League Cup Online Betting

The Football League Cup, commonly known as the League Cup, is open to the 92 sides forming the Premiership and the three leagues of the Football League. It is a single fixture, knockout competition, up to the semi-final stage, which are played over two legs, home and away. The League Cup winners qualify for the UEFA Cup, assuming they have not already qualified for European competition. If the winners finish in the top four places in the Premiership, the UEFA Cup place is awarded to the highest-placed Premiership team not already qualified for European competition. The League Cup owes its origins to the introduction of floodlights to the grounds of most senior English clubs in the late 1950s. This introduction allowed matches to be played on weekday winter evenings, with the League Cup, inaugurated in the 1960-61 season, designed as a midweek floodlit competition. However, in the early days, many top teams showed no interest in the tournament. However, the instigation of UEFA Cup qualification for the winners, in the late 1960s, sparked interest in the tournament. All 92 clubs competed in the competition for the first time in the 1969-70 season.

Memorable League Cup Matches

The giant-killing exploits of lesser sides in the League Cup are generally less well remembered than in the FA Cup, due to the absence of non-league sides and top clubs fielding weakened sides. However, numerous upsets have occurred in the history of the tournament. One of the most notable giant-killing runs occurred in the 1974-75 season, with Chester City, then of the Fourth Division, defeating Second Division Blackpool in the second round and Third Division Preston North End in the third round. Chester went on to hammer reigning league champions Leeds United 3-0 in the fourth round, despatching First Division Newcastle United 1-0 in the quarter- finals, before narrowly losing a two-legged semi-final 5-4 to eventual winners Aston Villa.

More recently (1995-96) Third Division York City walloped Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford in the second round, winning the two-legged tie 4-3 on aggregate. The Red Devils paid the penalty for fielding a weakened side in 2006, being dumped out of the competition by Championship strugglers Southend United.They repeated the dose by losing 2-0 to Coventry City in the third round of the following season's tournament. United's latest League Cup upset occurred with a 1-0 loss at Derby in the first leg of the semi-final of the 2008-09 competition.

Manchester United are not alone in being a top side eliminated by "inferior" opposition. In 2001-02, League Cup betting favourites and holders Liverpool lost 2-1 at Anfield to Grimsby Town in the third round. In 2005, League Two Leaders Grimsby continued their giant-killing activities, a last minute Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala strike seeing off Tottenham Hotspur at Blundell Park.

League Cup Betting Markets

Outright Winners

The League Cup betting win market is inevitably dominated by the top Premiership sides. However, given that such sides often field sub-strength sides in this competition, punting on the outright winners needs to be approached with a degree of caution. Granted, since 1988, Liverpool and Chelsea have 3 League Cup wins each, while Manchester United have won twice and Arsenal one. It should be noted that wins by the "Big 4" account for only 45% of the last 20 tournaments, and, given the cramped odds generally offered, such teams offer little in the way of punting value. For punters seeking value, lesser sides are certainly worth consideration. In the same period Spurs have reached the final 3 times, winning twice. Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Leicester City have also won twice, while Middlesbrough won in 2004, as well as being dual runners-up. In the eternal quest for value, punters are advised to give close consideration to lower-ranked Premiership sides and the better-performing Championship teams when contemplating an investment in League Cup betting.

Top Goalscorer

As with any other competition, nominating the top scorer in the League Cup betting is extremely difficult. For punters wishing to get involved in League Cup betting on the top scorer at an early stage of the tournament, stakes must be kept to an absolute minimum, as this essentially constitutes a "fun" bet. Any serious wager is best left to the latter stages of the competition, when there are likely to be far fewer potential winners. Whilst this means the League Cup betting odds on offer are far shorter, chances of success are greatly enhanced.

Match Betting

Many of the more successful clubs view the League Cup as a low-priority competition, despite UEFA Cup qualification for the winners. Some teams use the tournament as an opportunity to provide young players with "big time" experience. The fielding of weaker sides makes individual match betting fraught with danger for the punter. Taking very short League Cup betting prices should be avoided at all costs, even when the top sides are involved, against allegedly inferior sides.

League Cup - Further Information

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