Competitive football is back this weekend as the Capital One Cup kicks off and MK Dons, Middlesbrough and Brentford offer the pick of the teams looking pull off first-round results on the road.
In the first instalment of our new ‘Playing Away’ series, we explain why the trio all offer decent value in their own right, while also providing adventurous punters with a potential treble worth over 8/1 (or £189 for anyone registering with bwin and using their free £20 bet).
MK Dons to beat Cheltenham Town @ 11/10
Karl Robinson’s Dons are rightly tipped to go well in League One this season and they can get their campaign off to a winning start by beating League Two Cheltenham at Whaddon Road.
|Confederation Cup - Group A|
Town were denied the chance to join Milton Keynes in the third tier after a play-off final defeat to Crewe in May and although Mark Yates will be hoping for another promotion push, they could fall short at home to the Dons.
MK have bought well in the summer, adding Sheffield Wednesday’s prolific Ryan Lowe (among others) to their ranks, and have their eyes on automatic promotion to the Championship. Some good pre-season outings against Premier League sides Norwich and Fulham will have MK ready for the new season, while Yates admitted after his side’s 4-0 home defeat to Burnley that Cheltenham have much to do to get up to speed. At 11/10, back MK Dons to make them suffer a bit more.
Middlesbrough to beat Bury @ 4/5
Managerless Bury have had a difficult summer and Middlesbrough should be backed to pile more misery on the Gigg Lane side by knocking them out of the Capital One Cup.
After months of rumours, Richie Barker has left the Lancashire club for Crawley Town and the League One side seem in disarray just as the season starts. Transfer activity has been uninspiring and having been hammered by two Championship sides in pre-season, Bury will fear the visit of another one in the shape of a Boro side who, unusually, have been among the goals over the summer.
Tony Mowbray’s men have scored 15 goals in five friendly outings and with added attacking prowess in the shape of Emmanuel Ledesma and Mustapha Carayol, Boro will be confident of seeing off the distressed Shakers.
Brentford to beat Walsall @ 33/20
Walsall look set for another season of struggle and could get their campaign off to a losing start when Brentford travel to the Bescot Stadium.
Uwe Rosler, who enjoyed a solid first season as manager of the Bees, will be hopeful of improving on last year’s ninth-placed finish and his ambition will be helped by the signing of Falkirk’s prolific striker Farid El Alagui.
Saddlers boss Dean Smith has done well to keep Walsall in League One over the last two seasons and after two brushes with the drop, he has brought in a raft of free transfers. Their quality is open to question, though, and Brentford’s performances against the bottom-half sides last term – they posted a 16-5-3 record, with 42 goals scored and just 17 conceded – means the odds of 33/20 on them to progress should be taken.
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