Liverpool hold a narrow 2-1 lead from the first leg
Diogo Jota looks sharp and can help land a BB at 9/25.50
Fulham v Liverpool
Wednesday January 24, 20:00
Live Sky Sports Football
First final still alive for Fulham
The main thing for Fulham in the first leg at Anfield was to make sure Liverpool didn't secure a big winning margin that would have made this return contest rather redundant.
Marco Silva's men did much more than that and with a quarter of the match to go they held a surprise lead via Willian's well-taken goal in the 19th minute.
Curtis Jones (68) and sub Cody Gakpo (71) struck twice in three minutes to turn the game around but, importantly, Fulham didn't cave in from there and this is far from over just yet.
Fulham's only outing since then was a rather unfortunate 1-0 defeat at Chelsea so they've acquitted themselves well in the last two matches despite losing both.
Hard-luck stories won't cut it on Wednesday night though so Fulham, who have had over a week-and-a-half off since the loss at Stamford Bridge, simply must go for it, ruffle Liverpool's feathers and hope some breaks go their way as they bid to make the final of this tournament for the first time.
League leaders Liverpool on a roll
It's five wins on the trot for Liverpool in all competitions after they turned on the style in the second half of a match again to defeat in-form Bournemouth on Sunday and extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points.
Fulham are actually the only side to score against the Reds in that run and also the only team to stop them winning by a more than a single goal margin.
Boss Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool lacked rhythm in the first 45 minutes at Bournemouth but that made sense after 11 days off following their 2-0 victory at Arsenal in the FA Cup.
But once they hit their stride, there was only one outcome and playing just three days before this one kicks off looks a help not a hindrance in terms of being in a flow.
History heavily against hosts
History doesn't bode well for Fulham as Liverpool have progressed to the EFL Cup final on eight of the nine previous occasions they've won the first leg.
You might expect that given it's Liverpool but, in fact, only 25% of teams have gone on to the final after losing the first leg. It's a pretty healthy sample size too: 23 out of 92.
And although they gave the Reds a good game at Craven Cottage at the very start of last season, Fulham haven't managed to defeat Liverpool there since 2011. Since then the Merseysiders have won three and drawn two.
All that explains why Liverpool are just 1/101.10 to qualify for Wembley while Fulham are 11/26.50.
As for the match betting on Wednesday night, Fulham trade at 10/34.33, with Liverpool 8/111.73 and The Draw 3/14.00.
Second time lucky for Jota
Two of the three legs in my Bet Builder for the first match at Anfield - Liverpool to win and BTTS - came in but, frustratingly, the bet went down as Diogo Jota didn't get on the scoresheet.
That irks somewhat given that he's been in fantastic form of late and scored twice in the 4-0 win at Bournemouth on Sunday.
Jota now has four goals in his last five away fixtures so this looks a great chance for him to add another and help put this tie to bed.
This time I'll combine the Portuguese frontman with a strong trend in Liverpool matches - lacklustre first halves.
Liverpool's last five games have witnessed 17 goals (14 for and three against). But the key here is that 15 of those goals have been scored in the second half.
Given the balance of the tie, it's easy to imagine another quiet first half as Liverpool hold on to what they have before the game opens up after the break.
We can cover that angle by backing Under 1.5 1st Half Goals. Added to a Jota strike and it's a 9/25.50 Bet Builder.