THERE are 21 ties in the Carling Cup tonight so picking a treble should be fairly easy. Unfortunately, it's not as straightforward as anything goes at this stage of the tournament.

Who cares win should be the motto tonight with desire often come out on top of talent. Best policy is not to have a bet until knowing the line-ups and also avoid big accas on the favourites because one or two are bound to let you down.

Tonight I'm focusing on four EPL sides who should cruise into the next round against much lower opposition despite the fickleness of this cup. Even if they play weakened teams they should be too strong for teams two and three leagues below them.All are at home so won't want the embarrassment of being victims to giant-killers in front of their home fans.

So my four big guns to follow tonight are:

  • Sunderland v Colchester
  • Stoke v Shrewsbury
  • West Ham v Oxford
  • Wolves v Southend

Sunderland are a biggest 2-5 at Paddy Power, Stoke 2-5 with William Hill, West Ham 2-5 at Betfred and Wolves 4-11 at Ladbrokes.

Elsewhere, Preston look decent value at 13-10 with William Hill at Bradford. Preston got their season started by beating Portsmouth while Bradford were easily defeated at Torquay.

Cardiff are expected to field a strong side including Craig Bellamy and if they do should be too strong away to Peterborough. The Welsh side are 13-10 with William Hill and Bet365.

Portsmouth have the battling qualities if not the player quantity to see off Crystal Palace at home and are 5-4 with Stan James while Watford, 5-6 with Stan James, should beat Notts County at Vicarage Road.

Wigan need a win to boost confidence after 4-0 and 6-0 league thrashings. If Roberto Martinez puts out his main men they can win at Hartlepool at evens with Stan James. If not it could be carnage and the end of another boss.



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