It’s been a barn-storming start to the season, with action, drama and controversy on the opening day in all four English divisions. There’s no respite at this time of year though, and football league clubs are already gearing up for midweek matches in the first round of the Capital One Cup.
Despite repeated attempt to revitalize the competition, it is still treated as a low priority by many clubs, with the holy grail of promotion much more important. This competition often throws up plenty of shocks for that reason, and it’s worth checking team news before making a final decision on any bets. Looking through the coupon there appear to be several potential candidates for an upset, and we’ve picked out three that could give us a good run for our money.
Luton v Bristol City
Luton Town kick off our trio of banana skins on Tuesday night when they play host to Championship new boys, Bristol City. The Hatters are a solid side at home, and had an impressive campaign in League Two last season. City romped to the League One title last season to earn promotion, but their focus this year may well be on Championship survival rather than a cup run.
Luton started their League Two campaign against Accrington on Saturday, and were somewhat fortunate to grab a deflected injury-time equalizer. However, they’re a different kettle of fish at home, and the fans will be baying for an upset against higher league opposition.
Bristol City won’t relish the trip to Kenilworth Road, and it’s doubtful whether they will take a full squad across the country with them. They were given a harsh introduction to Championship life by Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend, going down 2-0, and the focus at Ashton Gate must be on consolidation in the second tier.
Luton have beaten City on their last two visits here, and are worth backing to take the game to the Robins and pull off a suprise result.
Wycombe v Fulham
Another game that looks like a potential upset is the match at Adams Park between Wycombe and Fulham. Wanderers have had a good cup pedigree over the years, and are worth a small punt at a big price to overcome a Fulham side that are firmly focused on trying to return to the Premier League.
Wycombe – 5/23.50+2502.502.50-0.40 with Skybet and Coral
Cottager’s boss Kit Symons has made no secret of the fact that his priority this year is a push for promotion, and with his side already suffering from a mini injury crisis, it would be logical for him to rest players here. The likes of Scott Parker, Luke Garbutt, George Williams, and Fernando Amorebieta are out injured, while Ryan Tunnicliffe serves a suspension. Fulham still have plenty of quality in their ranks, even among the reserves and youth players, but it’s difficult to perform as a cohesive unit if too many changes are made.
Wycombe started their League Two season with a bang, hitting three past York at the weekend without reply. There didn’t appear to be any play-off hangover from last season, and boss Gareth Ainsworth said afterwards that his side had played some ‘great stuff‘ on the day. They’ll also be looking for another promotion charge, but the confidence boost of beating a team from a higher division can’t be underestimated, and Ainsworth is bound to want to keep the winning run going on Tuesday night.
It may also be worth keeping an eye out for goals in this game as Fulhams last six League Cup ties have features 25 goals between them – an average of 4.2 goals per game.
Bolton v Burton Albion
The last of our treble of potential shocks comes at the Reebok stadium, and of the three it’s the most speculative. Burton Albion ran away with the League Two title last season under former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink, and they got off to a perfect start to life in League One with a 2-1 victory over Scunthorpe.
It’s a tall order to go to Bolton and win, but at the price they are worth a small punt. The Trotters have got a huge injury list to contend with, and lost the services of captain Jay Spearing when he was given his marching orders towards the end of the 0-0 draw with Derby at the weekend.
Hasselbaink has made an impressive start to his managerial career, and Burton look to be the perfect match as a club that is also on the up. They’ve beaten teams from a higher tier in the League Cup in each of the last three seasons, and can travel to the Reebok with nothing to lose.
Bolton had a muddling season last term, eventually winding up 18th in the table. The club’s media department will tell you the aim for this season is promotion, but the most ardent of fans will surely admit that they’re as likely to be looking over their shoulders as they are looking upwards. As well as losing their captain, Bolton will also assess Darren Pratley, and are definitely without Tim Ream, Max Clayton, Derik Osede and David Wheater.
It probably wouldn’t be the worst result in the world for Trotter’s boss Neil Lennon if they were knocked out of this competition, and it would enable him to concentrate on the league. It’s a long shot for sure, but at a decent price Burton are worth a small investment.
Each of these tips are outsiders, but we know from experience that there are always shocks at this stage of the League Cup. Small stakes are advised.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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