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  • Chris Sobey

Football


It was good to see the introduction of video officials in top-flight football at long last, and if it is implemented and used correctly it can only benefit the game, as it takes the pressure off the referee and linesman when clear and not so clear mistakes about penalties, red-cards, mistaken identity and sending offs are made. These mistakes are just what fans and the professionals discuss and debate after games and it has become a tradition amongst some groups, which will now most likely change to doing the same about the VAR system (video assistant referee or fifth official) it’s decisions and the like.

Manchester City’s phenomenal number of wins this season continued last night as they won the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at the Etihad, defeating a heroic Bristol City 2-1. The visitors held firm for the first half, threatened to score and then took a shock lead after 44 minutes thanks to Reid’s penalty. The Citizens hit back through there mercurial talent of De Bruyne on 55 minutes, but they had to work hard and ride their luck for the remainder of normal time, and it took an injury time Aguero strike to settle the match. Bristol City and their keeper Fielding, in particular, were brilliant and deserved more from the game, but the away goal is important and could play a part in the return leg at Ashton Gate on Tuesday 23rd of January.

Chelsea and Arsenal meet for the second time in the last six games. They met in the Premier League on the 3rd January 2018, which was a four goal 2-2 thriller and today’s encounter is just as big as it’s the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have won seven of the last ten corresponding Premier League matches and nine of their last ten home games in all competitions at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal won four of their last ten away matches, drawing three, and six of these games ended with less than three goals scored (Last ten Chelsea at home 50% under 2.5 goal). The two played out their first draw at Chelsea since 2006 and first 0-0 draw since 2005 when they met last in September 2017.

Both teams made a lot of changes for their FA Cup ties at the weekend and its fairly certain both managers will bring back all their star players for this crunch League Cup, London derby encounter. Holders Arsenal will want to make up for their shock 4-2 FA Cup defeat against Nottingham Forest at the weekend and Chelsea will for their 0-0 draw at Carrow Road against Championship strugglers Norwich. From A betting perspective I’d have to favour Chelsea to win on this occasion, but i can’t advise them at a shade of odds on. Looking for better value you could consider backing the Chelsea and Under 3.5 Goals match double result or backing or trading under 2.5 goals as Arsenal will want to keep things tight at the back after conceding four goals at the weekend and Chelsea are defensively solid at home on most occasions having only conceded six goals in their last ten at home overall.


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