Carabao Cup 2023/24 Outright Tips: Who’s Taking Home the Trophy?

The Carabao Cup’s third round is underway this week, as Premier League teams participating in European contests join the fray.

Given the recent trend of top-tier teams dominating the cup, it’s likely that this week marks the inaugural game for the eventual winners. Leading up to these fixtures, we have identified potential outright opportunities for teams to clinch the trophy. Read on to see our 7/1 and 12/1 predictions.


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Carabao Cup 2023/24 winner predictions





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When it comes to predicting the winner of the EFL Cup, known as the Carabao Cup, three factors stand out: motivation, squad rotation, and fixture congestion. The unpredictability of these elements means one should be cautious. After witnessing two rounds of riveting action, the top-tier league saw Sheffield United, Burnley, and a surprisingly underperforming Tottenham exit the competition.

Though Tottenham’s elimination was unexpected given their recent improvements and absence from European duties, it seems they are yet to shake off the ‘Spursy’ reputation.

The Odds and the Heavyweights

As of today, Manchester City, the reigning titans of English football, lead the betting market at 7/2 to clinch the silverware. However, their road to glory has obstacles. They’ll be navigating through a potentially tricky fixture against Newcastle while grappling with injuries and suspensions of star players like Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri, to name a few.

The defending champions, Manchester United, stand at 8/1. It’s astonishing to see them have a home advantage repeatedly; the third-round tie against Crystal Palace marks their 11th consecutive home fixture in domestic cup competitions. If this streak continues, other teams ought to be wary of the Red Devils.

Yet, despite City’s prowess and United’s home streak, there are strong reasons to bypass the favourites this season.

Gunners Gearing Up

Arsenal, positioned at 7/1, offers an intriguing proposition. Their excellent start last season, coupled with a significant dip in City’s performance, underlines their credentials. With a four-point gap behind City early on, Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, would have silverware in his sights. The Gunners have strengthened their squad considerably this summer, indicating a thirst for titles. Their earnest journey to glory could very well begin with the Carabao Cup.

The Dark Horse: Aston Villa

If one seeks an outside contender beyond the traditional big six, Aston Villa emerges as a promising prospect at 14/1. The transformation brought about by Unai Emery in less than a year has been commendable. From battling relegation to aiming for European spots, Villa’s progress is palpable. Emery’s impressive record in knockout competitions further solidifies their claim. The addition of players like Emi Martinez and Youri Tielemans, seasoned winners, propels Villa into the list of genuine title contenders.

Reds’ Resurgence

Liverpool, the 21/22 victors, cannot be overlooked. They possess a formidable squad depth, enabling them to navigate the early stages of multiple competitions seamlessly. Despite a mixed record in the Carabao Cup in recent times, the current strength and depth, along with a robust home record, makes them an imposing side. If Liverpool manages to advance deeper into the tournament, their pedigree becomes undeniable.

Brighton’s Brilliance

Beyond the bigger names, Brighton’s offering of 12/1 seems undervalued. With one of the most balanced squads in the league and a manager adept at rotating his players, they possess the tools to progress deep into the competition. Their recent performances, combined with their commendable track record against top teams, further reinforce Brighton’s dark horse status.

Predictions for the 2023/24 EFL Cup

Liverpool’s Solid Bet

One cannot deny the sheer influence Liverpool has had over English football in recent years. While the club’s record in the Carabao Cup has been a mixed bag in the last few seasons, one has to understand the underlying factors that affected these results.

Under Jurgen Klopp’s guidance, the team has undergone a metamorphosis, both in terms of skill and depth. Previous shortcomings in this competition, like their quarter-final exit against Aston Villa where they played their youth side due to Club World Cup clashes, can be attributed to scheduling conflicts rather than a lack of talent. Again, their defeat at the hands of Manchester City last season came right after the World Cup, suggesting fatigue more than anything else.

Fast forward to this season, and we see a Liverpool squad that is as robust as it has ever been. The Anfield side has made sure to have quality backups for their star players. Their ‘second-string’ frontline and their dependable midfield are testament to that. This means that, even when rotated, Liverpool can put out a squad capable of challenging the best.

Given their upcoming fixture against Leicester in the third round, many anticipate an easy progression for the Reds. Their impeccable home record speaks volumes about their dominance, and it’s hard to imagine them losing at this stage, especially when one considers the subsequent fixtures against Nottingham Forest and Luton. The balance Klopp has managed between his main team and the reserves suggests that as the EFL cup progresses, we will see more and more of the first team. With Liverpool’s track record, they are a formidable opponent for any side.

Brighton’s Surprising Emergence

On the other side of the spectrum, we have Brighton, an underrated gem of the Premier League. While traditionally not viewed as a powerhouse in English football, Brighton under Roberto De Zerbi has showcased a depth and talent that can rival the top clubs. Their upcoming fixture against Chelsea, a daunting task on paper a few seasons ago, now feels like a winnable fixture.

What stands out for Brighton is their squad depth. The difference in skill between their main XI and their substitutes is arguably one of the narrowest in the league. This means Brighton can rotate their squad without a significant drop in performance. The Seagulls have shown this repeatedly, with last season’s victory against Arsenal at the Emirates being a prime example.

Moreover, Brighton’s record against top clubs is nothing short of remarkable. Out of their last 22 games against the ‘big six’ and Newcastle, they’ve emerged victorious 13 times. Such a statistic is not just a stroke of luck but a display of their growing prowess on the pitch.

Last season saw Brighton reach the precipice of an FA Cup final, illustrating their ability to thrive in knockout competitions. Furthermore, their performance against more renowned teams has been nothing short of impressive. In their recent encounters against the so-called ‘big six’ and Newcastle, Brighton has won 13 out of 22 matches, a truly outstanding record.

To wrap up, while Liverpool’s dominance is well-documented and expected, Brighton’s rise, though under the radar, is equally compelling. Both teams, with their current form and squad depth, present a convincing case to go deep in the EFL Cup. While predicting cup competitions can often be a gamble given the unforeseen circumstances that may arise, it’s safe to say that these two sides, given their current trajectories, are solid bets to watch out for.

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Gram Dodd
15-year veteran in the sports writing industry who has written betting previews for NFL, golf, football, racing, and tennis. Sports event of all time: the Miracle of Istanbul.