We head into the business stage of the EFL Cup.
The quarter-finals of the EFL Cup is that time when all sides involved finally start to take the competition seriously, and Leicester v Manchester City will be no different.
The Foxes have won two consecutive penalty shootouts to reach this stage –both matches ending 0-0 after 90 minutes – while Manchester City have brushed aside Oxford United and Fulham with relative ease.
In all honesty, I see this being a pretty dull match. City have generally flattered to deceive in the cups this season, and although I see Pep playing a fairly strong side on Tuesday, we won’t be seeing a four or five goal battering.
Leicester have been dull in general this season, and I see that seeping through into this game. There have been fewer than three goals scored in Leicester’s last nine matches, and although City do have the firepower to blow anyone in the world away, I simply don’t see it happening here.
Under 2.5 goals to be scored is a generous 6/4, and that’s the conclusion I can see this match meandering to.
After a frustrating, injury-hit season, Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne will return to the City line-up for this quarter-final.
The Belgian has played just 251 minutes for City this season, so this is a good opportunity to regain some match fitness ahead of the packed festive schedule.
Will he mark his return with a goal? I think he does. Kev doesn’t have a point to prove as such, but he’ll still be desperate to re-cement himself at the centre of Pep’s plans.
De Bruyne to score at any time is a chunky 16/5.
Finally, I’m backing the scores to be level after 30 minutes. Only five Premier League sides have a better defence than Leicester this season, and I can see them frustrating City for long periods of this match.
This is an especially likely outcome as Leicester will ‘only’ have to hold City for 90 minutes, as this tie will go straight to a penalty shootout afterwards.
You’ll get odds of 20/23 for this final tip.