THE EFL Cup 2nd Round takes centre-stage on Tuesday night. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets.
Preston v Hull | Tuesday 27th August 2019, 19:45
Preston didn’t even get out of second gear against Bradford in the 1st Round of the EFL Cup and still ran out 4-0 victors. One thing Alex Neil cannot complain about this year is any lack of strength in-depth. PNE have an array of options in midfield and going forward. Sean Maguire, Jayden Stockley, Tom Barkhuizen, Andre Green, Billy Bodin, Daniel Johnson, Brad Potts, Alan Browne and Paul Gallagher are to name a few.
Neil likes to play attractive football and it’s certainly paying dividends, particularly on the slick turf of Deepdale. They’ve kicked off the campaign with three home wins out of three, scoring eight times in the process. Instantly, they’re a team I look to get with when they’re playing in their own back yard.
On Tuesday night Preston welcome a Hull side with just the one league win this season. Losses against Bristol City, Blackburn and Swansea could spell trouble for the Tigers and Grant McCann.
I’ve not being overly enamoured with their summer business. McCann dipped into League One to bring in Ryan Tafazoli from former club Peterborough, as well as Tom Eaves and George Honeyman. None of them were absolutely exceptional in that league last season and I do think they’ll struggle in the second tier.
One bonus is that Hull have been able to hang on to key attackers Kamil Grosicki and Jarrod Bowen, whether they will play in the cup is yet to be seen though, as neither did in the first round win at Tranmere. If they do not feature then I’d expect the quotes of 19/20 (Coral) on the hosts to drop down to something like 4/5. Even if they do play, I’d much rather back an in form, strong at home, quality filled Preston side.
Nottingham Forest v Derby | Tuesday 27th August 2019, 19:45
I was surprised to see that this Midlands clash between two old foes wasn’t chosen for TV. Nevertheless, it should be an interesting and feisty encounter, like it always is between the pair. These two were top-two material when it came to ill-discipline last season, Forest saw a mighty 104 yellows and six reds whereas Derby picked up 106 yellows and two reds.
It shows that the both have a penchant for the dark arts and when you introduce the natural rivalry of the neighbours, it has potential to explode into a card frenzy. 20+ Booking Points for both teams has been priced up at 13/8 with SkyBet and I’m sure that would be odds-on if this were a league clash.
Forest centre half Joe Worrall has spoke about himself letting the new players at the club know just how strong a rivalry this is and how important it is to the fans and the city. There seems to be a real anticipation for the game especially from the Forest end.
With two new managers in the dugout at both clubs, this is a very important game for them both, they can’t really fail to show up here even if it is a League Cup tie. Whoever wins it will get the fans onside and that should be seen as crucial between the two gaffers.
Also if changes are made there will be players eager to come in and make an impact. I’m willing to take those 13/8 quotes, I expected it to be more of a 5/4 shot in all honesty.