Two teams in fine form go head-to-head for a place in the last four of the EFL Cup when Liverpool play host to Championship side Leeds United on Tuesday night.
The Reds were runners-up in this competition last season, suffering an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat against Manchester City at Wembley, and Jurgen Klopp will be determined to see his side go one better this time around.
The men from Merseyside have been beaten in just one of their 16 matches in all competitions so far this season, winning six of their last seven games at Anfield, and the hosts are chalked up bet365’s 1/6 (1.17) favourites to maintain momentum by beating Garry Monk’s side inside 90 minutes.
Leeds required a penalty shoot-out to squeeze past Norwich City at Elland Road in the previous round, but the Whites will be in confident mood ahead of this clash, for they have been beaten in just one of their last seven matches, winning each of their last three games on the road.
Nevertheless, the enormity of the task facing the visitors in this tie is reflected by the 12/1 (13.0) quote offered up by bet365 for Leeds to beat the Premier League side in normal time, while the same firm offer 13/2 (7.50) that the match remains deadlocked at the end of 90 minutes.
Leeds’ record against top-flight teams, however, is poor; indeed, the Championship club have lost nine of their last 11 League Cup ties against Premier League opposition, while the Whites were crushed 5-1 by Chelsea at this stage of the competition in 2012-13 – their only last eight appearance in the League Cup since the turn of the century.
Liverpool have scored 10 League Cup goals thus far this term, while Klopp’s charges have notching eight goals in their last two tussles against Championship clubs in this competition, but there is value to be had in backing a tighter tussle when Monk’s men visit Merseyside.
There have been fewer than four goals scored in seven of Liverpool’s last eight home wins inside normal time in this competition and, with Liverpool's key duo, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, set to sit out of this clash, the 6/5 (2.20) quote on offer from bet365 for that trend to continue offers outstanding value.
The selection that would have paid dividends in four of Liverpool’s last six wins, as well as in 10 of Leeds’ last 11 losses and, therefore, punters are advised to snap up the 6/5 (2.20) quote on offer for fewer than four goals to be scored and Klopp’s men to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the League Cup for a second successive season.