The Carabao returns this week and Manchester City are the early favourites to win the competition for what would be a fourth-successive season.
City won’t be involved in the second round, which will be played across Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and neither will Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham. They all received byes to the third round owing to their participation in European competitions.
Every other Premier League team is involved and you can read previews on our League Cup blog.
City hungry for more Carabao success?
Pep Guardiola’s men are 12/5 on the Sportsbook with Liverpool 13/2 their nearest rivals in the early betting. The City boss takes the competition seriously but it’s fair to wonder if this season, as City go all out to win the Champions League, another team might be able to break their grip on the League Cup.
Manchester United 7/1 reached the semi-finals last season and, with the title race likely to be dominated by City and Liverpool again, winning the Carabao Cup would be a significant boon to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his second full season in charge.
The same is true for Chelsea 7/1 who have spent big under Frank Lampard this summer. Roman Abramovich will be expecting silverware in return and, while he’ll want more than the League Cup, it would be a start.
What about Tottenham 11/1? Jose Mourinho has always loved this competition, winning it with Chelsea and Manchester United. He was brought in at Spurs to win trophies. The last one they won was the League Cup in 2008 when Betfair Ambassador Dimitar Berbatov scored.
Arsenal 12/1 have already won the FA Cup in Mikel Arteta’s short reign so they could be a force.
After that, there’s a clutch of Premier League teams that all look fairly promising at longer odds – Everton 20/1, who boast a world class player and some fascinating signings, Wolves 22/1 who will be looking to kick on again this season and Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester 33/1 who reached the semi-finals last season.
Looking for a team to back from outside the top flight? The market gives Brentford and Watford the joint best chance at 66/1. The Bees, however, face a tricky trip to Southampton on Wednesday while the Hornets go to Oxford tomorrow.