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Tottenham to deepen Chelsea woe in Carabao Cup?

Steve Nicol sounds off on Maurizio Sarri’s comments about not being able to motivate Chelsea, saying he should get out if he can’t do that.

A good weekend of profit for the column courtesy of a couple of 19/10 and 13/5 winners from Arsenal and Napoli respectively. There’s cup action this week from England, Spain and France with Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semifinal second leg against Tottenham among the highlights.

Running total: -£40.61

The Banker

It’s surprising to see Chelsea chalked up as 4/7 favourites to beat Spurs on Thursday given they’ve now lost five of their last 12 matches in all competitions. Boss Maurizio Sarri accused the players of being “difficult to motivate” during an explosive rant following their 2-0 loss to Arsenal and it remains to be seen whether they can pick themselves up and overcome a 1-0 first leg deficit against Tottenham. The players have clearly not fully bought into Sarri’s tactical philosophy yet and while they played well for long spells in that first leg at Wembley they face an uphill task here due to the fact they are struggling to score goals. Are the bookmakers putting too much emphasis on Spurs being without Harry Kane? They proved by beating Fulham that Mauricio Pochettino’s side are not a one man team and, with this in mind, odds of 4/5 to qualify for the final look appealing.

Selection: £5 on Tottenham to qualify at 4/5 with bet365.

The First Goal Flutter

Juventus face Chievo on Monday evening, a team they have not lost to at home in their last 15 matches. Cristiano Ronaldo has hit 14 goals in 19 matches for the Bianconeri, who look to be strolling towards yet another Serie A title and Ronaldo is a 15/8 shot to score first in Turin. On current form he looks the most likely candidate to put Chievo to the sword.

Selection: £4 on Ronaldo to score first at 15/8 with bet365.

The Tasty Treble

Barcelona travel to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey this week and look a solid punt at 17/20. The Blaugrana have won their last three matches against Sevilla, who are in poor form having lost their last three. In the same competition, Getafe might be worth a bet at 11/8 to beat Valencia at home. Getafe are unbeaten in their last four matches and have proved a tough side to beat on home soil this season. Combining those two Spanish clubs with the draw at 3/1 when Chelsea face Spurs offers a treble with bet365 paying better than 16/1.

Selection: £1 on the treble at 16.57/1 with bet365.

The Euro Wager

St Etienne are favourites to see off Dijon in their Coupe de France clash on Wednesday, in a game that could feature plenty of goals. Dijon have been struggling at the wrong end of Ligue 1 for much of this season so should see this Coupe de France clash as a welcome distraction. St Etienne are a good side though so the bet here is backing them to win and both teams to find the net at 11/5.

Selection: £5 on St Etienne to win and both teams to score at 11/5 with bet365.

The Wildcard Tip

After winning the first leg 9-0 it will be interesting to see how Pep Guardiola approaches Manchester City’s semifinal second leg against Burton Albion in terms of team selection. One would imagine that City, who are still battling for silverware on four fronts, will make a raft of changes and with Burton playing for pride only now the draw could be worth a small play at 8/1.

Selection: £1 on the draw at 8/1 with bet365.

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