Chelsea difficult, but not impossible to oppose for League Cup

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It’s no surprise to see Premier League leaders Chelsea cast as heavy favourites to win the Capital One Cup at the quarter-final stages, but the Blues are not untouchable.

Jose Mourinho’s side travel to Championship side Derby in their last-eight clash and in keeping with their 1/2 odds to win the match at Pride Park, the Londoners are only a smidgen off evens at 21/20 to lift the trophy.

Given Mourinho has proudly never been dumped out of a cup competition in England by a side not sporting Premier League badges, the scale of Derby’s task resonates.

It’s also worth remembering the Portuguese manager’s own love affair with the lesser of England’s domestic prizes, where he picked it up twice during his first Stamford Bridge stint.

Derby are no mugs though, and a shock 6/1 win is not beyond the realms of possibility given the Rams’ home form this season.

Steve McLaren’s side have only been beaten once at their east-Midlands base in the second-tier during 2014/15 and average over two goals per game there.

However, going along with the theory Chelsea are still in the hat for the semis, the possible identity of the other three contenders also renders the Blues’ price a bit skinny.

It is the presence of Newcastle (12/1) and Tottenham (11/2), but particularly the former which make the betting more exciting than Chelsea’s odds perhaps imply.

The Magpies travel to White Hart Lane, where they have already won in the league and as Chelsea’s bogey team became the first club in any competition to defeat them this season.

Liverpool’s season may have left the rails recently, but discounting the eight-time winners at 9/2, even in adversity could be foolish, as the competition may grow in significance if they oust Bournemouth.

Meanwhile, fifth-placed Southampton have the easiest tie of the round at League One outfit Sheffield United and the surprise packages of the top flight under Ronald Koeman are yet to face Chelsea.

Chelsea v Newcastle final anyone?

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.