It’s not always about the big teams – you can make top money on smaller clubs with our EFL Cup betting tips. We’ve arrived at the fourth-round stage of this year’s EFL Cup competition and followers have some competitive matches to look forward to; these including two shown live on Sky Sports. Three ties are scheduled to be decided on Tuesday 30th October with four a day later and Man City v Fulham on Thursday.
Will the favourites all book their place in the next round, taking a step closer to a Wembley final appearance or are we set for a few famous cup upsets, the type that has made this competition famous? Our team of football betting experts have run over the matches, flagging up the value in both live fixtures.
Burton v Nottingham Forest
Burton Albion of League One host Nottingham Forest from the division above at the Pirelli Stadium. The locals will be hoping for home advantage to give them the edge. It’s a big ask, but they don’t have the worst record in past meetings between the sides. The head-to-head stats stand at Forest 2-1 Burton with one match ending in a draw. That came last time when the pair battled out a goalless finish at this venue towards the tail-end of last season.
Interestingly, Albion has never suffered defeat when playing The Tricky Trees at this venue. The first contest here took place in March 2017 when the locals cheered home a 1-0 win, Cauley Woodrow scoring the decisive goal on 26 minutes. That was followed by the 0-0 in February on a day when the visitors had Eric Lichaj sent off after just 28 minutes.
Forest Flying in the Championship
Heading into the last international break, there was plenty for Nottingham Forest fans to smile about. In the first dozen matches of the new campaign, they had watched their side improve drastically on last season, winning four, drawing seven and losing just once. A convincing victory over Middlesbrough at Riverside capped an extended unbeaten run.
That result alone, against one of the better sides in the division, proves Aitor Karanka’s side have nothing to fear when leaving the comfort of the City Ground; they made light work of what was expected to be a tough afternoon. Lolley got the ball rolling with an opening goal shortly after half-time before Grabban doubled that advantage on 77 minutes. Robinson heaped pressure on his side when picking up a second yellow card just moments later but Forest was able to hold on.
Support the Higher Ranked Side
This promises to be a typical cup match with both sides forgetting their pursuit of points for 90 minutes and enjoying knockout football. Bookmakers have Nottingham Forest priced as favourites for the win and the 6/5 available at Bet365 is one of the better prices around. The draw goes 13/5 – top price at Unibet – while a local result is 9/4 (Coral).
We’re going to take our clue from the stats and go with a one-sided match, probably low-scoring. Each of the last three games involving these sides has seen at least one fail to find the net, so we back Forest to win to nil at 11/4. Get your money down with Coral for market best price.
Chelsea v Derby County
This match seems to have a Chelsea win written all over it. Certainly on paper, but we never know how seriously Sarri is going to take the opening few rounds of the competition, especially with his mind stuck on winning the Premier League and progressing to the knockout stages of the Europa League. A return to Champions League football is the number one aim of the Londoners this season and this set-up does little to help their cause.
If we see a full-strength side run-out at Stamford Bridge on match day it’ll be a matter of how many they win by; punters will be left to pick the value out of the handicap. It’s highly unlikely we’ll witness the locals field their best 11 however and that makes things just a little more interesting. Fringe players and youth team regulars will be called into action and will be expected to hit the ground running to avoid the embarrassment of a shock exit.
Rams Lacking Consistency in Championship
All the headlines before kick-off will surround the return of Blues legend Frank Lampard to Stamford Bridge with the midfielder back as boss of Derby County. However, when the first whistle sounds there will be no favours asked or given. The 40-year-old achieved it all during his time at the club but now must wipe the slate clean and make a name for himself as a manager.
The best way to do that would be to lead Derby to the Premier League; however, he would also make headlines if he was to dump his former employers out of this competition. The Rams won five, drew three and lost four of their first 12 Championship matches, scoring 15 goals but conceding 13 at the other end. Lampard is making them difficult to beat and they picked up back-to-back draws with Norwich and Queens Park earlier this month.
Back Chelsea in Both Halves
Chelsea is – rather unsurprisingly, favourite to progress with a win inside 90 minutes. Having said that, backers must make do with Coral’s 2/7 as they are getting nothing better at this stage. Tight, this is probably only worth using in accumulators. The draw is 9/2 at Bet365 with an away day written off at a massive 12/1 with Unibet.
We’re going to keep it simple and back Chelsea but there’s little point getting involved in the match betting prices, especially for standard stakes. We’ll take our chances and aim a bit higher, backing the locals to win both halves at 9/5 – Coral again dealing out the top quote.