as long as you count their penalty shoot-out victory over Wolves in the last round, whereas Leicester come into this one having suffered a miserable 3-0 home defeat to struggling Crystal Place on Saturday.
The Foxes have kept one clean sheet in their last eight games and now have defensive shield Wilfred Ndidi suspended.
Asking the hosts to stifle the vibrant City attack is a mighty request at the best of times and even taking into account City’s anticipated team changes, it’s easy to envisage the visitors scoring two, three or maybe even more once again.
There are sure to be changes from Pep Guardiola, although the players at his disposal remain of a very high quality – remember the likes of Bernado Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Yaya Toure have struggled to make the starting XI this season.
This being a quarter-final, it’s hard to see Guardiola going too ‘wholesale’, even with a busy festive fixture schedule looming. Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling all started against Wolves, it should be noted.
So where’s the betting angle I began writing about, I hear you ask?
It comes in the anytime goalscorer market.
The first chance I see relates to the fact that no Premier League side has conceded more goals from set-pieces than Leicester. That’s 10 of 26.
When you then consider Nicolas Otamendi has netted four goals in his last 11 games, three from set-plays, you have a case.
And when you then see he’s 8/1 to score in this one, it’s job done.
The obvious problem here is he may not play, although if he doesn’t set foot on the pitch it’s simply stakes returned.
One of the contenders to replace him, as he did against Wolves, is youngster Tosin Adarabioyo. The 6ft 5in rising star is 20/1 in the same market and I’m not sure any City player should be that price given the goals they are scoring.
However, my best bet for the game is Oleksandr Zinchenko to find the target.
Trying to second-guess City’s exact line-up is sure to be difficult but he was another starter against Wolves and the Ukrainian attacking midfielder is clearly part of Guardiola’s bigger plans right now given he came on as sub at Swansea last week and was again on the bench for the win over Spurs on Saturday.
This looks an ideal situation for him to be promoted into the starting XI and if that happens then 17/2 about him scoring at any time in a team which creates chance after chance is a crazy one.
The Ukraine international can play as a ‘number 10’ or wide but City’s players in these positions have all scored with regularity this season so whichever role he plays would not be considered a problem.
The 21-year-old scored four times in 12 Eredivisie appearances for PSV Eindhoven last season, where he was also a frequent goalscorer in their under-21 team.
He may not be a big name at City yet but that’s fine by us – going under the radar leads to big prices and 17/2 is certainly one of those.
Prediction: Leicester 1-3 Man City (Sky Bet odds: 10/1)
Arsenal v West Ham (1945 GMT)
The hints from Monday’s press conferences were that West Ham will be a lot closer to their Premier League XI in this game than Arsenal.
Given that, and the Hammers’ impressive form which has seen them take seven points from the last nine available, the visitors could be worth a punt here at a big price.
Chelsea were beaten 1-0 to spark the resurgence before a goalless draw with Arsenal last Wednesday at the London Stadium – a game which saw West Ham stifle their visitors with a strong defensive display and one they came close to winning late on when Javier Hernandez rattled the underside of the bar.
Any thoughts of standards slipping against weaker opposition were dismissed on Saturday when West Ham dominated at Stoke and left with a 3-0 win.
Marko Arnautovic was bang up for that one against his old club and could easily have had a hat-trick. David Moyes will look to harness that form going forward but the Austrian is not the only one to have improved in recent weeks.
Defensively West Ham have been spot on which should be no surprise given how Moyes built his reputation at both Preston and Everton.
In terms of team changes, the manager said: "Ideally we would have changed one or two players, but we're a bit short.
“Our priority is the Premier League, but nothing would give me more pleasure than reaching a cup final.”
In this one, they are unlikely to come up against Arsenal’s true stars with Arsene Wenger having suggested he will continue to play the ‘second XI’ as he has done in both this competition and the Europa League so far this season.
He revealed Theo Walcott would definitely start and that fit-again Shkodran Mustafi would be rested.
The good news for Arsenal fans is that the stiffs have done pretty well thus far and playing together regularly is sure to have been beneficial in terms of this contest.
Yet they were within five minutes of losing to Norwich in the last round and struggled past League One Doncaster before that.
Wenger’s youth policy in the competition is long standing and (some would say subsequently) they have not reached the last four in the last six seasons. Home losses in that time have come against Southampton (twice), Chelsea and Manchester City.
For me, 13/2 about West Ham becoming the latest Premier League team to win at the Emirates in the League Cup looks worth some small change.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-2 West Ham (Sky Bet odds: 18/1)
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Posted at 1700 GMT on 18/12/17.