The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and remains the second most prestigious cup in English football. 92 teams to battle for the trophy each year, with the 20 Premier League clubs joined by the 72 from the English Football League.
There have been four unexpected winners this century, Leicester (2000), Blackburn (2002), Middlesbrough (2004), Birmingham (2011, and Swansea (2013), but the other 16 editions have been won by a mixture of the big-six.
But the competition has given plenty of lesser teams a chance to play at Wembley, with Tranmere, Bolton, Wigan, Aston Villa, Southampton, Sunderland, Bradford, and Cardiff all making an appearance in the final. The problem with trying to pick an outsider that could go all the way is the draw, and you never know when they may have to face one of the big teams.
If one of the top-6 isn’t going to win, who might? Leicester have a busy European schedule so may not concentrate their efforts here. Southampton, Everton, and Leeds all have the makings of teams that could go far in the competition, but perhaps Wolves offer the best each-way value. They aren’t in Europe this season and 20/1 looks decent value for a team that has beaten lots of the top-6 team since being promoted.
Liverpool look terrible value at around 7/1, as they’ve shown little interest in cup competitions in the last few seasons. The club have made no secret that the Premier league and Champions League are their main priorities, and there’s no reason why that will change this season.
Arsenal have appeared in three EFL Cup Finals this century, losing all three. The Gunners have a much better record in the FA Cup, and they look a better bet for that.
Tottenham aren’t as good as they were, and they find winning silverware difficult. They did win the EFL Cup in 2008 but have won nothing since.
Chelsea last won the EFL Cup in 2015 and reached the 2019 final. A new-look attack means they could be a potent force in all competitions but they look another team whose priorities may be elsewhere.
Manchester United last won in 2017 but they’re back in the Champions League this season. They’ll also be hoping for a better Premier League campaign, and it’s easy to imagine Ole Gunner Solskjaer fielding a weakened team.
Manchester City are our EFL Cup tip 2020/21. The Champions may also have bigger priorities, but they have the advantage of having a squad that’s packed full of class players. Pep Guardiola also loves to win trophies and, as City have won five of the last seven EFL Cups, they remain massive value at 3/1.
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