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We have the 2nd legs of the League Cup semi-final and the rearranged Premier League encounter between West Ham and Liverpool to look forward to midweek.

Match to end in a draw

Aston Villa v Leicester City (1-1)

There was nothing between the sides at the King Power two weeks ago and I can’t separate the teams at Villa Park. I expect the tie to go to penalties – there is no extra-time – before we find out who will be at Wembley at the beginning of March.

Villa picked up a much-needed three points at home to Watford in their last league game and they face a huge match at Bournemouth at the weekend, but they will be fired up for the visit of the Foxes with the prospect of a major final within touching distance.

Six of Brentford’s starting XI against Leicester in the last ever FA Cup tie at Griffin Park on Saturday were aged 20 or younger and the Bees were without their normal front three of Ollie Watkins, Bryan Mbuemo and Said Benrahma. You could certainly see why the Bees are challenging for an automatic promotion spot and it would be no surprise if the teams met in the Premier League next term.

Away goals remember do not count if the teams are level on aggregate score after 90 minutes. It promises to be a nail-biter at Villa Park!

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City to win and both teams to score

Manchester City v Manchester United (3-1)


Both sides made serene progress in the FA Cup on Sunday, but I think United have given themselves too much to do at the Etihad following their 3-1 home defeat in the 1st leg earlier in the month.

United will take heart from the fact that they won the Premier League fixture between the sides at the Etihad last month although they do need to win by two clear goals if they are to take the tie to spot kicks.

City were picked off on the break by United in the league game, but it would not surprise me if they played a more conservative game given they don’t have to make the running – although that is alien to Pep Guardiola’s footballing philosophy.

It promises to be another wonderful occasion between these two footballing giants – but I feel it will be City who win the tie and have the opportunity of retaining the League Cup at Wembley on the first Sunday in March.

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Liverpool to win to nil

West Ham United v Liverpool (Premier League)


Liverpool will go nineteen points clear at the top of the Premier League if they win at the London Stadium midweek as the records continue to tumble for the Reds this season.

Yes, they were held to a 2-2 draw following a terrific comeback from Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on Sunday, but they have picked up 67 out of a possible 69 points so far this season and that is five more than any other side have achieved after 23 league games in English top-flight history.

When you consider the great Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City sides of the past, that is a remarkable achievement.

David Moyes saw his side fail to have a shot on target until the 90th minute against West Brom in the FA Cup at the weekend and he will demand an improved showing from his side against the league leaders.

Liverpool are again likely to be without Sadio Mane who limped off against Wolves at Molineux a week ago with a troubled hamstring, but they are so resilient and determined that I believe they will pick up another three points even though the hosts are fighting for their Premier League lives.

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Odds are correct at the time of posting

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