Mark O’Haire’s Capital One Cup Tips – Wednesday
Everton and Manchester City will be hoping to put one foot in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley when they come face-to-face at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.
Everton v Manchester City, Wednesday 6 January 2016 20.00, Sky Sports 1
The Toffees are making their first appearance at this stage of the competition for eight years and it’s paramount Roberto Martinez’s men go all-out for success after a rather underwhelming Premier League campaign thus far.
The Merseysiders are languishing in 11th and have struggled to adjust to league football despite the wide-open nature of the 2015/16 renewal with their most obvious struggles coming in front of their home fans.
Everton have only W3-D5-L4 at Goodison and for the first-half of Sunday’s contest with high-flying Spurs, were out-played. The introduction of Muhamed Besic at the interval helped stem the bleeding and the Toffees fought back valiantly but the point apiece means they’ve recorded a solitary victory in six (W1-D3-L2) and none in four on home soil (W0-D2-L2).
Romelu Lukaku continues to go from strength-to-strength, notching 11 goals in his last 11 outings.
But the Belgian hitman is being let down by an underperforming backline. It is telling that Everton have kept just one clean sheet in 12 at home this term and that came against goal-shy Aston Villa.
Arguably more concerning is the fact that only Sunderland (5.50 per-game) are facing more shots-on-target at home than the Toffees (5.27) whilst six Goodison Park guests have struck at least twice.
Marrying their dodgy defence alongside the might of Lukaku and it’s perhaps unsurprising to see the Merseysiders’ matches producing 3.91 goals-per-game with a huge nine of those 12 outings banking in the Both Teams To Score column.
Martinez’s men have already lost to Man City this season in a match where they were overawed and outplayed by the Citizens back in August. That was one of four victories City have tasted in the last five head-to-heads with Everton (W4-D1-L0) and their dramatic come-from-behind success at Watford on Saturday could well prove a turning point.
Manuel Pellegrini’s charges have unconvinced on their travels in recent weeks, recording just two triumphs in eight.
But they’ve bounced back impressively from their 2-1 loss to Arsenal prior to Christmas. Sergio Aguero and David Silva are back to full fitness and although their Chilean head coach could opt to recall a few fringe players, I’d still want City onside.
Despite those aforementioned toils on the road, the Citizens have W7-D3-L4 away from home this season, are unbeaten since 2010 on their League Cup travels and are the Premier League’s top scorers. No side averages more on-target attempts as guests whilst only Spurs are facing fewer when visiting league opposition.
Wednesday night’s duo have plenty in common this season – both are exciting in the final third and vulnerable at the back – and I think that bodes well for a few goals at Goodison Park this midweek. I reckon City are strong enough to edge a high-scoring encounter and the 15/8 on offer for Man City to win and Over 2.5 Goals holds plenty of appeal.
Manchester City to win and Over 2.5 Goals @ 15/8
*Prices correct at time of publication.