With the opening fixtures of the Capital One Cup tonight, @harveythorley gives us an insight into how tonight’s teams match up, followed by his personal score predictions.
Peterborough United v Crawley Town
Posh did the double over Crawley in the league last season, scoring 4 goals in each of the meetings and conceding just as many in total, it’s fair to say the League 1 side have the recent results in their favour. However Crawley have proven to cause a few upsets in recent years, beating Ipswich 1-0 in the first round last season.
Prediction: Peterborough 1 – 1 Crawley
Plymouth v Gillingham
Gillingham had a dream start to the season beating Nigel Atkins’ Sheffield United 4-0 on Saturday. So coming off the back of a positive opening win of the season, I can only see Gillingham continuing their form and progressing to Round 2 of the cup.
Prediction: Plymouth 1 – 2 Gillingham
Port Vale v Burnley
Port Vale made it to Round 2 last time round after beating Hartlepool 6-2 and suffering a 2-3 loss to Cardiff.
Burnley’s League Cup campaign was disappointing last season, losing to Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 in Round 2, courtesy of gaining promotion to the Premier League in the 2013/14 season.
Prediction: Port Vale 2 – 3 Burnley (AET)
Rochdale v Coventry City
Rochdale couldn’t make it past the first round last season, loosing to North West rivals Preston 0-2.
Coventry City lost to Championship outfit Cardiff 1-2 at Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium. The Sky Blues and The Dale both won their opening games of the season, so i can see this being a close one.
Prediction: Rochdale 1 – 1 Coventry City (Rochdale to win on penalties)
Rotherham v Cambridge United
After a tense relegation escape from Rotherham, The Millers suffered a 1-4 defeat at home to Championship new boys MK Dons. Last season The Millers saw their cup run end at Round 2, following a 1-0 defeat at Swansea City. Cambridge United traveled to Birmingham in the first round last season, loosing 3-1 in extra time. With Rotherham coming from a disappointing start to the season with a heavy home defeat, I can’t see them letting themselves down again tonight.
Prediction: Rotherham 3 – 1 Cambridge United
Scunthorpe United v Barnsley
After beating Blackburn 1-0 at this stage of the competition last season, The Iron will come out confident in front of a home crowd tonight against fellow Yorkshire opposition Barnsley. Lee Johnson’s men made it to Round 2 last season after another Yorkshire derby in the first round, knocking out York City by 2-0 at home. Both sides started the season with a defeat in the opening weekend, so I have a feeling this Yorkshire derby will be all to play for.
Prediction: Scunthorpe 2 – 1 Barnsley (AET)
Sheffield Wednesday v Mansfield Town
The Owls looked as if they could be a dark horse in last season’s League Cup, after beating Premier League opposition Burnley at Turf Moor, and then being drawn away at Manchester City in the third round. As exciting as that would sound for Owls supporters, they were thrashed 7-0 in front of a crowd of around 32,000. Mansfield competed in the League Cup for the first time last season and traveled to the other side of Sheffield to face Sheffield United, where they were beaten by an 86th minute winner 2-1. The Owls started the season with a 2-0 win against Championship new boys Bristol City, so on that high note I can see them fancying themselves to do the business at Hillsborough tonight
Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 3 – 0 Mansfield Town
Southend United vs Brighton
Southend were beaten 1-2 in the last few moments by Walsall at this stage of last season’s campaign, and face a Brighton side who made it to Round 4, loosing 2-0 to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Coming off the back of a 1-0 win against Nottingham Forest last weekend, I can only see Brighton advancing to the next round.
Prediction: Southend United 0 – 2 Brighton
Swindon Town vs Exeter City
Swindon go into tonight’s game off the back of thumping Bradford City 4-1 in their opening game of the season, so confidence and expectations will be high around The County Ground Tonight for Town. Exeter were knocked out in Round 1 last season thanks to two second half goals from Bournemouth winning 0-2 at St James’ Park. Despite earning a point last Saturday in the 86th minute at home against Yeovil, i think Swindon’s confidence will be a challenging factor for Exeter to get anything out of the game.
Prediction: Swindon Town 3 – 2 Exeter City
Wigan v Bury
Wigan suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at Coventry in their returning game in League One. So with the disappointment from last weekend, a win in the cup is always a great confidence boost for any side. Bury were nearly accidentally robbed of a point from Doncaster Rovers last Saturday, after Harry Forrester’s 90th minute looped back pass ended up in the net. However Leon Best was allowed to take the ball past a standing still Doncaster and walk the ball into the net. With The Latics needing to forget about their last outing, I think this North West derby could be a great cup tie.
Prediction: Wigan 2 – 1 Bury
Wolves v Newport County
Wolves fought to win 1-2 in their opening fixture of the season against Blackburn, a game in which before kick off was capable of going either way. Newport traveled across country to receive a 3-0 defeat away at Cambridge on Saturday. So could a win as underdogs at Molineux be the perfect bounce back for The Exiles?
Prediction: Wolves 1 – 2 Newport County (AET)
Wycombe v Fulham
Wycombe faced a 1-0 defeat to Millwall at The Den last season in Round 1, where Fulham made it to Round 4, loosing to Derby 2-5 at Craven Cottage. Off the back of a 1-1 draw away at Cardiff last Saturday, Fulham will see this as a bounce-back opportunity to get their first win of the season. Although, Wycombe go into tonight’s match from a 3-0 win against York City in their opening fixture of the campaign. I think this will be a goal’s galore.
Prediction: Wycombe 2 – 4 Fulham
Yeovil v QPR
Yeovil only made did not make it as far as their opponents tonight in last season’s League Cup because of their automatic Round 2 entry. They were knocked out by Gillingham at home, suffering a 0-1 defeat. QPR can’t take this for granted however, because they were knocked out in their first game of last season’s cup (Round 2), loosing 1-0 to Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium.Queen’s Park Rangers are a strong and experienced Championship side, I can only see them redeeming themselves tonight, after Saturday’s defeat against London rivals Charlton.
Prediction: Yeovil 1 – 4 QPR
York City v Bradford City
The football fans of Yorkshire clubs must be overwhelmed by this round’s draw, with yet another Yorkshire derby. York City host Bradford tonight, and with the excitement in the cup; especially in derby matches, anything can happen! York were knocked out in a Yorkshire derby last year by Doncaster Rovers, and after being placed bottom of League Two by Wycombe Wanderers, loosing 3-0 in the opening game of the season, what better way to make it up to the fans winning in a local cup tie. Bradford were also punished in the opening game of the season, loosing 4-1 to Swindon. So both sides will have the same revival mentality. With Bradford having the stronger squad and a recent spell of punishing Premier League clubs in domestic cups, i think that will give them the confidence to advance to Round 2 tonight.
Prediction: York City 1 – 2 Bradford City