Manchester United add some much-needed glamour to the second round of the Capital One Cup, although new coach Louis van Gaal is unlikely to see it that way when he takes his side all the way down to MK Dons this week.
We can’t have the waning Red Devils anywhere near our League Cup acca, which will pay out at more than 10/1, all going well.
West Ham to beat Sheffield United @ 8/15
The Irons were by no means terrible in their opening day 1-0 defeat at home to Spurs in the Premier League, and Mauricio Pochettino’s men went on to frank that form by battering QPR 4-0 over the weekend.
Sam Allardyce’s side saw off crisis-ridden Crystal Palace without too much difficulty to claim their first win of the season on Saturday, so expect them to give the Boleyn faithful something to cheer about against the Blades, who are 12th in League One after four fixtures.
Derby to beat Charlton @ 8/13
The Addicks edged past Steve McClaren’s side 3-2 at home recently, but Derby’s form at the iPro should see them gain quick revenge.
McClaren’s Rams followed up a 1-0 opening day home win against Rotherham by hammering Fulham 5-1 in their second 2014/15 fixture on their own patch over the weekend, while Charlton are yet to manage a road victory in two tries so far this term.
Nottingham Forest to beat Huddersfield @ 6/4
We don’t think there’ll be a clamour for Stuart Pearce to take over from Roy Hodgson as England manager just yet, but the man they call Psycho could hardly have expected a better start to life back at the City Ground.
Four wins – including in the last round of this competition at Tranmere – and a draw sees Forest flying on two fronts, with 10 Championship points making Pearce’s boys the early pacesetters.
Conversely, rudderless Huddersfield have won one of their first five 2014/15 matches. Punt accordingly on Forest’s cracking odds-against price.
Middlesbrough to beat Preston @ 5/6
Having spent a fair wedge over the summer on the likes of Spanish striker Kike (£2.5m from Murcia), Boro have blown hot and cold thus far.
Decent victories over Birmingham, Bolton and Oldham (in the previous round) have been spoiled by a 1-0 away loss at Leeds and going down 3-2 to Sheffield Wednesday at home last time out.
They should have too much for third-tier Preston though, with the League One side’s focus firmly on promotion this term.
Simon Grayson’s men are unbeaten this season, but have yet to face a team anywhere near as good as Aitor Karanka’s, who followed up defeat at Elland Road with a fine come-from-behind triumph against the Trotters.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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