WE asked Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) to find the best bets from Wednesday night’s EFL Cup coupon.
Southampton v Crystal Palace | Wednesday 19.45
I’d imagine that most neutrals who can remember Alan Pardew’s dugout dancing when Jason Puncheon gave Crystal Palace the lead in the FA Cup final will be hoping that the Eagles can get back to Wembley so we can see what the former Newcastle boss has added to his repertoire of moves.
Southampton, however, stand in the way of Palace’s progress in this EFL Cup and the trip to St Mary’s certainly looks to be a tricky one for the south London side.
Saints have been beaten in just one of their last 13 matches on home turf – a sequence of results that includes a 4-1 win against the Eagles in the final league match of last season.
Pardew’s side, though, can be forgiven that result, for they undoubtedly had their eyes on the FA Cup final and, this time, it is Saints with bigger fish to fry, for they face three consecutive away matches after this tie – including a really tough trip to Israel to face Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the Europa League.
The Saints, therefore, may be tempted to shuffle their pack and, as such, backing the Eagles with a +0.50 Asian Handicap start at 9/10 (Bet365) is excellent value here.
Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland | Wednesday 19.45
Without the pressure of points at stake, teams can cut loose and produce their best form – that’s the theory in Cup competitions, right?
Well, it would come as no surprise whatsoever should that theory be torn apart at Loftus Road when QPR line-up against Premier League Sunderland in the EFL Cup.
Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink’s side were hammered 6-0 by Newcastle last week, but they should hold no such fears ahead of this fixture, for Wednesday’s visitors from the north-east are far more toothless than the team from Tyneside.
The Black Cats have failed to notch more than once in any of their matches so far this season, a sequence of results that includes a nervy 1-0 win against Shrewsbury in the previous round of this competition.
Rangers have scored just five times in their last six games and backing either side to fail to find the net looks like a solid selection for punters at 13/12 (Marathon) ahead of this Cup clash.
Stoke v Hull | Wednesday 19.45
The Tigers were defying their doubters in spectacular style at the start of the season, but a 4-1 home hammering at the hands of Arsenal at the weekend suggests that the bubble may well have burst for Mike Phelan’s men.
Hull are now without a win in three matches – and their only point came courtesy of a late, late, late goal from Robert Snodgrass at Turf Moor.
This tie may provide a perfect pick-me-up for a Stoke side that have been stumbling and shambolic so far this season, so siding with Mark Hughes’ men at 21/20 (Bet365)could put punters on a path of profit.