Capital One Cup Betting – Liverpool at Stoke City
Zack GarrisonNo comments
The first leg of the Capital One Cup semifinals goes today (:300 PM Easter) and will see Stoke City try to upset Liverpool at Britannia Stadium (3:00 PM Eastern).
Liverpool are the favorite to win the two-game, aggregate goal series, sitting at -300 to get to the final while Stoke City is +225. However, the Reds are only a modest +155 favorite for the first leg in Stoke.
For the Potters, who made it this far by downing Luton, Fulham, Chelsea, and Sheffield Wednesday, it’s paramount that they earn the win in front of their fans. Liverpool have lost twice at Anfield in the Premier League, but it remains one of the tougher stadiums for visiting clubs.
Stoke manager Mark Hughes knows the importance of holding serve at home.
“Ideally we want a winning advantage to take into the second leg at Anfield. What we don’t want obviously is to be out of the tie, but we don’t feel that will happen – we are very strong at the moment at home and playing exceptionally well there,” said Hughes during a pre-game press conference, adding, “We are giving good teams like Liverpool real problems. Teams have to be at their best to withstand us at home.”
Stoke are currently tenth in the Premier League table, sitting on 29 points (8-5-7).
Liverpool didn’t qualify for this year’s Champions League and have struggled lately in the Premier League, currently sitting in eighth position with 30 points (8-6-6). Not reaching the Capital One Cup final would be a huge disappointment in an already disappointing season.
The Reds reached the semis fairly easily, knocking off Carlisle, Bournemouth, and Southampton with relative ease. But the team won’t have striker Daniel Sturridge for the next two weeks. He has been dealing with a hamstring injury all season and suffered a setback during training this week.
Liverpool have had some success in the Cup in recent years, winning the title in 2012 on penalties over Cardiff City. Stoke have reached the final twice, but not since 1972.
Stoke and Liverpool met at Britannia Stadium in the first fixture of the 2015-16 Premier League season, back when Brendan Rodgers was still in charge of the Reds. Liverpool came out on top, 1-0, thanks to a goal by Philippe Coutinho.
The current form of both squads suggests this should be an extremely entertaining match. Expect both teams to press for goals and to have serious problems defending their own net.
There is a reason Liverpool are the favorites. But, without Sturridge, they will likely be happy with an away draw, which makes that an attractive bet at +229.
Pick: Draw (+229).