Favourites to win the Carabao Cup

The Carabao Cup is always the first piece of silverware to be handed out each English domestic season and we are now down to the final four teams. With just one traditional top team remaining in the tournament, an unlikely winner cannot be ruled out.

The major shock of the quarter-finals was Southampton beating Manchester City 2-0 at St Mary's. City have won the Carabao Cup six times in the past nine years and it was the first time in his managerial career that Pep Guardiola has been knocked out of a domestic cup competition in the quarter-finals.

City had beaten Liverpool and Chelsea out earlier in the tournament, while Arsenal succumbed to Brighton and Tottenham were beaten by Nottingham Forest.

With Manchester United, Newcastle, Southampton and Nottingham Forest remaining, here is who we think will come out on top.

Manchester United

There is a clear split in the teams that are left in the competition and many expect Manchester United and Newcastle to be the finalists. The Red Devils are taking on Nottingham Forest in the two-legged semi-final while Newcastle will be up against Southampton.

There is so little to choose right now between Newcastle and United when it comes to the favourite to win the tournament. They are both in superb form in the Premier League and if United win their game in hand, they will go three points ahead of the Magpies.

The fact Newcastle were knocked out of the FA Cup by League One Sheffield Wednesday and also recently drew with Leeds means it's Erik ten Hag's side that just edges this one in terms of who is most likely to lift the trophy at Wembley. United beat Aston Villa 4-2, Burnley 2-0 and Charlton Athletic 3-0 on their way to the semi-final and also look set to add Wout Weghorst to the squad.

Newcastle United

As mentioned above, having Newcastle down as the favourites over Man Utd would not have been silly. Eddie Howe's side have been superb so far this season and are serious contenders to finish in the top four. They could be overtaken by Man Utd in the next week or so, but that would not be the end of the story.

Newcastle needed penalties to beat Crystal Palace in the third round and then beat Bournemouth 1-0 to get into the quarter-finals. They easily swept Leicester aside 2-0 and will now face a buoyant Southampton over two legs.

Having been knocked out of the FA Cup, Newcastle will want something to show for this incredible form and winning a trophy would certainly fit the bill. A top-four finish and a Carabao Cup win would not be a bad season, would it?


In the same way that it is very hard to decide between Man Utd and Newcastle for top spot, it is not easy to choose between Southampton and Nottingham Forest for third. We've gone with Southampton on the basis that we've seen teams find totally different form in the cups before and that is what seems to be happening.

The win over Man City was completely out of the blue given Nathan Jones' side have not won in the league since beating Bournemouth towards the end of October. They have found some solace in this tournament and that could well continue against Newcastle.

Nottingham Forest

In regards to league form, Forest should be ahead of Southampton here. They have seen a recent upturn and risen to 15th in the Premier League table. They only squeaked through the quarter-finals on penalties against Wolves and will have their work cut out against Man Utd over two legs.

It's a great achievement for Forest to have reached this stage given their start to the season, but the fact they now appear to have more than a fighting chance of staying in the Premier League means their priorities may be elsewhere.

Source : 90min