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Carabao Cup Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction: Liverpool vs. Arsenal EFL Cup Best Bets & Preview (Jan. 13)

Carabao Cup Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction: Liverpool vs. Arsenal EFL Cup Best Bets & Preview (Jan. 13) article feature image

Jon Super/Pool/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Manager Jürgen Klopp of Liverpool.

  • Liverpool enters Thursday's Carabao Cup semifinal match as a -150 betting favorite against Arsenal.
  • However, the Reds will be without stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané in the first leg of this tie.
  • Avery Zimmerman breaks down the game below and where his action is going in this matchup.

Liverpool vs. Arsenal Odds

Liverpool Odds+100
Arsenal Odds+270
Over/Under2.5 (-145 / +115)
Day | TimeThursday | 2:45 p.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds updated as of Thursday afternoon via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

After a COVID-19 postponement that was full of controversy, Arsenal heads to Liverpool on Thursday for the first leg of the duo’s Carabao Cup tie.

While this was originally supposed to be the second of two matches played, Liverpool successfully got the first leg postponed after a COVID-19 outbreak occurred within the club. While it’s murky what the timeline of events was, most of those cases were found to be false positives.

Because of this, Liverpool should have a mostly healthy roster heading into this fixture, though it’ll be without the services of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Naby Keita due to their Africa Cup of Nations involvement.

Four Arsenal players, including Thomas Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, are also participating in the AFCON tournament.

That said, this is how I’m viewing the EFL Cup matchup.

Liverpool Finds Itself in Unique Position

Normally, this would be a prime position to fade the Reds, as they haven’t historically focused on the League Cup at all since Jürgen Klopp took the reins.

With little monetary gain compared to other competitions and games placed in between far more important fixtures, Liverpool has consistently rested its star players in favor of getting individuals on the fringes opportunities to feature. However, I don’t get the feeling that the same approach will be taken with the rest of this year’s competition.

Liverpool has already fallen 11 points off the pace of Manchester City (with a game in hand) and the Reds don’t have a game to play in the Champions League — or less important the FA Cup — for almost another month.

There are a few injuries which could limit Liverpool’s attacking prowess considering the team will already be without Salah and Mané, but you can still expect a strong lineup that will feature most first-team regulars.

Arsenal Going into Tough Setting 

One of the worst stadiums in the country in recent times for the Gunners has been Anfield, where Arsenal has been handed a 7-1 aggregate differential over their last three games.

Interestingly, the most success the club has had in Liverpool has come in cup competitions. The last two League Cup matches the teams have played at Anfield have been draws, though each game featured heavily-altered Liverpool lineups.

Arsenal has been playing well as of late, at least before it suffered a surprising loss in the FA Cup to Nottingham Forest this past Sunday. Arsenal won four consecutive matches in the Premier League before losing to Manchester City in brutal fashion. However, the FA Cup loss and no European football means the League Cup and the remainder of the league season is all that’s left for manager Mikel Arteta’s team.

Rest assured Arsenal will be going all out to try and advance to the final over these two legs.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

As I discussed above, in normal circumstances, it always feels like a wise move to fade Liverpool in cup competitions. The club has shown that lowered stakes and lesser financial benefits make the tournaments far less of a priority, with lineups and performances reflecting that statement.

However, given the circumstances, I feel as though Liverpool will be putting in a full effort. And even without Salah and/or Mané, this is a Liverpool side that produces far better than Arsenal.

In the league at home, the Reds are generating 2.46 expected goals per game, while conceding 0.94 xGA in the same time frame. On the other hand, the Gunners are generating 1.43 xG/match and 1.62 xGA/outing on the road.

I’m making the assumption Liverpool is going to put in a full effort, and if that’s the case, these numbers are too hard to ignore — AFCON or no AFCON.

Pick: Liverpool ML (+100)

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