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Manchester United v Charlton
This is the Red Devils’ third time playing at home in the EFL Cup this year, as they’ve won both of their games by two-goal margins, while their opponent in this round is the easiest they’ve faced yet. Erik ten Hag’s men came away with a win in their latest outing, a 3-1 win over Everton in the FA Cup, with Antony and Marcus Rashford both on the scoresheet. The Englishman has been on a spectacular run since the World Cup ended, as he’s scored in all five matches and also managed two assists.
Charlton have won both of their matches on penalties to make it to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, overcoming Stevenage after a 1-1 draw, before the Addicks went on to thwart Brighton following a goalless stalemate. This is only the second time that Charlton have made it to the quarter finals of a major domestic cup (FA Cup or EFL Cup), with the first occasion was back in 2006/07 when they lost to Wycombe.
Since the restart after the World Cup, Man United have won all five of their competitive matches and they’ve only conceded one goal across these games. Even though they’ve had a very easy run (playing Burnley, Forest, Wolves, Bournemouth, Everton and now Charlton), it is still the run of form they were looking for to kick off the new year with on a bright note.
Although the win-to-nil’s have been profitable in their last few matches, we feel as if Manchester United are going to rotate their defence for the Manchester Derby coming up on Saturday. Charlton are also prolific scorers in League One, only failing to score in five of their 25 matches this year.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
Newcastle v Leicester
The Magpies were handed a shock loss against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup on Saturday, dominating the game with 76% possession and 22 shots which included seven on target, but they couldn’t find that killer edge. Their complacency seemingly got the better of them here but Josh Windass played particularly well, netting both of Wednesday’s goals, which were calmly slotted away and he deserves the credit for the big win.
Leicester also dominated their match against lower-league side Gillingham, but they got away with the win after Kelechi Iheanacho scored the only goal of the game in the 56th minute. Gillingham barely created any chances at their home ground, but there is only so much you can do with 30% possession against a team that is much better than you.
The last time these two teams met was on Boxing Day when Newcastle thumped Leicester at the King Power, it was 3-0 on the day and 2-0 inside seven minutes. The Foxes dominated the ball in this one but weren’t able to do anything with it, and this could be a similar story considering how their most recent games have gone.
Eddie Howe would obviously like to win his first major competition in his managerial career, but his eyes should really be set on making the Champions League and losing this match wouldn’t be the end of the world for him. We think that Newcastle will rotate, judging by the team they put out against Sheffield Wednesday, but we’ll know their intentions by the time their team sheet comes out. If they play a strong team here we’d back them to get the win, but otherwise there’s value to be found in the Leicester Asian Handicap market.
LEICESTER +O.5 HANDICAP
(If Newcastle play a rotated team)
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