Without a European distraction this season, Liverpool can afford to field strong line-ups in the Carling Cup and the Reds are subsequently rightly considered to be one of the main contenders to lift the trophy, Boylesports installing them as fourth favourites at 9/1.
Kenny Dalglish’s men kick-off their campaign with a tricky trip to Exeter tonight but bookies are convinced that Liverpool will successfully negotiate the potential banana skin. Totesport price the Reds at 2/5 to prevail across the 90 minutes while quote the Grecians at 8/1 to cause an upset and the League One outfit are 4/1 via Ladbrokes to take the tie to extra-time.
Such assignments are rarely straightforward and Liverpool can expect a rigorous examination, particularly in the opening exchanges, despite the fact that the hosts haven’t exactly made a flying start to the campaign. The Reds however, should weather the early storm and they’re even money (Skybet) to eventually triumph by at least two clear goals. More accurately, Paddy Power post 6/1 against Dalglish’s charges notching twice without reply and it’s 5/4 with bet365 for Liverpool to win ‘to nil’.
Saturday’s defeat to QPR, a result that did little to quell supporter unrest at Goodison Park, has undoubtedly heaped pressure on cash-strapped Everton ahead of their clash against Sheffield United and although David Moyes’ side remain emphatic favourites at 4/9 with Stan James, they could be in for a nervy night.
The Toffees will need to get on top early in proceedings if they are to stop the atmosphere in the already anxious home crowd turning sour and a lack of cutting edge makes the hosts unlikely to get their noses in front with the contest in its’ infancy.
The frustration inside Goodison Park will be audible pretty quickly then and the buoyant Blades will subsequently warm to their task. The visitors tempt then at 18/5 with , to take the tie to extra-time and also in Betfred’s handicaps, where Danny Wilson’s side are given a goal start at 7/4.
Meanwhile, on a high after their 7-1 drubbing of Ipswich on Saturday, Peterborough look well placed to see off Middlesbrough, a result Coral quote at 7/5
Liverpool to win the Carling Cup – 9/1 (Boylesports)
Liverpool (-1) to beat Exeter – evens (Skybet)
Everton and Sheffield United to draw – 18/5 ()
Peterborough to beat Middlesbrough – 7/5 (Coral)