League Cup Tips: Best bets for Tuesday's action
The beauty of the domestic cup is seeing ties we wouldn’t otherwise get to watch, your League Two minnows against Premier League stalwarts and old rivals separated by divisions clashing once again.
There’s nothing I love more than cheering on an underdog against a team full of multi-million pound players, feeling the excitement amongst the home crowd at a literal shed next to a retail park as footballers used to 5-star hotels have to ‘slum it’ in changing rooms smaller than their en-suite bathrooms at home.
With that in mind, the powers that be have opted to show a game that was on TV a month ago, Norwich v Liverpool, and (even worse) a game that was on two days ago, Manchester United v West Ham United. Brilliant. Can’t wait for that.
There are still huge mismatches on the night, with the only pair of League Two sides remaining, Oldham Athletic and Rochdale travelling to face Premier League opposition in Brentford and Burnley respectively; while League One outfit Wycombe Wanderers head to the Etihad Stadium to take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City for a place in the Last 16.
League Cup Tips
One of the toughest tests cup fixtures pose for bettors is predicting line-ups and who will be involved on the night, especially with Premier League sides frequently opting for wholesale changes. Liverpool have made that slightly easier for us by confirming that Curtis Jones will start at Carrow Road, and that allows me to be confident in this selection.
Jones has been a little subdued in his Premier League starts when it comes to shooting but he has never held back in the domestic cups. Since the start of the 2019/20 season, the scouser has taken 25 shots in just 10 starts and managed an impressive 14 on target - including four in just two starts last season.
The situation at Oldham Athletic is dire, both on and off the pitch. They’ve lost six of their eight league games which sees them propping up the Football League, and it’s a miracle they’ve made it this far in the League Cup. Two penalty shoot-out wins following draws with Tranmere Rovers and Accrington Stanley earned them a visit to Brentford’s Memorial Stadium, though it hasn’t done much to appease the fans’ displeasure with the current ownership.
Protests outside Boundary Park before Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Hartlepool included a coffin, fans dressed in all black, and journalists being refused permission by the club to leave the stadium to report on it.
As a fan of the club, it hurts to see the way my team has been mismanaged by an owner that doesn’t care and a sporting director (his brother) that thinks he’s playing Football Manager.
I have to say well done to all those that went on Saturday afternoon, including my old man, and it’s time people finally took notice of what is going on at the Latics.
As far as this bet is concerned; Keith Curle’s side have been shutout in four of their eight league games, failing to score a single goal so far in September, while both of Brentford’s Premier League wins have come to nil.
In fact, seven of the Bees’ last eight league wins have come without conceding and it’s hard to see an Oldham side with four goals on the season being the ones to change that.
One of the ever-presents at the heart of Oldham’s defence is former Salford City defender Carl Piergianni. Originally joining the club on a loan deal in January 2020, he made the move permanent in the summer and is currently club captain.
Not only is he almost always on the pitch, he’s virtually a constant presence in the referee’s notebook too. In 46 games since the start of last season, he’s found himself in card trouble 14 times.
As the quality of the players around him has decreased, the frequency with which he is having his name taken by the referee has increased.
So far this season, the centre-back has picked up four yellows in eight starts and was lucky to avoid one in a 3-0 defeat to Barrow - committing three fouls in that game.
I’d also recommend keeping an eye on Raphael Diarra at 7/2 with PP. The Frenchman has three bookings despite starting just four games this term, and is committing fouls at a rate of one every 35 minutes.
He has been tasked with occupying roles in both defence and midfield, but no matter where he plays Brentford’s options could be a little too much for him to handle.
The double of both of them to be booked is a shade under 16/1 at the same bookmaker.
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