THE Third Round of the Capital One Cup takes place this midweek and we asked Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) to bring a couple of tips to the table.
Cardiff City v Bournemouth | Tuesday 19:45
I’ve been pretty vocal in my opposition to Cardiff this season (I backed them to go down at huge prices at the start of August) but I’m siding with them here tonight. The departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can only be a good thing, and by bringing in ex-players Scott Young and Danny Gabbidon to assume responsibility (for now), the club seem to have made a rare shrewd move.
The Young/Gabbidon team got off to a very solid start on Saturday when they went to Derby and came back with an excellent 2-2 draw. That result was arguably the clubs best of the season and it’s a real platform to build on tonight. The duo have very little to lose and everything to gain from a strong performance here and I can see them beating Bournemouth.
Eddie Howe’s side have been struggling of late with no win in six in the league and it’s rare for the club to take this competition seriously. This is the furthest that Bournemouth have reached in this competition for 10 years but I can’t see their run going any further.
Rely on Cardiff’s better sqaud, home advantage and enthusiastic management duo to deliver the goods at a generous 17/10 with Bet365.
Sunderland v Stoke | Tuesday 19:45
Betting on the English League Cup is always a bit of a guessing game, but I get the impression that both Sunderland and Stoke will be keen to do well in the competition this season.
Sunderland got all the way to the final last season and kicked off their 2014/15 attempt with an emphatic 3-0 win at Birmingham City. I would argue that that run to Wembley last season gave Gus Poyet’s side the confidence to escape relegation. Stoke were also impressive in Round 2 with a win over Portsmouth by the same scoreline, and let’s not forget they got all the way to the Quarter-Finals of this competition last year.
The likely blend of first team players alongside fringe colleagues could lend a more expressive feel to the game and I’m expecting goals. Coral have chalked up 10/11 that both sides score on Tuesday and I like the sound of that. Unlike a number of sides in the draw, both of these will be eager to progress.