EFL Cup: Arsenal shorten for season’s first silverware after plum draw

Arsene Wenger’s chances of lifting the one piece of major domestic silverware to have persistently eluded him just widened significantly.

That is all thanks to the way the EFL Cup fourth-round draw cookie crumbled.

Arsenal, unlike most of the Premier League’s top brass, managed to avoid the rest of the Premier League’s top brass and they are now our new second favourites to lift the trophy at 11/2.

The Gunners got a plum draw at home to Championship Reading, having dismantled Nottingham Forest 4-0 at the City Ground in round three, so would be expected to take up a quarter-final berth.

The best news for the north Londoners is that four of Liverpool, Totteham, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, West Ham, Southampton or Sunderland will be culled by then.

Market leaders Liverpool face Spurs at Anfield, while the juiciest tie of the round sees Jose Mourinho v Pep Guardiola II, as United ‘welcome’ holders City.

The beef doesn’t stop there either, as in another all Premier League affair Leicester’s conquerors Chelsea travel across the capital to face rivals West Ham.

Completing the quartet of top-flight showdowns is Southampton against Sunderland at St Mary’s.

The pre-draw dark horses tipped up on these pages previously, aka Newcastle, plucked fellow Championship side Preston NE out the hat, shrinking 13 points in the process to 20/1.

Bristol City v Hull and Leeds v Norwich complete the line up.

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.