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Football Betting Tips: James Milton's EFL Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg Tips

The EFL Cup semi-final first legs take place this week as Championship side Middlesbrough host Chelsea on Tuesday and Liverpool welcome Fulham to Anfield on Wednesday.

James Milton's EFL Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg Tips

Chelsea To Win to Nil v Middlesbrough @ 7/4 
Armando Broja First Goalscorer v Middlesbrough @ 11/2 
Draw-Liverpool Half Time/Full Time v Fulham @ 10/3

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

Setting the scene…..

Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties to win the EFL Cup in February 2022 and a repeat of that final is on the cards in 2023/24.

Both teams are hot favourites to progress from their semi-finals ties. Chelsea head to Middlesbrough, who were knocked out of the FA Cup by Premier League Aston Villa at the weekend, on Tuesday, and Liverpool face Fulham at Anfield the following evening.

The Reds won 2-0 in a blockbuster FA Cup third-round clash with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday and they are the most successful club in EFL Cup history, lifting the trophy nine times. 

WhatMiddlesbrough v Chelsea
WhereRiverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
When20:00, Tuesday 9th January
How to watchSky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event
OddsMiddlesbrough 19/4, Draw 3/1, Chelsea 4/7
WhatLiverpool v Fulham
WhereAnfield, Liverpool
When20:00, Wednesday 10th January
How to watchSky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event
OddsLiverpool 1/3, Draw 19/4, Fulham 6/1

Chelsea To Win to Nil @ 7/4

Middlesbrough and Chelsea could both name a strong team of missing players for Tuesday's EFL Cup semi-final first leg as managers Michael Carrick and Mauricio Pochettino have long lists of absentees due to injury, international duty, suspension or ineligibility.

Carrick's Boro scrapped hard in Saturday's FA Cup clash with Aston Villa at the Riverside Stadium, holding firm until the 88th minute when Matty Cash's deflected strike gave the visitors a 1-0 victory.

The result was tough to take for the Championship hosts but it was probably a fair reflection of a game in which Villa had six shots on target to Boro's one and also hit the woodwork.

Carrick will hope to welcome back influential attacking midfielder Matt Crooks, an unused substitute at the weekend, although forward Sam Greenwood, Boro's joint-top goalscorer in the league, is cup-tied.

Boro have had some kind draws in this competition, facing Huddersfield, Bolton, Bradford, Exeter and Port Vale, and their attacking players may struggle to land a blow on their first Premier League opponents of their EFL Cup run.     

James Milton's Tip:

Chelsea eased to a 4-0 FA Cup win over Preston at the weekend and they should be backed for another victory to nil against Championship opponents on Tuesday.

Pochettino's men have been short of clean sheets in the Premier League but they have conceded only two goals in five cup ties this term including EFL Cup games against Brighton and Newcastle. 

Armando Broja to be First Goalscorer @ 11/2

Chelsea's attacking options are limited by Senegal striker Nicolas Jackson's involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations while Christopher Nkunku missed the FA Cup tie with Preston due to a hip injury.

Nkunku has played only 182 minutes for the Blues since arriving in the summer so no risks will be taken with his fitness and that may mean another opportunity for striker Armando Broja.

Hosts Middlesbrough have few prolific scorers in their ranks so backing Broja to break the deadlock looks a decent bet. The 22-year-old scored in his first Premier League start of the season against Fulham in October and should get chances playing in front of a talented Chelsea midfield.   

James Milton's Tip:

Armando Broja scored the first of Chelsea's four goals against Preston at the weekend with a smart header and the striker poses a major threat to the Boro defence.

He hit the crossbar shortly after his goal, also having an attempt cleared off the line, and he will be eager to impress manager Pochettino in another rare start for the Blues.

Draw-Liverpool Half Time/Full Time @ 10/3

Liverpool came from behind to beat Fulham 4-3 in a Premier League thriller at Anfield at the start of December and the Reds put on another impressive late show in Sunday's FA Cup tie at Arsenal.

After a poor first half, Jurgen Klopp's men found their feet at the Emirates Stadium and ended up winning 2-0 thanks to goals in the 80th and 95th minutes.

Liverpool may need to be patient against a Fulham side who beat Arsenal in their last league game and saw off Rotherham 1-0 in the FA Cup last Friday.

The Cottagers have been drawing at half-time in four of their last six league defeats, including the 4-3 at Anfield, so the Draw-Liverpool selection appeals in the Half Time/Full Time market on Wednesday.

James Milton's Tip:

Liverpool, missing Egyptian star Mohamed Salah, may take time to break down a competitive Fulham side who have knocked out Tottenham, Norwich, Ipswich and Everton on their run to the semi-finals.

Substitutes Diogo Jota and Ryan Gravenberch helped the Reds see off Arsenal late on in Sunday's game and Liverpool are worth backing to take charge of their EFL Cup tie in the second half.  

James Milton's EFL Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg Tips

Chelsea To Win to Nil v Middlesbrough @ 7/4 
Armando Broja First Goalscorer v Middlesbrough @ 11/2 
Draw-Liverpool Half Time/Full Time v Fulham @ 10/3

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

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