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Free football betting tips: Wednesday's Carabao Cup quarter-final preview

Marlon Pack: Eight cards in 16 starts for Bristol City this season
Marlon Pack: Eight cards in 16 starts for Bristol City this season

Manchester United and Chelsea will look to avoid Carabao Cup upsets on Wednesday - our Andy Schooler brings you his best bets.

Bristol City v Manchester United (2000 GMT, Sky Sports Football & Main Event)

With the hosts sitting third in the Sky Bet Championship, the home fans will be sniffing the upset in this one.

Such is modern-day football though, you wonder whether even a cup quarter-final will be deemed as important as Saturday’s bread-and-butter trip to QPR – and the packed festive programme to come.

Bristol City may not actually have the widest choice when it comes to naming their XI as they’ve had plenty of injury problems this season but have clearly coped admirably.

United will definitely make changes but their back-up players are a quality bunch. For example, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is likely to start here. He may not be Jose Mourinho’s cup of tea right now but he was earning rave reviews at the start of the season and is certainly a level above the Championship.

Paul Pogba is also available again after a three-game ban so there looks every chance he is given a run to improve his match sharpness with Christmas fixtures lying in wait.

United haven’t exactly been flying of late but they have been ekeing out results with Brighton, Bournemouth and West Brom all beaten by a single goal recently.

It would be no surprise to see a repeat here – a one-goal winning margin for the visitors can be backed at 3/1 – but there’s a bet I prefer in the sub-markets, namely City’s Marlon Pack to be carded at anytime.

He’s already been booked eight times in 16 starts this season so statistically alone the bet makes sense.

The central midfielder loves a tackle and in a big game like this will surely be out to make an impression – he won’t have played against many bigger opponents.

A tough tackler, champing at the bit with a record of picking up cards regularly – it all makes 9/2 simply too big.

Prediction: Bristol City 1-2 Man Utd (Sky Bet odds: 7/1)

Chelsea v Bournemouth (1945 GMT)

Chelsea have made widespread changes for their two Carabao Cup ties so far this season and boss Antonio Conte was on Tuesday vowing to give youth its chance again in this one.

England international Danny Drinkwater will be given much-needed game time and Michy Batshuayi should start again up front – he’s odds-on to score at any time. But there will be other youngsters handed a chance to shine.

Bournemouth will also look different to Sunday’s 4-0 defeat to Liverpool. That may well be a good thing, although the enforced absence of Charlie Daniels and Josh King is far from ideal.

Sunday’s heavy loss hardly reflected well on Eddie Howe. Everton and West Brom had provided a template of how to thwart the Reds’ devastating attack but the blueprint was ignored with the Cherries too open. They were easily picked off, pardon the pun.

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte: Expected to make plenty of changes

Maybe it would have been different had Jermain Defoe’s effort gone in instead of coming back off the inside of the post at 2-0.

That incident thwarted my both-teams-to-score bet in the game but I’m prepared to go in again here.

Both defences will be shuffled, probably not for the better, and both teams have a philosophy to attack.

Chelsea’s two games in this competition so far (v Nottingham Forest and Everton, both at the Bridge) have seen both teams to score, while it’s two out of three as far as Bournemouth are concerned.

You can back the bet at odds-against which seems fair enough

Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Bournemouth (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)

Recommended bets

2pts Marlon Pack to be carded at any time v Man Utd at 9/2

2pts both teams to score in Chelsea v Bournemouth at 11/10

Click here for our transparent tipping record.

Posted at 1835 GMT on 19/12/17.

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Most Read Football

The latest rumour and gossip from the back pgaes1

Paper Talk: So long Sanchez?

Man United prepare to pay out Alexis Sanchez's contract and Liverpool want £60m Napoli ace, according to the back pages.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Saturday's Premier League tips

After profits courtesy of the Manchester derby, George Pitts looks ahead to Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets and key stats.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages3

Paper Talk: Wilfried wanted

The likes of PSG are interested in signing Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace this summer while Nabil Fekir's dream move to Liverpool could be back on.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package4

Get ahead with the Mane man

Liverpool can return to the top of the Premier League table on Friday as they host relegated Huddersfield and we have a 17/2 bet to consider.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages5

Paper Talk: Keane Arsenal & Spurs

Tuesday's Paper Talk has the latest football transfer news and gossip, including Everton's Michael Keane's potential move.

Football Tips

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Get ahead with the Mane man

Liverpool can return to the top of the Premier League table on Friday as they host relegated Huddersfield and we have a 17/2 bet to consider.

The latest Sporting Life Accumulator

Sporting Life Accumulator

With the Acca landing more than once in recent weeks, we're hoping for another as we back four home teams across the Sky Bet EFL.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Saturday's Premier League tips

After profits courtesy of the Manchester derby, George Pitts looks ahead to Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets and key stats.