It’s a competition renowned for upsets in the early stages and the League Cup could bring about another as Championship new boys Sheffield Wednesday head to Oldham.
Now a division above the Latics, the Owls are granted favourites status by Coral at 11/10 and that’s understandable in the circumstances, especially as they cruised to a success when the pair met at Boundary Park in League One last season.
However, Wednesday boss Dave Jones will be more concerned about making a strong start in the league so this competition could therefore be something of an irritant and may be treated as something approaching an extra pre-season friendly.
The hosts by contrast will surely play with a high intensity, looking for a decent scalp in front of their own supporters and they simply look too big at odds of 14/5 via William Hill.
A League One side entertains newly promoted Championship opposition at Deepdale too as Preston face Huddersfield and a similar outcome could be on the cards.
The Terriers are gearing up for a solid crack at football’s second tier and their minds will inevitably be looking towards Friday’s huge, televised, league opener at Cardiff so a more motivated North End, at 15/8 (Coral) could spring a surprise.
Many punters will have looked at Monday’s final match as a potential shock as ambitious League Two additions Fleetwood host Nottingham Forest but the latter, taken over in recent months, will be a much stronger proposition than last season and the two division gap should be too big at Highbury, where Stan James make Forest 6/5 to start as they mean to go on.
Double on Oldham and Preston – 9/1 (BetVictor)