Reigning Carabao Cup winners Manchester City will begin the defence of their trophy on Tuesday evening as they take on Preston North End at the Etihad Stadium.
The Citizens have won the League Cup in four out of the last six seasons and are once again favourites to do that once again and can be backed at odds of 3/1 with William Hill. Meanwhile, Preston, who overcame fellow Championship outfit Hull City on penalties in the previous round are available at a price of 150/1 to lift their first-ever League Cup crown.
They do have an absolutely massive task in front of them if they are to do that as they come up against arguably one of the best sides English football has ever seen. Alex Neil’s men will also have to go hugely against the form book by becoming the lower-league side to win at the Etihad Stadium since Middlesbrough secured a shock 2-0 win in the FA Cup in 2015.
The Lilywhites are understandably underdogs at 22/1 with Paddy Power to win the game within 90 minutes, with a draw at 9/1. Meanwhile, a Manchester City victory is available at a price a low as 1/16.
One aspect that Preston will really need to address is somehow managing to keep Pep Guardiola’s troops out and that will be an extremely difficult task in itself. The Citizens last failed to score on home soil in a competitive match all the way back in May 2018. They have already managed to net 14 goals at the Etihad Stadium this season following the weekend’s 8-0 pounding of Watford, meaning they have averaged just under 4.7 goals per game at home. Over 4.5 total Manchester City goals to be scored in the game sits at a price of 5/2 with Betfred.
Last season’s top scorer in the Carabao Cup, Gabriel Jesus, could again be one of the main candidates to open the scoring and that is reflected in the bookies’ odds. The Brazilian can be backed at 10/3 to score the opener on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Josh Harrop, who netted twice against Hull in the last round is at 40/1 to score the first goal of the match.
There are a few key players under the tutelage of Guardiola that won’t be taking part. Long-term absentees Leroy Sane, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte all remain restricted to the sidelines. Phil Foden could potentially return to action after recovering from a virus.
Regarding Preston, they could welcome back Billy Bodin, who missed the weekend’s match at Birmingham City with a calf problem. Only Louis Moult and Tom Clarke are certainties too miss the game at the Etihad Stadium.