CARLING CUP: BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE

IT looks easier to pick both teams to score winners than anything else on the Carling Cup matches.

These ties are always difficult to predict with many Premier League and Championship sides fielding weakened sides in the early rounds.

Expect at least three or four shocks and look for goals – with ties involving top-flight clubs alone averaging about three a game.

Anything could happen at Brighton depending on which side Steve Bruce puts out. The Sunderland boss is almost certain to make wholesale changes which makes a home win an attractive proposition.

But as we’re going for goals take both teams to score at 8-11 with Stan James. There are question marks over Brighton’s defence after they threw away a 2-0 lead at home to Blackpool at the weekend so Sunderland should at least hit the target.

Norwich are another Premier League side who won’t take chances with their main men. Surviving is boss Paul Lambert’s only objective and his new boys have made a decent start with two 1-1 draws.

The Canaries rarely did unders last season in the Championship and I expect an open game when MK Dons visit Carrow Road. They hit six past Chesterfield at the weekend and have netted 13 goals in five games this season. This pays 4-5 at Chandler.

The next game I’m focusing on is Burnley v Barnet. The League Two visitors won 1-0 at Portsmouth in the previous round so won’t fear a trip to Turf Moor.

Barnet’s last three matches have produced 12 goals while both teams have netted in all but one of Burnley’s games this season. Both teams to score pays 17-20 at Chandler.

Now I’m looking at two first-round matches. Crystal Palace and Crawley have both started the season well and the Selhurst Park match-up should feature plenty of goals.

Palace have a fine home record under Dougie Freedman and have hit the target in every game this season. League Two new boys Crawley have justified their antepost status as title favourites with an unbeaten start and 13 goals in five games. Back this one at 5-6 with Skybet.

Finally, take a chance on Charlton v Reading, two sides who like to attack. Charlton will like their chances here having netted nine in their last four. Reading haven’t really recovered from losing the play-off final to Swansea and went down 2-1 at home to Barnsley at the weekend.

However, they had plenty of chances and missed two penalties so I expect them to net at The Valley. Both teams to score pays 3-4 with Chandler.

Both teams to score

Brighton v Sunderland

Norwich v MK Dons

Burnley v Barnet

Crystal Palace v Crawley

Charlton v Reading

Perm any 4 and all 5 (6 bets)

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