Chelsea have one foot in the Carabao Cup final after completing a comfortable 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of their semi-final.
In a night that came with plenty of talking points, including Romelu Lukaku’s inclusion in the starting eleven after being left out against Liverpool at the weekend and Antonio Conte’s first return to Stamford Bridge since leaving the club in 2018, the game turned out to be a pretty low-key, one-sided affair.
Chelsea looked levels above their London rivals as Kai Havertz’s early opener was followed by a calamitous own goal as Japhet Tanganga’s headed clearance was inadvertently deflected home by Ben Davies.
As for Tottenham, their odds have now fallen to 16/1 in the wake of the loss as they face a significant uphill battle in the return leg next Wednesday. Awaiting the victor in the final will be the winner between the other semi-final tie between Liverpool and Arsenal, a fixture that has come under plenty of scrutiny following the postponement of the first leg due to a Covid outbreak throughout the Liverpool squad.
At present, Liverpool are priced at 15/8 to win the Carabao Cup, while Arsenal are available at 7/2, which some may see good value in considering their semi-final opponents may well be missing players due to Covid, as well as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane who are away at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Liverpool share the record with Manchester City with eight League Cup victories in their history, while Chelsea have won the competition five times. Tottenham are four-time League Cup winners but have lost three finals since 2009, while Arsenal have won it just twice, with their most recent victory being in 1993. Like Spurs, they have also lost three finals in recent memory in a run that stretches back to 2007.
This will also be the first time a team outside of Manchester City have won the League Cup since 2017, with Pep Guardiola’s team winning the competition in each of the last four seasons. It has been their competition in recent times, having won it in six of the last eight campaigns.
A Chelsea-Liverpool pairing in the final could be the most intriguing given that the pair are separated by just one point in the Premier League table – although the Reds have a game in hand – and the two sides have played out two hard-fought draws this season. Sunday’s 2-2 draw in London was one of the games of the season so far.
Equally, a North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham would be particularly spicy for the neutral, although that now looks unlikely given the nature of the latter’s performance in the first leg.
Be sure to check out the best mobile betting apps before placing your bets on the winner of the Carabao Cup.
Full Carabao Cup Odds
- Chelsea – 1/1
- Liverpool – 15/8
- Arsenal – 7/2
- Tottenham Hotspur – 16/1