The 2022/23 Carabao Cup is well and truly at the business end now folks; and two of the Premier League’s biggest teams have their eyes firmly on the prize.
The latest Carabao Cup 2023 betting odds place Manchester United in pole position at a SBOTOP price of 1.60 to win the trophy with Newcastle United at 2.30, and that’s because they both emerged from the first legs with a handy lead. The Red Devils took a stranglehold on their tie with a 3-0 win away to Nottingham Forest while Newcastle were clinical on the South Coast, beating Southampton 1-0.
All four teams have other priorities to balance. The United’s are pushing at the top end of the league where, in terms of the Champions League places, Chelsea and Liverpool are way off the pace and so both Manchester and Newcastle could be playing among Europe’s elite next term. At the other end of the table Southampton are rock bottom and in a desperate battle to avoid relegation, while Nottingham Forest have jumped put of the bottom three after taking seven points from the last three league games.
It looks to me like the Uniteds will do all they can to ensure they have a crack at the first piece of silverware available this season, and it would take a couple of stunning Carabao Cup 2023 results to deny them that chance.
Newcastle United vs Southampton
(1-0 to Newcastle after first leg)
This is Newcastle’s best chance to win a trophy in the first full season of Saudi ownership and Eddie Howe’s team are half way to the final there after Joelinton gave them a hard earned one goal lead at St Mary’s. They last appeared in a cup final in 1999 and St James’ Park will be bouncing when they meet the Saints again on Tuesday.
The Geordies crashed out of the FA Cup in a third round defeat to League One side Sheffield Wednesday and so they have just had the weekend off, and Howe will play a very strong side to face Nathan Jones’ Saints.
The Saints boss has a bigger task in hand and that is to keep his club in the top flight. But they are still in the FA Cup and have reached the fifth round after beating Blackpool on Saturday. Jones made eight changes to his team and, in the absence of the brilliant James Ward-Prowse, the free kick responsibilities fell to French defender Romain Perraud. And when he had a dead ball opportunity from the right side of the penalty area he fired a beauty into the far corner to open the scoring. And in the second half he bagged his second, another super shot, finishing off a slick move from the Saints. But Southampton failed to kill off their tier two opponents and had a nervy finish when the visitors pulled a goal back midway through the second half.
Newcastle are unbeaten in five games against the Saints, winning four of those clashes, and the South Coast club have failed to win on the last six occasions they have visited St James Park. It’s a 650 mile round trip for the Southampton fans and the away end in Newcastle is not the best, high up in the stands and too far from the players to let them know you are there!
The Magpies have had more time to prepare, they have a goal lead; they have a deeper squad and a passionate home crowd behind them. I can only see this going one way.
Betting Tip: Newcastle United -1.00 @ 1.81
Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest
(3-0 to Manchester United after first leg)
This second leg is a little more in the balance, in some ways, as the tie is as good as won after Manchester United stormed into a 3-0 lead in Nottingham. The red hot Marcus Rashford fired in another scorcher to set the Red Devils on their way, and Wout Weghorst’s first goal for his new club doubled the lead before Bruno Fernades rounded off the perfect evening for Erik Ten Hag’s men.
The Red Devils lost a five goal thriller to Arsenal in the league last week but they followed up their Carabao success with an FA Cup win over Reading on Saturday night and, with the games coming thick and fast, Ten Hag will make changes.
His opposite number Steve Cooper will try to motivate his players to avoid defeat, as they were in a nice unbeaten run of three before meeting the Red Devils…and losing, just as much as winning, can quickly become a habit. Forest haven’t won any of their last seven meetings with the Red Devils, let alone by three clear goals so their fans won’t be readying themselves for a trip to Wembley, but ex Manchester United player Jesse Lingard will be keen to impress against his former colleagues…if Cooper gives him a start.
Betting Tip: Over 2.50 goals @ 1.78
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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