Carabao Cup: How do the bookies rate the chances of the final four?

It's a star-studded semi-final line-up for the Carabao Cup, but who is most likely to go on and win it?

The Carabao Cup is down to four teams, and the competition's sponsors are likely to be very happy with the outcome.

Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, and Liverpool will battle it out over two-legged semi-finals to earn a spot at Wembley and get a shot at winning the first major silverware of the English soccer season.

You could certainly make the point that, given the teams involved, this competition is anyone's to win now. But who should you be backing to go all the way and how are the bookies seeing it?

Arsenal

The Gunners were in ruthless form to dismiss Sunderland in the quarter-finals, eventually cruising into the semi-finals by virtue of a 5-1 win.

However, there is obviously a huge difference between a home win against League One opposition and coming through a two-legged semi-final against the kind of opposition left in the competition.

Arsenal celebrate scoring against Sunderland

That said, Arsenal are unburdened by Europe this season and so have shown consistent commitment to fielding strong line-ups in the cup under Mikel Arteta.

They are also in some pretty impressive form. The goal they conceded to Sunderland was the first time they had to fish the ball out of their home net since early November.

That is going to make them tough to beat over two matches, so they will be really fancying their chances of winning the competition.

Arsenal will face Liverpool in the semi-finals, and the Reds' high-press style will certainly test the Gunners' new-found composure on the ball.

Being more adventurous with their team selections than Liverpool may be enough to get them through the tie, though.

Tottenham

Like Arsenal, Tottenham don't have Europe to distract them after their Europa Conference League elimination was confirmed.

Son Heung-min in action for Tottenham

Going out of that competition won't have bothered Antonio Conte too much, but falling two or three Premier League games behind most of their rivals certainly will.

The untimely COVID-19 outbreak that cost them their Europa Conference League place has also seen two Premier League games postponed, meaning they have played just 15 matches compared to the 18 of the top four.

That scheduling seems manageable for now, but adding two more games for the Carabao Cup semi-finals into the already busy schedule may make Conte think twice about how much he can push his top players from a physical point of view.

They have the quality, and the coach, to win this competition, but whether they can physically manage it given the fixture pile-up is the big question.

Tottenham will face Chelsea in the semi-finals, and Conte has promised to "give everything" against his former club.

Whether that will be enough over two games may depend more upon Chelsea's attitude than Tottenham's, though.

Chelsea

Chelsea celebrate

There is no question that Chelsea have viewed the Carabao Cup as a low-priority competition this season and understandably so.

Of course, given the size and quality of their squad, even their fringe players can be a match for just about anyone right now.

A COVID-19 outbreak saw them field a very young team against Brentford in the last eight and it was still enough to knock out Premier League opposition - albeit a weakened one - away from home.

The fact of the matter is that Chelsea could well be the team to beat here. They have the squad depth, the quality and the winning mentality.

Chelsea will come up against Tottenham in the last four, and that won't be easy with former Blues boss Conte feeling extra motivated to get one over on the club who sacked him.

You get the feeling looking at that tie that if Chelsea want it enough, they will win it. That, though, is a very big 'if'.

Liverpool

Roberto Firmino appeals for Liverpool

Liverpool came through a real thriller against Leicester City, winning it on penalties after trailing both 2-0 and 3-1 on the night at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp picked a very young team too, which only really serves to highlight how formidable the Reds are right now.

Of the four teams left in the competition, though, Liverpool are the ones who have shown most intent to rotate their squad and blood some youngsters.

If Klopp maintains that policy, and it's hard to see why he wouldn't as long as the Premier League title race is on, then Liverpool are the outsiders now.

However, if Klopp decides the semi-finals is the stage to really go for it, then Liverpool would immediately be the favourites.

The former looks a lot more likely than the latter right now, though. They face Arsenal in the semi-finals - a team very much in form and who appear to be taking the competition very seriously. Whether Liverpool can match Arsenal's desire to win the tie will be the crucial factor.

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