Capital One Cup
Three Premier League clubs set to fall to lower league opposition
Potential slip-ups in store for Everton and Saints also; Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs to cruise
The Capital One Cup’s early rounds have seen many a Premier League scalp taken by unlikely sources, with at least four top division clubs being sent packing at this stage over the past four years.
There’s guaranteed to be more this season as there are five all-Premier League ties taking place and, for no upsets to be recorded, Ladbrokes are offering a sizeable 8/1, suggesting they are well aware of this competition’s record of seeing the big guns failing to fire.
The highest amount of Premier League teams to fall in the last four years was nine in 2010/11, which also saw the joint-highest number of upsets take place, with three sides ejected by lower-division opposition.
For nine top-tier casualties to occur this term is priced up at 7/1 with Ladbrokes, but eight could be a better number to go with.
Norwich, Sunderland and Swansea all have tricky fixtures in store, the latter two travelling to MK Dons and Crawley, whilst the Canaries prepare to face Doncaster at Carrow Road.
With these sides expected to field weakened teams, it is a distinct possibility that they’ll all fall to hungry League One adversaries playing in their biggest games of the season. This eventuality pays out at 13/5.
It’s difficult to envisage shocks for the London clubs facing lower-league teams. Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham have strong enough squads to rotate players and still see off Wolves, Coventry and Carlisle, respectively.
Andre Villas Boas’ Spurs side are the most susceptible to defeat as they have Europa League rigours to contend with but, after a relatively slow start, AVB’s suffering reputation can ill-afford to take a hit at Brunton Park.
Everton, who play Leeds away, might fall but David Moyes’ doesn’t have the depth at his disposal to overhaul his side completely. He will probably throw a strong starting 11 out at Elland Road, making it difficult for the hosts to get the win.
Southampton at home to struggling Sheffield Wednesday is another potential banana skin, with Nigel Adkins stating he will use the game as an opportunity for reserves and youngsters to impress.
Saints are a better bet than Everton to be knocked out of the competition at this stage but, if both of them are shown the exit door, along with the other three suggested teams, that would take the total of Prem sides dumped out to 10. Ladbrokes have this unlikely outcome priced up at 25/1.
The likely number of casualties lies between eight and nine, the former representing the best value for punters’ money.
All odds and markets accurate as of time and date of publication