The second round of the Carabao Cup continues tonight as Everton look to build upon their promising start to the season with victory at Goodison Park against Salford City from League Two.
The Blues are one of five top-flight sides in action expecting to avoid an early exit from the competition. However, Fulham, Southampton and Leeds all facing potential banana skins against lower league opposition.
Expecting some cup magic? Let’s take a quick look at the pick of the games and what we could expect from the second-round ties under the lights…
Everton v Salford City (Wed, 21:15)
Spirits are high on Merseyside, but the Toffees will be hoping their impressive start does not come unstuck on home soil when Salford City make the short trip down the M62.
Carlo Ancelotti will no doubt experiment with his squad but they are expected to have too much for the visitors and start as 1/7 favourites. Salford are 20/1 to pull off a giant-killing at Goodison Park.
Everton have also lost just once in fifteen games over 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup at home. They are 8/13 to win to nil with over 3.5 match goals 6/5.
New signings James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure could all be rested ahead of Premier League duties at the weekend with Tom Davies, Theo Walcott and Bernard pushing for starts.
Former Everton midfielder Darron Gibson will also return to Goodison but will be lining up for Salford City in their second-ever Carabao Cup campaign. Gibson won the competition twice as a Manchester United player in 2009 and 2010.
Ipswich v Fulham (Wed, 20:00)
Could the Carabao Cup give Scott Parker a timely lift? They were easily brushed aside by Arsenal last weekend in the Premier League opener and are 4/5 to beat Ipswich tonight.
Both sides will look to rest players at this early stage of the season with domestic responsibilities taking priority over a cup run this season for both these clubs. The Tractor Boys will by vying for promotion from League One and Fulham fighting for top-flight survival.
With that in mind, under 2.5 goals is 10/11 with a draw priced at 13/5 to result in a penalty shootout. Aleksandar Mitrovic could get his first start of the season and he is 13/5 to score first.
Paul Lambert’s side will pose a threat of their own and they are 17/5 to win with Freddie Sears 12/5 to score anytime at Portman Road.
Southampton v Brentford (Wed, 20:45)
Will the Saints go marching on? Ralf Hasenhuttl’s side are 7/10 to win the match and book their place in the Carabao Cup third round.
Brentford narrowly missed out on Premier League promotion last season in the play-offs, but they haven’t had long to wait to test themselves against a top-flight outfit. The Bees are 4/1 underdogs at St. Mary’s.
Fraser Forster should make a return in goal for Southampton. Shane Long and Michael Obafemi are in line to feature in attack for the Saints.
For Brentford, head coach Thomas Frank is likely to rest those who have recently been on international duty, including Pontus Jansson and Christian Norgaard.
Both teams to score tonight is 20/23 with Southampton 15/4 to win both halves of the match.
Leeds v Hull City (Wed, 20:45)
A third-round clash with either West Ham United or Charlton Athletic awaits the victor at Elland Road as Marcelo Bielsa’s side bid to reach progress from the second round for the first time in three years.
That said, Leeds are 1/3 favourites to win the match following their promising display in a seven-goal thriller at Anfield on the opening day of the season. Over 3.5 goals here is 6/4.
Record signing Rodrigo could be handed his home debut and the Spain international is 7/2 to break the deadlock.
As for Hull, they’ll be expected to shuffle the pack ahead to their league fixture with Crewe Alexandra at the weekend. Hull are 17/2 outsiders to win the tie with both teams to score priced at 10/11.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.