The first round of the Capital One Cup provides plenty of promising picks for a midweek flutter. However there are also plenty of potential upsets on the cards, and putting together an accumulator is about avoiding the pitfalls that come with these early rounds. Here are my picks for this evening’s games. All odds courtesy of William Hill and correct at time of publishing.
1. Crawley Town V Ipswich Town – Ipswich 11/8
Mick McCarthy’s men finished last season on a high and were a whisker away from playoff qualification. They opened this campaign with a hugely impressive win against league favourites Fulham and go away to Crawley, a midtable League One side who were only promoted from League Two the season before last. Ipswich were upset in the first round of this tournament by Carlisle last season and you’d expect Mick McCarthy to be canny enough not to let lightning strike twice. 11/8 seems to be an exceptionally good price considering the gap in quality between the two sides.
2. Millwall V Wycombe Wanderers – Millwall 1/2
Having beaten Leeds convincingly on the opening day of the season, Millwall are now ani impressive 9 games unbeaten, a run that stretches back to March. It’s hard to imagine League Two Wycombe ending that run this evening. It’s no secret that The Den is a tough place for any team to visit, and The Lions are evolving into a real team under Ian Holloway. It’s very difficult to look past Millwall in this one.
3. Reading V Newport County – Reading 4/9
The Royals have a strong squad with enough solid depth to go on a good cup run this season. They have an extremely good chance to begin that tonight against League Two Newport. The Exiles have not been back in The Football League long and sputtered to a 14th place finish last season. They opened this campaign with a disappointing 2-0 loss at home to Wycombe and a trip to the Madjeski will prove extremely difficult for them tonight.
4. Wolves V Northampton Town – Wolves 2/5
Following a sensational season that saw them romp to promotion to the Championship, Wolves are well fancied to make it back to back league leaps and go all the way to the promised land of the Premier League this year. Northampton on the other hand struggled to remain in The Football League last season and will have an even bigger struggle on their hands at Molinyeux this evening. The odds may not be superb, but they reflect the gulf in class between the two sides. Wolves are certainly worth a punt tonight.
5. Tranmere Rovers V Nottingham Forest – Nottingham Forest 4/6
The atmosphere and positivity at The City Ground was evident for all to see on Saturday. The return of Stuart Pearce has clearly revitalised the club and he has made several impressive sweeps in the transfer market for players like Britt Assombalonga, Chris Burke, Michael Mancienne and Michail Antonio. Forest’s squad, now free from injury, has plenty of strength in depth and that should see them make easy work of Tranmere tonight, a team 57 places below them in The Football League.