Liverpool vs. Arsenal EFL Cup Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction: Can Reds Shine Minus Mohamed Salah & Sadio Mané?
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images. Pictured: Liverpool teammates Roberto Firmino, left, and Virgil van Dijk.
- Liverpool is a solid +115 favorite against Arsenal in Thursday's Carabao Cup semifinal tie.
- However, the Reds will be missing stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané in this huge matchup.
- Avery Zimmerman breaks down the contest below and explains why he's expecting Liverpool to still get the victory.
Arsenal vs. Liverpool Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-125 / +100)|
|Day | Time||Thursday | 2:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds updated Thursday morning via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Despite rumors that the Carabao Cup tie between Liverpool and Arsenal would be postponed again, the match is set to be played on Thursday at Emirates Stadium.
From a betting perspective, this is an interesting game to analyze on the pitch itself, but the betting stories off the pitch appear just as fascinating right now.
The Athletic first reported Wednesday morning the FA was looking into suspicious betting patterns regarding wagers that were placed on an Arsenal player to be booked. The story adds another element of intrigue to a fixture that was already set to be a good one.
Here are my thoughts on how the game could unfold, though I can’t account for the shenanigans taking place off the field.
Struggling Arsenal Still Winless in January
As the clock wound down on 2021, it appeared the Gunners could be on their way to a genuine top-four challenge.
Wins against Southampton, West Ham United, Leeds United and Norwich City on the bounce gave supporters a real bit of excitement, but since then Arsenal has lost two games and drawn one, which includes a defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup contest.
To be fair, one of those losses was against Manchester City and the draw came versus Liverpool from a man down last week after Granit Xhaka’s awful challenge. Nonetheless, after COVID-19 issues forced a postponement of the North London derby this past weekend, Arsenal hasn’t won a game since Dec. 26 and the positive feelings around the club’s progress appear to be fading.
That’s why this fixture will be incredibly important for Arsenal, who could use a chance at silverware with it being the last remaining competition for the Gunners outside of the Premier League.
Manager Mikel Arteta could have to deal with some fresh absences, as there has been some speculation regarding additional COVID-19 cases at the club, but it appears the speculation wasn’t based on anything concrete.
Has Liverpool Finally Found Its Footing?
The stretch of form Liverpool endured after beating Leicester City on Dec. 22 was significantly worse than what Arsenal saw, at least by the Reds’ standards. Liverpool drew four out of six games and lost its EPL rematch against the Foxes, with the lone win in that span coming against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup.
This past Sunday, Liverpool put together one of its best performances in weeks, beating Brentford in dominant fashion. The Reds won, 3-0, and obliterated the Bees in the expected-goals battle by a 3.49-0.38 margin. Needless to say, that win could be a good sign for the fixture ahead.
Defense wasn’t the issue for Liverpool in the reverse fixture at Anfield, but that’s partly because Xhaka got himself sent off in the first half. Rather, it was an anemic offensive display that limited Jürgen Klopp’s team.
The lone great chance the team got came at the end of the match, when the ball fell for Takumi Minamino in front of an open net, only to be blasted into Roz Z of The Kop. He got on the scorer’s sheet this past Sunday, though, combining with Roberto Firmino to seal the Liverpool win.
Betting Analysis & Pick
At the end of the day, getting Liverpool at plus money against Arsenal is still too hard to pass up.
The Gunners haven’t maintained an xG edge in any game against a top-six side since a Sept. 26 clash with Tottenham, and they’re dealing with some serious controversy at the moment. Who knows how the current news will impact Arsenal, but I can’t imagine it’s positive and the club is already behind the eight ball when facing Liverpool.
It was vital the Reds found an attacking rhythm against Brentford, and I think we can expect another strong lineup in this tie from Klopp. There’s no reason to think he’d back off from the competition now, and with a vulnerable Arsenal side on the other side of the pitch, he can afford to get aggressive.
Back Liverpool to get the job done inside the 90 minutes to reach to the final.
Pick: Liverpool ML (+110)