Carling Cup – Tuesday’s Tips and Predictions
If things continue in their current vein, there’s a good chance that Cardiff City and Blackburn Rovers will be swapping places at the end of this season and the Bluebirds look a decent bet at 7/5 to see off Steve Kean’s Premier League strugglers at the City Of Cardiff Stadium.
Cardiff are currently third in another typically competitive Championship and have only lost once in front of their own fans this season. Since losing a seven-goal thriller at Peterborough in the middle of last month, they’ve won six and drawn two of their eight games. Dead-ball specialist Peter Whittingham has been among the goals lately but City like to share the goals around and that makes them dangerous opponents for a Rovers side that look very vulnerable in general and even more so without injured skipper Chris Samba. Morale looked low again in their performance at Stoke on Saturday and they were very fortunate to take a point at Wigan previously when they again conceded three times. Defeat for Blackburn would again ramp up the pressure on manager Kean but they look worth opposing at the moment whoever they play. Cardiff to win by exactly one goal is 16/5.
Liverpool rocked Chelsea at Stamford Bridge with a late goal in the Premier League a couple of weeks ago but Kenny Dalglish has been incandescent with rage since finding out that his team are expected to make a return to the capital just 48 hours after playing league leaders Manchester City and even went to the extraordinary lengths of initially warning supporters not to buy tickets for their Carling Cup quarter-final. Of course, Dalglish could never go the whole hog of admitting he’d field an under strength side, sponsors and organisers don’t like to hear that sort of thing, but the signs are that this will be a much-changed Liverpool side to the one slowly edging closer to the Champions League places so it may be worth sticking with Chelsea, whose 3-0 victory over Wolves on Saturday will have vanquished a few demons.
Andre Villas-Boas’ team still isn’t firing on all cylinders but the manager has the luxury of being able to bring the likes of Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres, Nicola Anelka and Florent Malouda back into the fray to spice things up and, if Liverpool do decide to play a few youngsters, their class and experience could be telling. Chelsea are 17/20 to win in 90 minutes and 11/4 to win on the Wincast with former Red Torres getting on the scoresheet.