Live on Skysports 2: Wed 19.45: Newcastle and Arsenal lock horns tonight, the Gunners’ youngsters are 1/1 (Coral) to progress.
At St James’ Park it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top as a second string Newcastle tackle a youthful Arsenal line-up. The Gunners youngsters are a match for anyone on their day but the Magpies’ fringe players ran out 4-3 winners at Chelsea in the last round so they can’t be underestimated either, they are 3/1 with Skybet to win in 90 minutes.
Subsequently following the goal trail is probably the way forward. The two teams were involved in high-scoring third round encounters and both should score here (5/8, Partybets) while a bolder approach could reap rewards with William Hill, who chalk 13/8 against the match generating at least four goals.
Aston Villa were beaten in the Carling Cup final by Manchester United back in February but at 7/1 with Stan James they aren’t an unattractive bet to go one better this season and actually lift the trophy.
The Villans have looked solid since the arrival of Gerard Houllier and were unfortunate to go down 1-0 to Sunderland at the weekend, in a game they dominated for long periods. By contrast their fourth round opponents Burnley arrive at Villa Park low on confidence following a 4-0 home drubbing at the hands of Reading and it’s hard to see past a triumph for the Premiership outfit at 8/15 with bet365.
Bookies however, aren’t giving much away and a potentially more lucrative option could be Totesport’s 10/11 for both teams to get on the scoresheet. The Carling Cup, with its weakened teams and open matches, tends to produce plenty of goals and indeed only two teams out of the 32 involved in round three, failed to find the net.
In the night’s other game, beleaguered West Ham entertain Stoke and again it’s a tough-to-call affair. The Hammers have home advantage but looked far from confident even when in the lead at home to Newcastle on Saturday while the Potters don’t tend to produce their best on the road. Betfred’s 23/10 for the tie to go to extra-time could be the best bet at Upton Park then.