The Carling Cup is quite often a minefield for punters, and in many cases this week’s third round throws up several questions.
It is probably best to look at the mangers ethos when it comes to this supposed “interruption”, the likes of Swansea, Norwich, Q.P.R and Wigan have all fallen to lower division teams so far this year.
With this in mind, backing Blackburn, Wolves and Newcastle all concerned with Premier League survival rather than the Carling Cup, at short prices against teams from the Championship and League One is certainly not one for the faint-hearted.
My selections for this week are:
Mk Dons to beat Burnley – Having already disposed of Norwich in round 2, the MK Dons should be backed to beat a Burnley team short on confidence after two successive defeats. And with a defence leakier than a barn roof, Karl Robinson’s men are certain to notch at least one.
Milwall to beat Wolves - Saturday’s humiliating defeat at home to QPR has rather dented the optimism which surrounded Molineux after Wolves fine start to the Premier League. With a 3-0 defeat to QPR still fresh and a traditional small turnout for the Carling Cup expected. With Mick McCarthy set to name a host of squad players, Milwall can take full advantage and heap more misery on their host’s.
MK Dons and Milwall double at 15/1, and two singles at 3/1 each side.
Another angle worth looking at is which managers and clubs enjoy good runs in the League Cup? With this in mind you don’t have to look far down the most successful teams list to see that Liverpool, Manchester United and Aston Villa, with 16 triumphs between them and current managers who all enjoy lifting a trophy, can be relied upon to be giving their all.
Manchester United to beat Leeds – Sir Alex Ferguson is not one to forget humiliating defeats, so Leeds United’s FA Cup victory at Old Trafford and the sight of several thousand fans celebrating widely two seasons ago will still be haunting him. Revenge will be on the cards tomorrow evening and although a hostile Elland Road crowd can be guaranteed, this United side are certainly not lacking both the quality and confidence needed to play in front of 36,000 passionate Yorkshire folk.
Aston Villa to beat Bolton – Alex Mcleish led Birmingham City to the trophy last season and will see the Carling Cup as an ideal opportunity to win over the Villa faithful. A Bolton team shipping goals for fun and lacking belief and confidence will not be strong enough to stop Villa being in the hat for the last 16.
Liverpool to beat Brighton – Despite starting the season excellently, Brighton will be up against a different class of opponent on Wednesday. With Liverpool naming a strong team to play Exeter in the previous round, Kenny Dalglish will see this match as a perfect way to recover from Sunday’s battering at Tottenham.
Placing all three in a treble is advised at odds of 3/1.