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EFL Cup semi-finals tips

Follow our punchy Sunday seven-fold

Games come thick-and-fast on Sunday, and we pick out the best bets from FA Cup, Scottish Premiership, La Liga and African Cup of Nations. A £5 accumulator pays £273.50, prices and returns are correct at the time of writing.

Leeds beat Sutton

Sutton pulled off a shock in the last round, but this looks like where their journey will end when coming up against a rampant Leeds side. Garry Monk’s crew are pushing hard for a return to the Premier League and arrive for this test having lost just one of their last eight starts. They are a confident bunch and can make a go of this year’s FA Cup.

Man Utd beat Wigan

United lost to Hull in midweek but did enough to bank their place in the final of the EFL Cup vs Southampton. The bare result ended their 17-game unbeaten run, but few inside the club will bother too much about that and Mourinho is on-course for a big end to the season. An EFL and FA Cup double, as well as a top-four Premier League finish. That certainly would be one of the most notable achievements of The Special One. Wigan have lost six and drawn one of their last nine Championship starts, making them easy to oppose.

Watford beat Millwall

This looks an interesting tie as League One Millwall meet Premier League Watford. It’s the first meeting of these sides since April 2015, when The Hornets ran out 2-0 winners at this venue. I am expecting something very similar again here. The Lions have drawn each of their last three starts at the lower level, and the gulf in class that exists these days should shine through.

Celtic beat Hearts

Hearts aren’t the same side since Robbie Neilson moved to MK Dons, with replacement Ian Cathro struggling to find his feet in Edinburgh. The Jambos have found wins thin on the ground and the fans are becoming increasingly restless. They shouldn’t have anywhere near enough about them to inflict a first defeat of the season on Brendan Rodgers’ Bhoys.

Real Madrid beat Real Sociedad

Dropping into La Liga and leaders Real Madrid are trusted to continue their impressive run with victory over Sociedad. Madrid were surprise losers to upstarts Sevilla recently, their first reverse of the season, but bounced back to better Malaga last time. Their opponents are handy enough on their day, but at the Bernabeu, they should come up short.

Sevilla beat Espanyol

Sevilla are going great-guns in the Spanish top-flight and ensured their league challenge was taken seriously when beating Real Madrid on their penultimate start. Now that they have done the hard bit, they must keep it going. This would be win number six on the bounce, while Espanyol continue to blow hot-and-cold, winning just one of their last four.

DR Congo beat Ghana

Lastly, a lively outsider to boost up our returns and I am giving a chance to DR Congo in the African Cup of Nations Quarter-Finals against Ghana. The Leopards really have ignited the imagination in this competition so far and were comfortable winners over Togo last time while upsetting the odds to beat Morocco earlier in the tournament. A 2-2 finish with Ivory Coast shouldn’t be overlooked either as they twice took the lead that day. Ghana are a strong team at this level but haven’t really got going so far and lost 1-0 to Egypt last time. Let’s try our luck.

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