Enter the big guns as Carling Cup second round sees Prem influx

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The second round introduction of Premier League teams in the Carling Cup has spawned some exciting ties, giving bettors a better indication of who might go on to lift the trophy.

As the highest placed Premier League team not to secure European football, Everton are arguably the strongest side to enter the fray at this stage.

David Moyes’ men are 16/1 to win the Carling Cup, which would be the club’s first major trophy since a Paul Rideout goal secured the FA Cup in 1995.

Everton reached the FA Cup final in 2009, and their experience of playing at Wembley could give them an advantage if they are to reach the Carling Cup showpiece in February.

Jermaine Beckford signed from Leeds in the summer, and the prolific striker could feature in Everton’s second round tie against Huddersfield.

Of the other Premier League sides introduced to the draw for the second round, the next most fancied team to win the Carling Cup is Birmingham, at a price of 25/1.

The Blues exceeded all expectations with their ninth place finish in the Premier League last season, and signings such as Nikola Zigic and Ben Foster are good additions to the squad.

There are numerous Premier League teams available at 33/1 to win the Carling Cup, and one of them is Sunderland.

Despite selling Kenwyne Jones to Stoke, Sunderland have had a productive summer in the transfer market, and their bolstered squad stands a good chance of making a charge for Wembley.

In defence the excellent John Mensah and Nedum Onuoha have both been signed on season-long loan deals, while £1m acquisition Titus Bramble could prove to be the bargain of the season.

And with Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck expected to join on loan for the season as well, Steve Bruce could have a Carling Cup-winning squad in the making.

Who do you think will be victorious at Wembley in February? Blackburn are also 33/1 to win the Carling Cup. See the full Carling Cup 2010/11 Betting Odds market.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.