AUGUST 23: CARLING CUP TIPS

IT’S possibly the toughest betting night of the week. As I’ve said already early rounds of the Carling Cup are minefield.

Make sure you check the latest team news before having a bet and keep stakes small.

The favourites who should be safe on Tuesday include Aston Villa (1-4, William Hill) v Hereford, Millwall (1-2, William Hill) v Morecambe and Swansea (17-20, Chandler) at Shrewsbury.

But others such as Sunderland, Norwich, Leicester, Cardiff and QPR face tough tests depending on the strength of squad utilised.

I’ll start with a fourfold I hope comes in. Millwall are a force to be reckoned with at home and cup runs are demanded by their loyal fans.

Morecambe have made a great start in League Two but the gulf in class will be too much unless Millwall rest all of their star turns.

I also think West Brom will be too strong for a Bournemouth side who have suffered successive defeats. Roy Hodgson will make changes but he likes a cup run and I reckon the 11 he puts will be good enough to win. West Brom are 1-1 at Blue Square.

Likewise Swansea won’t field the side that held Wigan at the weekend but their fringe men will be out to impress Roberto Martinez after starting the top flight without scoring.

Swansea make the short trip to Shrewsbury and are a a best 17-20 with Chandler at a side who have started with just one league win.

I’ve been impressed with the way Leeds have bounced back from a nightmare start to the season by hammering Hull then drawing at West Ham. Key players are still missing so boss Simon Grayson won’t be able to make too many changes.

That could be to his advantage as Leeds try to win a derby at Doncaster – a side who sit bottom of the Championship after four successive defeats. Leeds are 6-4 at bet365.

Now to matches that could produce shocks. MK Dons will fancy their chances of an upset at Norwich after hammering Chesterfield 6-2 at the weekend.

Norwich, even last season, didn’t put any emphasis on the cups as they went for promotion. It will be the same this year with survival the prime objective. MK Dons are a best 11-2 at bet365.

Brighton have made a great start to life in the Championship and are sure to run Sunderland close. Like Lambert, Steve Bruce will be concentrating on the Premier League so this could be a surprise home at 2-1 with William Hill and Chandler.

QPR boss Neil Warnock is another who won’t risk injuries to key players so Rochdale at 6-1 with Ladbrokes could cause a huge upset. Rochdale haven’t made a good start but it won’t matter if Rangers aren’t at the races.

Crystal Palace are good at home but if they’re not fully focused on the tie Carling Cup first-timer Crawley could take full advantage.

The League Two leaders are showing why they were antepost title favourites and could be a great bet 11-4 Betfred and Chandler.

Finally, consider Bristol Rovers at home to a Watford side struggling for goals. They haven’t netted in three and Rovers should be too good if they’re not up against a first 11. They are a biggest 19-10 at bet365.

Another way to consider these sides is on the handicaps where, for example, you can have MK Dons at 11-8 with Stan James plus one and Crawley plus one at 4-5 with Betfred.

Four to follow

  • Millwall
  • West Brom
  • Swansea
  • Leeds
  • Perm any 3 and all 4 (5 bets)

Shocks to consider

  • MK Dons
  • Brighton
  • Crawley
  • Rochdale
  • Bristol Rovers
  • Perm any 3, 4 and all 5 (16 bets)
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