Following on from yesterdays success, I look towards the second half of ties in both competitions.
Exeter vs Liverpool The first game that catches my eye is Exeter vs Liverpool. The red half of Merseyside will be buoyed of their recent success over an Arsenal side that had nothing to offer. I do wonder how Liverpool would have fared had Frimpong not been so aggressive in every challenge and hadn’t got sent off. Liverpool never really penetrated the Arsenal defence despite being the better side up until the sending off. Again, Liverpool have more than enough quality fringe players to see off an Exeter side that haven’t started the new season well. I also think King Kenny will think he can bring some long awaited silverware to Anfield. The price of 1.33 is a bit short to take on the outright for Liverpool to win – one for an accy definitely. I’m looking to either a win to nil at 2.30 or -1 or the handicap at 1.95. I can’t see Exeter scoring to be honest in this encounter.
Peterborough vs Middlesbrough Next we move onto Peterborough vs Middlesbrough. Both have had good starts to the season gaining seven and ten points in four games respectively. Peterborough will be on a high after a 7-1 spanking – Hull were reduced to nine men of course. Middlesbrough are in scoring form themselves scoring six goals in their two previous games. Both are in the Championship and there’s not a lot to separate them. Both are likely to score as well as concede. This is reflected in the pricing with a measly 1.40 slapped on the Both Teams To Score bet. We’ve seen some high scoring games yesterday and I believe this is another one. Again, the traders are wary of this and over 2.5 goals is 1.5. I’ll be taking over 3.5 at 2.3 to eke out that extra value.
Another cup exit for a Premier League side? Relegation contenders Swansea, Norwich and QPR all fell to lower league opposition yesterday. They won’t lose any sleep over this I think. Their main priority is to stay up in the league and the cup would just be a distraction. If anyone was looking for a cup upset today, fellow relegation candidates Blackburn is somewhere I wouldn’t look. Yes, they aren’t a great side and perhaps have a man at the helm who can’t take them forward, but I think they have enough to see off Sheffield Wednesday. I fully expect manager Steve Kean to play some first team players after losing both starting games in the league. They will need this win just to gain some confidence in the camp, not least Kean will want to reassure uncertain fans that he is the man for the job. It is actually the other team in Sheffield that I think can cause a cup shock tonight at Goodison. Everton are notoriously poor starters and I see this continuing. A poor performance to QPR, he will want to save some of the first team for their trip to Blackburn on Saturday – a game they will be expected to win after the loss to QPR. West Ham vs Aldershot The last Carling Cup game I’ve chosen is West Ham. I think Sam Allardyce is a good manager and has a decent squad at his disposal to dispatch of Aldershot. They are very short at the outright price of 1.33 I’m going for a -1 handicap. West Ham have good strikers in Piquionne and Cole and fully expect to see either or both on the score sheet by the end of the night.
Champions League heartache for Arsenal? The main game in the Champions League for me is Arsenal travelling to Udinese tonight. It’s a tough one to call. Arsenal know the implications of not qualifying for this competition but is this enough? Against Liverpool they looked bereft of ideas and were really looking for a Fabregas to step up. Nasri played as well as he could have despite the speculation of his imminent move to Man City. But he can’t do it on his on. Arsenal are at a tasty price of 3.0 but I’m not confident of them winning. I think they will look to defend their 1-0 lead and can see it being a tight first half. Therefore I’m going for a 0-0 at half time at 2.75.
Plzen vs Copenhagen
Elsewhere, Plzen host Copenhagen after a shock 3-1 win. Plzen are no mugs, scoring four goals against Rosenberg in the previous stage. At home, with the crowd behind them, they can win again against a side who will be looking to make up the deposit and will therefore create an open game. Plzen are priced at a reasonable 2.37. So those are my selections. I’ll be taking Liverpool -1, Peterborough vs Middlesbrough over 3.5, West Ham -1 and 0-0 at half time in the all important Udinese vs Arsenal game. What are you taking on tonight?