Regardless of how vast the gap in quality, victories are rarely achieved easily in the early rounds of the League Cup, so Sheffield Wednesday can’t afford to underestimate the magnitude of a trip to Oldham, who until recently they shared a division with.
The weekend fixtures saw rivals Sheffield United exit at home to Burton, former Premier League club Wolves taken to penalty shootout sudden death by Aldershot, Hull endure the same trauma against Rotherham and Blackpool stunned at home by Morecambe.
The recently rebranded Capital One Cup won’t be the Owls’ priority this term as they strive to follow promotion by properly establishing themselves in the Championship, an act long overdue after just one top-half finish at that level this century.
However, they have the squad depth – helped by the summer additions of the likes of Chris Kirkland, Joe Mattock, Anthony Gardner and Oldham’s own Kieran Lee – and a big enough gap to their opener at Derby to field a strong side, and appeal at 21/20.
Dave Jones’ team have won their three meetings with the Latics over the last 18 months, scoring five without reply across the two that took place in 2011/12, and should find further encouragement in their hosts’ lack of cup upset-engineering nous.
The League One club have fallen at the first hurdle in each of the last three campaigns and they have gone five years without a 90-minute win in the competition, scoring from open play in only one of their last six games in it.
The combination of that trend and Sheffield Wednesday’s run of five clean sheet-assisted triumphs in eight at the end of last season to beat their neighbours to automatic promotion suggests that they are a good bet to shut out their hosts at 9/4 and win to nil at 11/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.