Tommy Mc previews Wednesday's matches in the EFL Cup and he is siding with Southampton, QPR and Hull to win their matches.
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Southampton's season looks to have finally got up and running after they beat Sparta Prague 3-0 in the Europa League last Thursday and followed it up with a 1-0 win over Swansea at St Marys in the Premier League on Sunday. This was the Saints first league win of the season and more importantly for them Charlie Austin has scored three goals in these two games as he stakes a claim for a starting berth now.
Crystal Palace are also looking to make it three wins in a row after they got off the mark for the season with a 2-1 win away to Boro last week and a comfortable 4-1 defeat of lowly Stoke at Selhurst Park last Sunday. Pardew's men took a little while to get going as their new signings settled in and although they did look good last Sunday, Stoke never really put up much resistance.
I expect this to be a good game at St Marys tonight and there should be plenty of goals as both sides have been hitting the net lately with ease and I think both teams will go for it from the start as both sides will see this competition as one they can realistically win. I fancy Southampton to come out on top as they have home advantage and are just a little bit stronger and I wouldn't be surprised if Austin finds the net again, so he might be worth a punt for first goal also.
1.5 points win Southampton to beat Crystal Palace at 23/20 with Coral
QPR to beat Sunderland
QPR have had a tough time of it since returning from the international break with a 1-1 home draw with struggling Blackburn, a 6-0 home hammering against Newcastle and a more respectable 2-1 defeat away to Championship leaders Huddersfield last Saturday. I think JFH will find the league cup a welcome distraction from the Rs poor league form and he has taken them further in this competition than they have gone for a few years now.
Sunderland have started this season where they left off from last, in the bottom half of the table and have only managed one point so far from their opening five games in the Premier League. David Moyes took over in the summer and has admitted that this is going to be another tough season for the Black Cats as they are struggling to score goals and have also not managed a clean sheet yet.
I think this is a very tricky fixture for Sunderland and like Everton last night I think they will fall to a Championship side. QPR are not on the best run themselves at the minute although I still think they have enough about them, especially at home to beat Sunderland and they have also beat the Black Cats in their three previous meetings and only conceded one goal against them in these games. Another factor worth considering is Moyes is bound to rest players as their game against Palace at the weekend has to take importance over this one.
1 point win QPR to beat Sunderland at 2/1 with Bet365, BetVictor and Paddy Power
Stoke v Hull
Hull have made a decent start since their return to the Premier League and have picked up 7 points from their first five games including two good wins against Leicester and Swansea. The Tigers had not the easiest of starts to the season with only a squad of 14 players available and a caretaker manager at the helm however credit to Mike Phelan and the players as they got on with it and they have since added a few more players to the squad.
Stoke have made a terrible start to the season with one draw and four defeats leaving them bottom of the Premier League. This could be a case of deja vu for Mark Hughes as he has put together a talented bunch of players just like he did at QPR a few years back and just like his current side they also made a terrible start to the season which ultimately lead to their relegation and I'm this will be at the back of Hughes's mind.
Stoke, even though they are at home will feel all the pressure in this game and I think that will play into Hulls hands as they will be going to the Bet365 Stadium feeling confident that they can beat Stoke and if they managed to score an early goal it would definitely leave if very difficult for the Potters. Stoke obviously have problems at the back as they have conceded 4 goals on three different occasions so far and I think this is something Hull will look to exploit and I think it will be another miserable night for the home fans.
1 point win Hull to beat Stoke at 15/4 with Bet365