THE EFL Cup 3rd Round takes centre-stage on Wednesday night. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets.
Sheffield United v Sunderland | Wednesday 25th September 2019, 19:45
Jack Ross is coming under more and more pressure as manager of Sunderland. The Mackems are getting fed up with the slightly withdrawn style and inability to keep a clean sheet. They should be doing much better with the squad at their disposal.
The Black Cats went off as heavy odds-on favourites at the weekend against Bolton and only managed to scrape a last-minute draw from a late Aiden McGeady penalty. It’s seemingly a poisoned chalice with every boss struggling to get a tune out of an underachieving beast.
Perhaps this cup run is keeping the former St Mirren head honcho in situ. Sunderland defeated Burnley in the last round but I don’t think Sean Dyche has this cup in his thoughts – Premier League survival being the paramount target.
You could say the same for Sheffield United, however, I think the Blades have a bit more strength in depth and they’re coming off a 2-0 away win at Everton last time out.
With home advantage, I can see United scoring a few against this shoddy Sunderland defence. It wouldn’t surprise me if the visitors managed to notch but I just think they’ll be outscored here.
Blades could start with Oli McBurnie and Lys Mousset up front after impressing when being involved in recent weeks. Mo Besic, Ben Osborn and Ravel Morrison could also join them and have a platform to give Wilder a selection headache for the Liverpool game at the weekend.
4/7 looks fair enough on the South Yorkshire side but I’m happy to boost that to odds-against quotes of 21/20 (Coral) by chucking in Over 1.5 Goals.
Burton v Bournemouth| Wednesday 25th September 2019, 19:45
I’m going to back another Premier League side to get the better of a League One club as Bournemouth travel to the Pirelli Stadium to take on Burton.
Albion are a club I admire. Well run from the top down, and very well managed by the astute Nigel Clough. They aren’t a club who spend money they don’t have and therefore their squad depth is minimal but each player knows their role, and maximum effort and positional efficiency is always provided.
The Brewers have a task on their hands here though with the in-form Cherries making the visit. Eddie Howe has great strength in depth, especially going forward. Bournemouth should be fine in the league and should really be targeting this competition as a genuine chance of silverware.
Wins against Everton and Southampton were impressive and they scored three in each of those. They’ll be used to the tight pitch at the Pirelli because their own Dean Court is very similar.
Burton are now three games without a win and a last-minute loss at Tranmere could well dent confidence. 83/100 on Bournemouth looks more than fair but the Cherries to win whilst conceding looks a more interesting play at 23/10 (BetVictor). I’m never convinced by Bournemouth’s defence and Burton should get a few chances.