EFL Cup // Round One Preview


With the first weekend of the season over, the midweek games are focused on the EFL Cup (what used to the Capital One Cup).

Bar Newcastle and Norwich, and the Premier League’s 20 sides – everyone is involved. The problem when it comes to betting is that a lot of teams rotate, while others further down the football league pyramid either rotate, or pay a full team – it’s very hard to determine before the teams are announced as to which option sides take.

Apart from MK Dons, who have announced their side a day early so fans know that they are playing a 2nd string, making 11 changes which has reflected in the odds. Had they not announced the side now, you’d have money on them at around 1/1, but with their team announced, their odds are 5/2 against a very weak Newport side. They might still win, but the risk is their young, 2nd string underperform!

Bar the very top Championship sides, most are 1/1 or above for the win – even the likes of Villa against Luton and Wigan against a very poor Oldham team. All the games included here are Tuesday – all the games on Wednesday/Thursday don’t fill me with a great deal of confidence!

We usually offer a low risk and medium risk set of bets midweek – so I have picked two for each game:

Southend vs Gillingham (1945 KO)

Low Risk: BTTS @ 3/4

Medium Risk: BTTS + Over 2.5 @ 5/4

These two sides played off at the weekend – same venue and everything. It ended 3-1 to the Gills, and with both likely stick to similar sides as it’s so early in the season – I think we can expect a similar scoreline. Gillingham had a good summer – adding three or four loan signings such as Jay Emmanuel-Thomas from QPR, and also Billy Knott from Bradford City. They retained Cody Macdonald and Bradley Dack – the latter a key moment of their season as he is a huge part of their team!

Southend are certainly the weaker of the two sides – not as many good players in my eyes, but a bit like Leicester City – very few household names, but a great team ethos. BTTS looks good at 3/4. Both of last seasons’ games ended 1-1, one of which came during Gillingham’s poor run that eventually cost them promotion.

Brighton vs Colchester (1945 KO)

Low Risk: Brighton -1 Goal Asian Handicap @ 3/4

Medium Risk: Brighton -1 Goal Handicap @ 5/4

Brighton started the season well – dominating a very good Derby side away from home, and a game they really should have won! Well, you know what they say – win your home games, draw the away ones! They play a Colchester side that conceded 99 goals last season! That’s well over 2 per game for the whole season…

With the likes of Knockaert, Hemed and Dunk potentially taking a breather, you have the Oliver Norwood making his debut, and youngsters such as Solly March getting minutes. Colchester are more likely to want a good start to their league campaign so I can see them rotating as well – I think the game will go the way of the South-coast side.

For those not familiar with the Asian Handicap system, a -1 A/H means that should it end 1-0 to Brighton (or any one goal margin of victory) then the bet is voided. The regular handicap would mean a 1-0 win would lose. It’s a bit like Draw No Bet…adds safety.

Oldham vs Wigan (1945 KO)

Low Risk: Wigan to Qualify @ 4/7

Medium Risk: Wigan Win @ 11/10

Oldham are the favourites to go down in League One, and have started as such. A 3-0 loss to Millwall backed up what the bookies have pretty much said, in the pricing of them to get relegated. Wigan have a trump card – Will Grigg, who has scored 50 goals in the 75 games he has played over the last 2 seasons for Wigan and MK Dons.

Squad wise, obviously being in the Championship will mean Wigan’s is better. With Nick Powell likely to make his debut after a move from Man Utd, and the likes of Max Power and Yanic Wildschut in midfield – I can’t see Wigan having too many issues breaking down Oldham – who will be torn as to weather they should rotate a few of go full-strength.

Derby vs Grimsby (1945 KO)

Low Risk: Derby -1 Goal Asian Handicap @ 7/10

Medium Risk: Derby -1 Goal Handicap @ 6/5

Derby have a quality squad – and this season, under Nigel Pearson – a man who knows how to get a team playing well – they should do well. Pearson has said they are going to rotate, but looking at the squad that could mean the likes of Andi Weimann, Johnny Russell, Chris Martin, Will Hughes and Jacob Butterfield could play as all of them did not start at the weekend, and in the case of Hughes an excellent chance to gain vital fitness after returning from serious injury.

Grimby won on their return to the football league, but will no doubt switch a few players and maintain their focus on retaining a football league place this season. A big game against a Premier League side would be nice, but a place in the top 4 leagues is even better!


Best of luck for the day!