Hasselbaink’s Burton can lead the Capital One Cup upsets


We may be into the second round of fixtures for the Capital One Cup, but like the opening round, avoiding the potential banana skins is half the battle when it comes to who to back.

And with the 50 sides engaged in action over the couple of days, there is plenty of potential for an upset or two.

In fact in the first round, of the 30 matches that pitted sides from different divisions against one another, nearly half (13) were won by the lower ranked outfit.

Here are the four games that we feel could be primed for an upset this time round…

Sheffield United to beat Fulham @ 2/1

The Blades may have required an injury time winner to see off Morecambe in the first round, but the Bramall Lane outfit have a penchant for enjoying a cup run in recent years.

They’ve won six of their last eight matches in this competition, with Tottenham the only side to deny them victory, and claimed the scalps of Southampton and West Ham last term.

With four straight wins, conceding only one goal, the League One high flyers are more than capable of causing a Fulham side with just a solitary win in five plenty of problems.

Portsmouth to beat Reading @ 11/5

Pompey were one of the clubs to cause an upset in the first round of the competition, running out 2-1 winners over Championship high-flyers Derby at Fratton Park.

They can see off another side from the second tier in Reading at a very tempting price.

Their potency in front of goal on their own patch has be a major boost for Paul Cook’s men of late, netting eight goals in their last three on the south coast.

Reading meanwhile have flattered to deceive, scoring just three goals in five games, bagging their only win this season deep into extra time against Colchester a fortnight ago, and could be made to work even harder this time round.

Burton Albion to beat Middlesbrough @ 3/1

Probably the most speculative of our shouts and that is visible in the price, but it would be dangerous to write off the Brewers on their own patch.

Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink’s men have won four of their five fixtures this season with their strike force of Abdenasser El Khayati and Stuart Beavon working well in tandem.

They’ve got history of knocking out higher ranked sides in this competition, disposing of Bolton in the last round, following scalps of QPR and Wigan last term.

Middlesbrough have made a steady start to the campaign, but having stuttered to defeat against strugglers Bristol City, it would be far from a surprise to see Aitor Karanka opt to focus on restoring their promotion challenge at the expense of a cup run.

Walsall to beat Brighton and Hove Albion @ 2/1

Brighton have been one of the surprise packages for some in the Championship so far this season, occupying a lofty second place in the table, but unfortunately for them, their opponents have also started well.

Walsall have won their last four, including knocking Nottingham Forest out of the tournament in a 4-3 thriller.

While the Saddlers are unbeaten this season, League One’s very own ‘Tinkerman’ Dean Smith is yet to field an unchanged side this season, so expect changes after their victory on Saturday.

With his policy for constant rotation showing no signs of slowing up, expect the home players chosen to start to go the extra mile to prove their worth against the Seagulls.

It will be a big ask to end their opponents’ unbeaten run, but they might just be a spot of value to do so.

In one of the rounds other big fixtures, Ladbrokes are boosting the price on Stoke City to beat Luton Town with both sides finding the net from 12/5 to 3/1!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.