Capital One Cup

Capital One Cup Tips: Stoke and Norwich to confront some resistance

Mark Hughes is yet to celebrate a win or a clean sheet in 2015/16
Mark Hughes is yet to celebrate a win or a clean sheet in 2015/16

"Stoke have shut out just one of their previous 11 hosts, leaking at lower-league sides Rochdale (one) and Blackburn (four) in the FA Cup during that sequence."

Recommended Bet: Back Stoke NOT to keep a clean sheet at Luton @ 1.758/11

Premier League trio Stoke, Watford and Norwich won't find things too simple on their trips to Luton, Preston and Rotherham...

*all matches kick-off at 19:45 on Tuesday

Luton 6.25/1 v Stoke 1.695/7; The Draw 3.814/5
Live on Sky Sports 1

Sky Sports evidently sniff an upset at Kenilworth Road, but Stoke boss Mark Hughes has a solid Capital One Cup record, winning 15 of his last 26 matches in it and reaching the semi-finals twice.

If there is any joy to be had by Bristol City's first-round conquerors Luton, who have confounded pre-season promotion hype to sit third-bottom of League Two after four games and no wins, it will be in finding a way past the Stoke defence. Despite their poor start, the Hatters have netted in four of their five encounters in all competitions and five times across the three on their piece of land.

Stoke are still clean sheet-less three fixtures into their Premier League campaign and have shut out just one of their previous 11 hosts, leaking at lower-league sides Rochdale (one) and Blackburn (four) in the FA Cup during that sequence. In their last Capital One Cup to a non-Premier League club under Hughes, they were breached four times by Birmingham.

Recommended Bet
Back Stoke NOT to keep a clean sheet @ 1.758/11

Preston 2.789/5 v Watford 2.8415/8; The Draw 3.3512/5

These teams have a fair amount in common having both recently worked their way up into new divisions and immediately shown the old guard that they aren't to be taken lightly, albeit without going so far as to actually take one of them down.

Watford have reintroduced themselves to the Premier League with three draws against established members Everton, West Brom and Southampton, while Preston marked their return to the Championship by holding title favourites Middlesbrough and Rotherham and beating fellow newbies MK Dons before a narrow 2-1 defeat to leaders Ipswich.

That adds up to five league draws from seven between the pair, with the exceptions being one-goal away wins so, given that two of their three head-to-head dates this decade also finished level, a 90-minute stalemate looks a likely outcome.

Recommended Bet
Back the draw @ 3.3512/5

Rotherham 5.04/1 v Norwich 1.84/5; The Draw 4.03/1

With Norwich eighth in the Premier League and Rotherham 24th in the Championship, 36 positions currently separate these clubs in the English football pyramid, making it all too easy to forget that they shared a division three months ago.

When that was the case, the Canaries were unable to overcome the supposedly inferior adversaries, being held to a pair of 1-1 draws, the second of those at the New York Stadium in April when Alex Neil was firmly established as the key figure in the visitors' dugout. Indeed, it was only the seventh match of his first 21 that he didn't win. Can the gap have widened that much in four months?

Another trend supporting a lay of the Premier League participants is that the home side have been beaten in just one of Rotherham's past 14 Capital One Cup ties, with they themselves losing a mere one in seven when they were afforded the privilege. Norwich fired blanks in their last two Capital One Cup road trips: one at Manchester United, the other at Shrewsbury!

Recommended Bet
Lay Norwich to win @ 1.824/5


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