Chelsea’s plum draw greatly enhances League Cup chances

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The balls have been kind to Chelsea who are gifted an away date at League One Swindon in the third round of the Capital One Cup, while many of their Premier League rivals square up, with Liverpool travelling to face Manchester United the pick of the ties.

In his first stint as Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho held the League Cup in great affection, winning the competition twice, firstly in the 2004/05 campaign and then in his final full season of 2006/07.

Now the Special One’s chances of making it a hat-trick have been significantly boosted by the third round draw, which sees his side pitted against one of only three third-tier teams left in the hat, making their 9/2 favouritism a price worth plucking.

This is already a considerable shift inwards from Chelsea’s pre-draw price of 6/1 which has much to do with the other ties, as many of the other big guns collide.

Winners of two seasons ago Liverpool must travel to face fierce rivals Manchester United, with the former’s price understandably lengthening to 12s, while their hosts find themselves in the unfamiliar position of fifth favourites at 9/1.

The random selection was however gentler on Manchester City, who have a chance to exact revenge for their FA Cup defeat to Wigan, as they will entertain the relegated Latics at the Etihad and remain on Chelsea’s coat tails at 11/2.

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Not so lucky were north London’s power couple who are both installed at 8/1 following the draw.

Arsenal – still trying to quench that eight-season trophy drought – are left facing a tricky trip to the Hawthorns to play West Brom, while Tottenham must overcome last season’s beaten semi finalists Aston Villa at Villa Park, if they are to progress to round four.

Meanwhile, Everton are 14/1 after pulling a similarly thorny looking trip to Craven Cottage to play Fulham.

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.