WILL Leeds be the latest Championship club to fall in the Capital One Cup first round? Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) takes a look at the betting ahead of Thursday night’s clash at Doncaster.
Doncaster v Leeds | Thursday 19.45 | Sky Sports 1
Oh look, Leeds are back on TV. I won’t whinge and moan, mind. Their televised opener against Burnley gave us a great glimpse of Uwe Rosler’s team ahead of their League Cup tussle with Yorkshire rivals Doncaster and although it’s far too early to be bullish about their 2015/16 prospects, the signs were promising.
It’s about a 30 mile trip south for Rosler’s men on Thursday and with the Whites playing four times in 10 days, including three away matches back-to-back, we’re likely to see a few changes in personnel. Captain Sol Bamba is among the players who could be rested and Rosler may look to refresh his forwards too.
But the German boss claimed he is “absolutely aware of our responsibilities” ahead of the trip to the Keepmoat, vowing to field a more experienced side than he used against Burnley in the 1-1 draw on Saturday. Rosler guided Wigan to the FA Cup semi-finals as a Championship side and is looking to enhance a record that’s seen Leeds win all 12 of their previous first round League Cup ties – an incredibly impressive return.
Eight Championship clubs have already been eliminated during a flurry of upsets across the past 48 hours and whilst we were wrong to invest faith in Derby doing the business in front of the live television cameras, I am prepared to give the Whites a go. The Elland Road club have won on their last four trips to Doncaster and simply don’t have the squad size to make sweeping rotations.
Paul Dickov tends to give the cup competitions respect and like their visitors, Doncaster are unlikely to make too many tweaks to the team that were held to a 1-1 draw by Bury in bizarre circumstances. Rovers allowed Bury to score after notching when trying to return the ball following an injury but Donny saw their woodwork hit three times by the Shakers and were lucky to escape with a point.
I have high hopes for Doncaster this season despite numerous doubts over Paul Dickov’s suitability for the role. Last season ended with the club in their lowest Football League position (13th) for 11 years and their record at the Keepmoat (W7-D6-L10) was the fifth worst in the division. During the past six years of hosting Capital One Cup action, it’s equally average too (W3-D3-L3).
With the sheer number of shocks from the first round of the competition still ringing in my ear, I’ll take a bit of insurance out and recommend a play on Leeds in the Draw No Bet market at 17/20 with BetVictor. If the match ends all square after 90 minutes, we’ll get our cash back. I’ve had faith in the Whites since Rosler’s appointment, they impressed on Saturday and although they’ll tweak their XI, there’s enough quality in the ranks to avoid defeat on Thursday night.
Doncaster v Leeds – Leeds draw no bet (17/20 BetVictor)
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