Aston Villa have unarguably been handed the plum draw in the Capital One Cup semi-final, drawing Bradford’s name out of the hat.
This has seen the Villans shorten into 5/2 second-favourites to win the season’s first piece of silverware with their League Two opponents – who famously overcame Arsenal in the quart-finals – can be backed as 28/1 outsiders to lift the trophy.
The other semi-final sees Chelsea take on Swansea with the south Wales side bidding to reach their first major trophy final.
Incidentally, this is the first time that these two sides have drawn each other in the League Cup since the 1964/65 season, with Villa pulling Bradford out of the hat in the same season. The two favourites for progression can extract some positive omens from their exploits in that campaign – the west Midlands club beat the Bantams 7-1, while Chelsea ended up getting their name on the trophy.
Unsurprisingly, the bookies have installed the Blues as favourites to win the competition and can be backed at 8/15, yet the Swans are sure to give them a run for their money and might be worth a punt for cup glory at a long price of 11/2.
The Liberty Stadium will host the second leg of the tie where the west Londoners are yet to win in both of their Premier League visits. If they can snatch a draw in the first leg then they’re in with a shout of dumping the favourites out and, should they make the final, you surely wouldn’t back against them to beat either Villa or Bradford at Wembley.
Villa fans will have their fingers crossed for the aforementioned semi-final scenario to become reality to set up a date with Swansea on February 24th.
It would be an unprecedented calamity should Paul Lambert’s men fail to despatch the Bantams over two legs and, while they shouldn’t take anything for granted against the plucky Yorkshire club who proved too much for Wigan as well as the Gunners, they definitely couldn’t have hoped for a more favourable semi-final.
Chelsea took their Capital One Cup goals scored tally to 17 when they slammed five past Leeds in the quarter-final and definitely played like a team who were intent on winning the trophy, but should the Swans pull off a famous victory, both their’s and Villa’s early prices will sky-rocket in value and, if you’re going to back one or the other, strike while the iron is hot.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date