Carabao Cup Fourth Round Tips: Origi up for the cup and low-scoring Villa win

Andy Schooler expects another goal-fest when Liverpool host Arsenal again on Thursday in the Carabao Cup and he's also looked at Aston Villa v Stoke...

Goals on the menu in tasty Anfield tie

Liverpool 2.08 v Arsenal 3.55; The Draw 3.90
Thursday 1 October, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports Football & Main Event

These two met at this stage of last season's competition and produced a fantastic game of attacking football.

It ended 5-5 and while it would be brave indeed to suggest another 10 goals this time around, there certainly looks likely to be plenty of goalmouth action, as there was on Monday when Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners against the Gunners in the Premier League.

The last nine games between these sides at Anfield have produced a least four goals and while Mikel Arteta has been known to set up his team to thwart at times - think Manchester City in last season's FA Cup semi-finals - it's hard to see him giving squad players a chance and asking them to simply sit deep all game.

As was the case last October, it's a near-certainty that both teams will make plenty of changes - Liverpool head to Aston Villa in the league on Sunday, while Arsenal host Sheffield United. Such is modern-day football that those matches will take priority.

The personnel will therefore be much different to those seen on Monday.

For Arsenal, expect Eddie Nketiah and Nicolas Pepe to start, as they did in the 2-0 victory at Leicester in the previous round.

Their developing crop of youngsters - the likes of Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles - all now have plenty of experience across various competitions and are used to playing together as a group. Most, if not all, will play here.

Bank on Origi

As for the hosts, it will be a chance, if they wish to take it, to get game-time in their new signings such as Kostas Tsimikas and Diogo Jota. However, Thiago Alcantara has tested positive for coronavirus and will therefore serve a self-isolation period in line with Covid-19 protocols.

Their home-grown talent is also beginning to flourish. Curtis Jones has been a real eyecatcher and looks to be very much part of Jurgen Klopp's first-team squad this season.

Neco Williams also got plenty of game-time in pre-season, while Harvey Elliott is another who is highly-rated at Anfield.

Expect the youngsters to be helped out by a number of senior pros. Virgil van Dijk played last week; it would be no surprise to see James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri in the XI here.

However, it is another who is likely to start, Divock Origi, who could offer the best route to profit.

He's often played - and scored - in Liverpool's domestic cup games.

Overall, he's netted 12 in 15 starts in such fixtures, one of those goals coming in last week's 7-2 demolition of Lincoln.

He bagged two in that 5-5 thriller last season and while he often plays in Sadio Mane's role on the left of the attack, he could be switched into the middle if Jota starts.

Up against a rejigged Arsenal defence, he looks worth backing to score at any time at 11/5.

I'll also back that run of four-goal (or more) games to continue.

Over 3.5 goals is a 2.62 shot, although the safety net of the +3 Asian goal-line is arguably a better approach.

It's stakes back here if there are exactly three goals with the odds subsequently reduced to 1.99.

Villa can edge through

Aston Villa 1.71 v Stoke 5.20; The Draw 4.10
Thursday 1 October, 19:00

Villa's four-win start to the season has rather gone under the radar but there's certainly plenty of positivity in the camp right now.

New signings such as Ollie Watkins, Bertrand Traore, Emiliano Martinez and Matty Cash have provided a much-need boost after last season's dice with relegation.

Dean Smith has made wholesale changes in this competition but they've still managed to brush aside Burton (3-1) and Bristol City (3-0), both away from home.

Stoke make it three consecutive ties against EFL opposition. In the Championship, the Potters have collected just four points from their first three games but they've already beaten Premier League Wolves in this competition, winning 1-0 at Molineux.

They've conceded only two goals in five games so far and manager Michael O'Neill has been happy from a defensive point of view with the 3-5-2 system he has introduced. However, the former Northern Ireland boss also admits his side must be "more of a threat" going forward.

In contrast, Smith says his side have already found "the right balance" in their play and his confident men look capable of moving into the last eight.

Stoke's defensive solidity probably means it won't be easy so a couple of options appeal.

A home win to nil is offered at 15/8 but with Stoke having already kept four clean sheets, including at Wolves, it might be wise to narrow it down to 1-0 and 2-0.

Villa to win and under 2.5 goals in the game raises the price to 3/1.

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