In England, the Carling Cup knockout soccer tournament resumes this week with 16 teams looking to book their spot into the fifth round and the eventual final being held at London’s legendary Wembley Stadium in March.
Five matches take place tonight with League Two’s Rotherham United, the lowest placed team still in the competition, travelling to Premiership new boys Stoke City. Despite defeating higher-placed opposition in Sheffield Wednesday, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton in earlier rounds, another giant killing does not look on the cards as the ‘Millers’ are listed at odds of 5/1 to win with WillHill.com and Ladbrokes.com. Stoke are given at 1/3 by Totesport.com and PaddyPower.com while BlueSq.com, StanJames.com and 888Sport.com have gone with odds of 4/11. A tie would see a replay but the odds are high at 11/4 with WillHill.com and Boylesports.com and 3/1 with StanJames.com and Canbet.com.
One of the favourites, Arsenal are at home to Steve Bruce’s Wigan Athletic with WillHill.com and Totesport.com giving odds of 4/9 on a ‘Gunners’ win. SkyBet.com and Extrabet.com are offering 1/2 on Arsenal triumphing while BetDirect.com BetFred.com, Bet365.com and PaddyPower.com are going with 8/15. Fans of Wigan can get 4/1 with Ladbrokes.com and SportingBet.com while a tie looks unlikely at 3/1 with Boylesports.com, SkyBet.com and Bet365.com.
Manchester United, second favourites to win the competition at odds of 7/2 with Bet365.com, host Queen Park Rangers with the ‘Red Devils’ favourites at 1/4 with VictorChandler.com and Totesport.com. Supporters of the London-based side can get 15/2 on their side winning from VictorChandler.com and WillHill.com while a draw is down at 8/1 with BlueSq.com, SkyBet.com and 888Sport.com.
In tonight’s other matches, Leeds travels to Derby while an all-Championship tie sees Swansea at home to face a struggling Watford. Tomorrow, Chelsea, favourites to win the competition at odds of 5/2 with Coral.co.uk, face Burnley at Stamford Bridge while Sunderland hosts Blackburn. The other match tomorrow night sees Cup holders Tottenham face a Liverpool side that they beat only last week in the Premier League.