Capital One Cup

Stoke v Liverpool: Potters a big price to gain first leg advantage

Marco Arnautovic has hit a good scoring streak
Marco Arnautovic has hit a good scoring streak


" Divock Origi, the hat-trick scoring hero of the 6-1 win at Southampton is out injured and it's likely that Christian Benteke will lead the line. The Belgian hasn't looked a natural fit for Klopp's system and does not currently inspire confidence for Reds backers."

Back Stoke to win @ 3.1511/5

Stoke host Liverpool on Tuesday night for the first of this week's Capital One Cup semi-finals and Joe Dyer can't resist a back of the home side at what looks a value price...

Stoke v Liverpool
Tuesday January 5, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports 1


Stoke

A positive Christmas period which featured wins over Manchester United and Everton ended on a flat note with defeat at West Brom, but 2015 a good year for Stoke and they go into the second half of the campaign in upbeat mood. Mark Hughes has assembled a talented squad at the Britannia Stadium with Marko Arnautovic, Bojan and Xherdan Shaqiri an exciting attacking trio. They have been solid at the back, too, where Jack Butland is establishing a reputation as one of the nation's finest keepers.


Liverpool

The Jurgen Klopp era has not been without its bumps, the latest coming with a poor 2-0 defeat at West Ham where the German manager accused his team of putting in just "90% effort". That loss made for a poor sequence of December matches in the top-flight which has seen defeats at Newcastle and Watford and a home draw against West Brom alongside a pair of wins (one admittedly coming over Leicester, then the form club in the league). This competition did provide the high point of Klopp's reign so far - the 6-1 win at Southampton - and the Merseyside club will be hoping that provides inspiration for a positive result.

Unfortunately, Divock Origi, the hat-trick scoring hero of the Southampton game is out injured and it's likely that Christian Benteke will lead the line. The Belgian hasn't looked a natural fit for Klopp's system and does not currently inspire confidence for Reds backers.


Match Odds

It can only be reputation that is making Liverpool the 2.546/4 favourites to win this match with home side Stoke trading at 3.1511/5. The draw should always come under consideration in a two-legged affair and can be backed at 3.3512/5.

But I can't help but return to the Potters' win price, and they simply have to be considered value in this market. The home leg is their big chance to get ahead in the two-legged tie and I'd far rather take a chance on Hughes' side in front of their own fans than the stuttering away team.


Under/Over 2.5 Goals

With the teams expected to play it cautiously, the market makes unders a big favourite at 1.574/7 but I don't think there's much value in backing a low-scoring match at such a short price. That's not a recommendation for taking Overs at odds-against, however, more an admission that I can't see much reason for having a bet in this market!

If you're convinced that it'll be low-scoring I'd recommend backing the halftime draw at around 2.26/5, you'll get a payout if it's the likely 0-0 scoreline at the break.


To Score

Goals aren't expected to be in great supply which makes having a scorer punt a tougher task than usual but it's interesting that in-form Arnatovic is 14/5 to get on the scoresheet. Jon Walters, who has fallen out of favour with Hughes, was a goalscoring substitute and the bustling Irishman might just have forced his way into Hughes' thinking for Tuesday night.


Recommended Bets

Back the Halftime Draw @ 2.26/5
Back Stoke to win @ 3.1511/5


BET £10 ON EURO 2024 WINNER AND GET A FREE BET EVERY TIME YOUR TEAM SCORES IN THE GROUP STAGE

Available to new and existing customers. Bet at least £10 (can be £10 win or £5 each-way) on the Euro 2024 Outright Winner market and get a free bet per every goal scored by your selection in the Group stage of the tournament. Opt in required. T&Cs apply.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.