Cup draw gives relegated Rangers a rough wake up call
Much like a cold shower shocks you into action, the first round draw for the Capital One Cup will no doubt be a rude awakening to QPR.
The newly-relegated side will kick off their season with a trip to Exeter – a far cry from their visits to the likes of Old Trafford, the Emirates and Anfield over the past two seasons.
Big-money signings such as Loic Remy and Christopher Samba were not enough to ward off the dreaded drop back into the Championship, and it remains to be seen just how many of that relegated side are still in Harry Redknapp’s plans come August.
QPR played Exeter in Devon at this stage of the League Cup in 2009, with the visitors running out 5-0 victors under then-boss Jim Magilton, although only Hogan Ephraim remains from that side.
Ranger – favourites for this season’s Championship at 5/1 – will be facing an Exeter side looking to dent a few egos.
The Grecians have yet to produce a League Cup upset since their return to league football in 2008, and though QPR overcame lower-league Walsall last season in round two, the antics of Northampton and Bradford in recent years shows anything can happen.
Huddersfield v Bradford
Bradford produced fairytale moment after fairytale moment last season, seeing off Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa to reach the final against Swansea at Wembley.
The Bantams – 25/1 to win League One this season – were outplayed in the final against the Welsh side in a 5-0 loss, but the Yorkshire club returned to north-west London a couple of months later to seal play-off glory to League One and cap off a memorable season in style.
Any repeat this time around will mean a derby victory over Championship strugglers Huddersfield, and with the atmosphere positively buzzing around Valley Parade this summer, who’s to bet against a surprise win at the Galpharm in the opening week of August?
Chelsea are favourites for this season’s Capital One Cup at a price of 6/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing