The EFL Cup action continues on Wednesday night with more great action in store. Manchester’s United and City both play, as do other Premier League sides Tottenham, West Ham, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Stoke, Hull, Swansea and Sunderland.
The third round draw has thrown up plenty of all top-flight ties too, with Pep Guardiola’s unbeaten Man City visiting Swansea, Stoke entertaining Hull, and Southampton hosting Crystal Palace. It’s the last of those three ties which catches the eye, with Alan Pardew’s side looking somewhat overpriced to earn a third cup win in three seasons on the south coast.
Two United’s – Manchester and West Ham – are both suffering a mini-crisis right now, and both could do with a confidence-boosting win before getting back to Premier League action at the weekend. Jose Mourinho’s start at Old Trafford brought renewed optimism, but three defeats on the bounce is simply not acceptable in the red half of Manchester. A crushing derby defeat to City was followed by a Europa League reverse against Feyernoord and a 3-1 Premier League loss at Watford. Mourinho has rarely been known to take this competition too seriously, but defeat to a lower league club would be an even bigger blow to the initial good feeling he had built up.
West Ham meanwhile have been on the end of two 4-2 defeats in their last two Premier League games to Watford and West Brom, leaving them in the bottom three. They were out of the Europa League before it had even started in earnest, and Slaven Bilic has got work to do to turn things around and get back to the heights of last year. Resounding wins would be the perfect tonic for both United’s and we’re backing both to get them.
Northampton v Manchester United
Man United are 89/1001.89-1120.89-1.120.89 with 888Sport and Unibet to beat the -1.5 Asian Handicap, and with this game live on TV it’s hard to imagine they will take it lightly.
Northampton are 11th in League One with 11 points. Amazingly they drew their first five games of the season, before finally grabbing a pair of wins against Walsall and MK Dons. Their most recent game ended in defeat however, as they were beaten 3-1 at Chesterfield. They’ve already completed a giant-killing in this competition, getting the better of West Brom 3-2 after extra-time, so United have been warned.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hit the ground running at his new club, but Paul Pogba is having a hard time adjusting so far and has contributed little. The debate about Wayne Rooney’s best position rages on, and the only bright spot in recent weeks has been the continuing emergence of Marcus Rashford. The young England striker will surely start this game, while there is more than enough Premier League quality to see United through. The price on them winning by two goals or more and restoring confidence looks more than fair.
West Ham United v Accrington
Similarly, West Ham are 17/251.68-1470.68-1.470.68 with Bet365 to grab at least a two-goal win over League Two Accrington when they visit the London Stadium.
The Hammers have had mixed fortunes since settling into their new home, but Bilic will see this as a perfect opportunity to get back on track. They’ve lost their last two at the former Olympic stadium – to Astra in the Europa League and Watford in the Premier League, but they did get the first win there against Bournemouth previously. They’ve played some silky football in both Watford and West Brom games, but the defence has let them down considerably by conceding four goals in each. This will be a lesser test and former Real Madrid right back Arbeloa is set to come into the starting line up for his debut. His experience will be much needed, and if the Hammers can keep a clean sheet, they are more than capable of rattling in the goals at the other end.
Accrington come here off the back of an impressive 1-0 win over high-flying Portsmouth, and this is a great opportunity for them to play in front of a big crowd at a top class venue. They will treat it like a cup final, but if West Ham tighten up at the back this should be a routine victory.
The Eagles have won here in the FA Cup in each of the last two seasons, and although small stakes are advised, the odds are surely generous. Pardew saw his side go down to two 1-0 defeats early in the season to West Brom and Spurs, but three wins and a draw in four games since have made a huge difference. Saturday’s 4-1 mauling of Stoke helped push them into the top eight, so league position is not a pressing concern right now. They enjoyed a run to the semi finals of the FA Cup last term, and would love another good cup run this season.
Southampton’s season has been similar, in that they failed to win for the first four games, but a 3-0 Europa League victory over Sparta Prague led to a 1-0 home win over Swansea at the weekend. Of the two teams the Saints are more likely to rest players due to European commitments, and Palace are a decent bet at a big price.
Manchester United -1.5 Asian Handicap
Wednesday 21st September, 19:45 GMT
West Ham United -1.5 Asian Handicap
Wednesday 21st September, 19:45 GMT
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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