ALEX JONES (@AlexJ0nes9) analyses the odds as Leyton Orient host QPR in Wednesday night's EFL Cup action.
Leyton Orient vs QPR | Wednesday 11th August 2021, 19:45 | Sky Sports
QPR make me the trip across the capital to face League Two Leyton Orient on Wednesday evening for a place in the next round of the cup.
Both sides contested in tight 1-1 draws on the opening league day of the season, with Orient’s trip to Salford a valuable point, whilst QPR would have been hoping for all three points against Millwall.
First round cup ties are often hard to predict when a Championship side faces lower league opposition given the uncertainty around team news and managerial tactics.
QPR fell at the first hurdle last campaign, playing out an entertaining with Plymouth Argyle, but ultimately lost 3-2. That day saw a mix of youth, fringe players and experience but no way near their strongest XI.
After diving into the data from the EFL Cup Round 1 fixtures last season, what stood out, unsurprisingly, was the sheer lack of cards flashed in the 35 ties.
30/35 (86%) games saw under 4 cards, whilst 23/35 (66%) saw under 3 shown by the referee, and just under half (15/35) saw just 1 or zero cards.
In games concerning EFL Championship sides facing lower league opposition, there were 16 ties, 18% of which failed to deliver a booking, with 12/16 (75%) seeing Under 3 cards delivered.
This data points to a low card affair on Wednesday evening at Brisbane Road and the 4/5 (1.775) going on Under 2.5 Asian Total Cards appeals. This wins if just zero, one or two cards are flashed.
Indeed, Hicks’ card tallies in cup competitions is a cause for concern. Since the whistle blower’s promotion to the Football League in 2016/17, he has dished out an average of 2.6 cards per game across the EFL and FA Cup.
He has only dished out Under 3 cards on 5/13 occasions, but I’m hoping for a rather tame and friendly game to see us to a winning bet.
Given the overwhelming set of data from last season’s competition on our side, it has to be worth a play, given QPR’s meeting with Plymouth last season saw just 1 card, and 75% of games involving a Championship and a lower league side saw this bet win.
Leyton Orient vs QPR – Under 2.5 Asian Cards (4/5 Bet365)