Liverpool are the new favourites to win the Carling Cup after earning a 1-0 victory at Manchester City last night in the first leg of their semi-final. They are currently a best-priced 1.67 (bet365) to win the competition.
A foul on Daniel Agger by Stefan Savic after 13 minutes resulted in a penalty for the Red, which captain Steven Gerrard duly dispatched – great news for those who backed Gerrard to score at anytime as predicted in yesterday’s preview.
City were without the influential quartet of Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Kolo and Yaya Toure and they endured back-to-back defeats at home for the first time since February 2008. The first defeat was of course to Manchester United in the FA Cup at the weekend.
Roberto Mancini’s charges looked like a team still reeling from their FA Cup exit and they have it all to do when the two sides meet again at Anfield in a fortnight’s time.
The Reds admittedly have a slender lead but City will not relish the trip knowing they simply must win again Kenny Dalglish’s side to make it to Wembley for the second time in as many seasons.
In the other semi final, both Cardiff City and Crystal Palace can be backed at much longer odds to win the cup outright. Palace have the edge in the betting over Championship rivals City due to their 1-0 lead from the first leg.
Dougie Freedman’s side took the lead two minutes before half-time when former Tottenham Hotspur defender Anthony Gardner headed into an empty net after Cardiff goalkeeper Tom Heaton failed to deal with a free kick from Darren Ambrose.
More Carling Cup Winner Odds
If you believe City can overturn their 1-0 deficit in the return fixture and go onto win the competition, there may be some value to be had. Both Crystal Palace and Cardiff City can be backed at longer odds, with the bookmakers finding it difficult to separate them after Palace earned a 1-0 victory in the first leg of their semi-final.
- Manchester City @ 3.5 (Sportingbet)
- Crystal Palace @ 11.0 (Betfred)
- Cardiff City @ 12.0 (Ladbrokes)
You can hedge your bets by backing which league the winner will come from. Obviously, the Premier League has much shorter odds than a winner from the Championship. Some may view backing a Premier League winner as “buying money” but in Cup competitions, you can never be sure!
- Premier League @ 1.08 (Sky Bet)
- Championship @ 7.0 Sky Bet)
Name the Finalists
Those who believe they can predict the results of the second leg fixtures are able to bet on who will make the final. Liverpool again head the betting in this market but there is not much in whether the Reds will play either Cardiff City or Crystal Palace in the final. Similarly, Manchester City can be backed at larger odds, but whether they face either the Bluebirds or the Eagles is a case of splitting hairs.
- Liverpool and Cardiff City @ 2.7 (bet365)
- Liverpool and Crystal Palace @ 2.75 (bet365)
- Manchester City and Cardiff City @ 5.5 (bet365)
- Manchester City and Crystal Palace @ 6.0 (bet365)