After a season without a trophy at Stamford Bridge this will be a very important season for Chelsea and the first trophy that Chelsea can win is the Carling Cup and it is probably also the easiest trophy to win. This suggests that new Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas could target the competition as an easy way to get some silverware in his first season on the job, anything else on top of that would be a bonus.
With three appearances in the final (two successful) in the last seven years Chelsea have had some highs in the competition but in the last three years there have been exits in the third and fourth round as well as the Quarter Final suggesting that it was not a priority for Phil Scolari or Carlo Ancelotti. That recent poor record could be why Chelsea are 13/2 to win the Carling Cup this coming season and that could be a big price based on the fact that they have a new manager and new ideas coming in.
Chelsea’s main competition in the Carling Cup this season is likely to come from rivals Man Utd who have won the Carling Cup three times in the last six years. It is clear that Sir Alex Ferguson realises the Carling Cup is a very simple trophy to win and it gives the fans something to cheer about relatively early on in the season.
The rest of the Premiership may have their work cut out to win the Carling Cup this season and that’s if they want to, very few managers take the competition seriously these days. The likes of Man City have their hands full in the first half of the season with a busy Champions League campaign whilst Spurs and Liverpool are likely to be too concerned with returning to the top four to go all out for the Carling Cup. Arsenal may play a stronger team than usual in the competition to get rid of their lack of trophy voodoo but even their strongest side probably isn’t strong enough.
Chelsea should be the main bet for the Carling Cup under Andre Villas-Boas for the first time but as much as it might be painful to do, it should also be profitable to back Man Utd for the same trophy as they have a good record in the Carling Cup and are clearly good enough to win it. Both teams are 13/2 with many bookies and both have very good chances.