Adrian Mills has picked out three bets as Newcastle face Manchester City in the third round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday.
Arguably the tie of the EFL Cup third round takes place on Wednesday as Newcastle United host Manchester City.
The Magpies lost last season’s final to Manchester United and, after a mixed start, now look to be motoring, beating Brentford 1-0, drawing 0-0 at AC Milan and outclassing Sheffield United 8-0.
City won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 2022-23, but fell short in the EFL Cup, going down 1-0 in the quarter-finals at Southampton.
Pep Guardiola’s side won this competition for four successive seasons between 2017-18 and 2020-21 and memories of their shock defeat at St Mary’s will only add to their motivation, as they look to continue their quest to go one better than last season’s treble.
Manchester City to win @ 11/8
Julian Alvarez Anytime Goalscorer @ 11/5
Full Time Total Corners – Over 10.5 @ 7/5
City can squeeze through
Confidence is sure to be high within the Newcastle camp and, with them now unbeaten in three after their masterclass at Bramall Lane, Eddie Howe will turn his attention to lifting what could be a gateway piece of silverware for his club.
Ending his club’s wait for a trophy would see Howe go down in Toon Army folklore, but his team could hardly have been handed a tougher draw, with City having won six out of six in the Premier League.
Guardiola’s side have also beaten Red Star Belgrade 3-1 in the Champions League and, although they lost the Community Shield to Arsenal on penalties, they beat Sevilla by the same method to lift the European Super Cup.
Their six Premier League victories include a 1-0 home win over Newcastle in August, while they are unbeaten against the Magpies since 2019.
City will be without key midfielder Rodri following his sending-off in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest, but have the depth to cover and should have too much on Tyneside.
Expect big things from Alvarez
Erling Haaland leads the goalscoring bettingm but Julian Alvarez is a bigger price and has form, having scored the only goal in the victory at the Etihad.
Kevin De Bruyne’s absence has provided Alvarez with a chance to get a regular run in the City side and he is proving an ablereplacement, dovetailing nicely with Haaland.
Alvarez has provided three league assists this season, while he has also netted four goals in all competitions.
The 23-year-old featured as a number nine during Argentina’s successful 2022 World Cup campaign, but looks more comfortable when stationed deeper behind a focal point like Haaland and can thrive at St James’ Park.
Corners could be something to look for
Corners have again been a feature of City’s fixtures this season and are worth exploring when looking at Wednesday’s match.
The enthusiasm might be tempered by a look back at the visitors’ 1-0 win in August, where there were just three corners, all awarded to the hosts at the Etihad.
That is somewhat of an outlier, though, with their five games in all competitions since then averaging 12.2 corners and Wednesday’s EFL Cup match will surely be more open than their league meeting.
Newcastle’s three home games this season have averaged 12 corners and, with a bit of a safety net built in by going a touch lower than those averages, over 10.5 corners looks like the way to go.