THERE’S live Capital One Cup football on Wednesday night with Portsmouth taking on Derby in the first round of action. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) highlights his betting angle.
Portsmouth v Derby | Wednesday 19.45 | Sky Sports 1
A huge 13 of the 32 first round Capital One Cup ties on Tuesday night saw the underdog progress and League Two Portsmouth will be hoping to add their name to the list of giant-killers. With 41% of first round matches going the way of the lower division team, it’s incredibly tempting to side with the hosts. But before jumping in, it’s worth gauging the mood surrounding the two clubs.
Pompey received plenty of praise from new boss Paul Cook after tucking Dagenham away comfortably 3-0 in their season bow at Fratton Park. Despite fielding nine debutants, the fourth tier favourites showed their class in a ruthless second-half display with Cook describing the occasion as a ‘perfect day’. It’s true too that the south coast club can boast a reasonably strong home record at Fratton Park having lost just six league fixtures last term.
However, Cook has publicly admitted that his ‘priority’ and Pompey’s ‘bread and butter’ is promotion and therefore we can expect to see a number of changes from the home side on Wednesday night. Saturday’s two-goal hero Kyle Bennett and star forward Matt Tubbs are just two expected to miss out.
Standing in Portsmouth’s path is the Football League’s strongest squad. Derby lost essential midfield maestros Will Hughes and Craig Bryson on Saturday to serious knee injuries and new head coach Paul Clement has confirmed he’ll be making changes whilst also looking to switch shapes.
But the Rams have a big enough squad to cope, highlighted by the fact none of Darren Bent, defenders Craig Forsyth, Cyrus Christie, Ryan Shotton and Alex Pearce, goalkeeper Lee Grant, midfielder Jeff Hendrick and forwards Simon Dawkins and Andreas Weimann started on Saturday. Nevertheless, Derby showed resilience to take a point at Bolton despite the Trotters hitting the woodwork three times in nine minutes and whilst there may be teething problems to come as Clement finds his feet in management, there’s no doubt they’re stocked full of talent.
I’m happier taking Derby to win at 17/20 (Ladbrokes) rather than 888 Sport’s 21/20 on Portsmouth avoiding defeat in the Double Chance market. The question that requires answering is surely, which sides reserve team is strongest and I’m not sure many punters would be answering Pompey. Away win.
Portsmouth v Derby (17/20 Ladbrokes)
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