The Carling Cup is now a trophy worth winning.
It has increased in prestige hugely from the days when it was known as the ‘Worthless Cup’ and, with several massive teams all desperate for silverware, it shows no sign of slipping back to the youth team tournament of a few years ago.
Because of that, the quarter final stage now boasts many of the top teams in England and there promises to be plenty of extremely close games – which is why Ladbrokes are offering to refund all losing match bets if tonight’s two big games go to penalties.
Chelsea’s game against Liverpool looks like being a close affair and their last encounter just over a week ago needed an 87th minute winner from Reds full-back Glen Johnson to separate them.
With both teams set to make changes following hard weekend games, this could certainly go all the way.
Liverpool are outsiders at 3/1, while Chelsea are 10/11 to make it to the semis.
In the other game, Arsenal face a Manchester City side who are playing their second game in just over 48 hours.
Again, both teams will be forced into making changes because of their packed domestic schedule and this could turn into a scrappy affair – meaning penalties shouldn’t be ruled out.
City are favourites at 13/10 but – with a great money back offer available if it goes to penalties – backing Arsenal 21/10 could be well worth considering.