I’ve never been one for betting during the earlier stages of the League Cup, due to the risk of the managers opting to put out an understrength side, but there are some prices this week which have tempted me to have a little midweek flutter.
Lets get the obvious ones out of the way first. Manchester City at home to a Villa side who have been struggling so far this season, and come into the game on the back of a 4-1 defeat to Southampton, is a must for any accumulator. Manchester City’s weakened side is still arguably stronger than most Premier League sides, and they should comfortably see off the challenge of Villa.
Chelsea are another one to add to the banker list. They are also likely to field a weakened side, and give starts to the likes of Piazon and Romeu, who will be attempting to send a message to Di Matteo in an attempt to get a sustained run in the first team. Wolves away from home have never been great, and Chelsea should breeze past Ståle Solbakken’s men.
I was extremely surprised to see Swansea at odds-against to beat Crawley Town, even if Laudrup rests a host of players. The football that Swansea play at any level is a joy to watch, and you can guarantee the players chosen tonight will fit seamlessly into the style of play that has been at Swansea since the Brendan Rodgers days. The Swans will be aiming to send a message out after a rather disappointing performance at home to Everton at the weekend. Crawley are no push-overs but at 5/4, the bet surely has to be Swansea.
The next team is another Premier League side away at League One opposition. Sunderland travel to MK Dons in hope of booking their place in the fourth round, and should be very confident in doing so. They eased past Morecambe 2-0 in the last round, and put out a strong side, which suggests O’Neill will be doing the same tonight. If this is the case, they should outclass The Dons and 23/20 looks massive, should definitely be odds-on.
Southampton are the final side to go in, after displaying to the everyone just how good a side they are this year. Many people thought they would struggle, but Nigel Adkins’ men have battled brilliantly and showed that they have the capabilities to stay up and cement their place in the league. They should comfortably outclass accumulator Wednesday who are currently going through a bad patch of form. 8/11 looks a great price, and will boost the accumulator considerably.
2 points: Manchester City, Chelsea, Swansea, Sunderland and Southampton all to win- 13.85/1