The Capital One Cup returns this week with some mouth-watering fourth round ties for punters to sink their teeth into.
The first wave of matches sees an in-form Middlesbrough side make the short trip to Wearside to play goal-shy rivals Sunderland in a repeat of last season’s FA Cup fourth round clash. The flying Teessiders look good to dump the Black Cats out in 90 minutes at 7/2.
The draw, as the game finished last term, can be backed at 23/10, while both teams to score at 4/5 represents a decent bet.
However, with Sunderland’s goal-scoring concerns of late – they’ve found the back of the net just twice in their last four – a 1-0 win for Tony Mowbray’s men could be worth a few quid at 10/1, as the Championship club will not want to relinquish any momentum from their promotion push.
Another big tie comes in the form of Swindon’s clash with Premier League strugglers Aston Villa.
Paolo Di Canio prioritised this game higher than the Robins last league game with Stevenage – which they cruised 4-0 away from home – and they have developed a giant-killing reputation under the enigmatic Italian.
They’ve defeated Stoke, Brighton, Burnley, Bristol City and Wigan in the past two seasons; all of which ply their trade in higher divisions. Back them to pile more pressure onto Paul Lambert at the County Ground, where they’ve just lost twice in 34 games, at 12/5.
Villa are likely to approach this game with a greater degree of severity than Swindon’s other casualties, given their league turmoil, yet even a full-strength side might not be enough to see them through.
They’ve failed to win in 90 minutes in every game they’ve played away from Villa Park and have only scored two goals on their travels in the league.
Credit where it’s due, they put four past Man City after extra-time in the previous round of this competition, but Swindon will be a much feistier opposition.
For this reason, ignore the visitor’s 10/11 price to win the game, yet back over 2.5 goals at 5/6.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date