An EFL Cup fourth-round draw that serves up Liverpool v Tottenham, Man Utd v Man City and West Ham v Chelsea is not only an exciting outcome for fans, it is brilliant news for the Championship clubs in the last 16 of the competition.
Well, perhaps Reading don’t feel so lucky having been invited to make the trip to Arsenal, but Leeds, Norwich, Newcastle and Preston have a great opportunity to advance to the quarter-finals having been paired together.
To sum up exactly how grateful they should feel about drawing one another, there have been just nine fourth-round ties in the past 15 seasons without Premier League involvement. To try to ascertain what awaits the fortuitous quartet, let’s pick out a few trends from those prior contests:
There is always a 90-minute winner
Pleasingly for these possible promotion protagonists – they all sit 10th or higher at present – the risk of extra time and the cramp that comes with it looks to be minimal. All nine of the aforementioned encounters were won in 90 minutes, five by one-goal margins, three by two and one by three.
The Leeds-Norwich double chance combination is 1/3 and the Newcastle-Preston equivalent is 1/5, meaning you can find odds of 3/5 on the double of both matches being completed in normal time.
There is an odd number of goals
Six of the eight all-EFL fourth-round clashes in the last decade concluded with the number of goals totting up to an odd digit – one on three occasions, three twice and seven once – including three of the four over the previous five campaigns and both of the two in 2014-15.
Leeds v Norwich is a tasty 10/11 to finish with an odd goal total, with the same odds available on that eventuality in Newcastle v Preston. The double pays out at slightly more than 8/5.
Away triumphs are pretty common
Four of the latest eight fourth-round skirmishes lacking a Premier League presence were won by the visitors, including each of the two held two years ago, when Derby thrashed Championship rivals Fulham 5-2 at Craven Cottage and Sheffield United prevailed 2-1 at League One colleagues MK Dons.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.