Wednesday's live Carabao Cup game is between Fleetwood and Everton, and Alan Dudman recommends backing the Toffees and Gylfi Sigurdsson on the night...
"Everton have won 12 of their last 14 League Cup ties against lower league teams, and they have also won their last eight first-time meetings with domestic opponents."
Fleetwood Town v Everton
Wednesday 23rd September, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event
Cod Army head into Wednesday after first defeat of season
This is the furthest Fleetwood have ever progressed in the League Cup and they've landed a plum home tie against in-form Everton - and it should be a chance for the Cod Army's head coach Joey Barton to hand experience to some of his exciting youngsters.
Barton's doing an excellent job at Highbury, although I'm still smarting as to how they capitulated in the playoff semi-final first leg last term against Wycombe. Barton is still in the hunt for five possible new signings before the window shuts on October 16, but young players such as Sam Stubbs, Jay Matete, James Hill and Harvey Saunders are coming along well. Some older heads are needed, though, but they are potential League One challengers - and I have tipped them ante-post. Click here to read more.
Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Peterborough was one of the most bizarre defeats. Town played Posh off the park and dominated the game, but they conceded two goals - both in injury time.
Those late blows ended their perfect start to the season following four straight victories. But they play with plenty of the ball and enjoy possession, and are one of the more pleasing teams on the eye in the third tier.
Squad members to back up Salford win?
What to say about Everton? Does any superlative cover the impact of James Rodriguez?
The Colombian produced another masterclass when beating West Brom 5-2 on Saturday, and as a West Ham fan, Rodriguez mirrors the impact that Dimitri Payet had for the Hammers in that magical season under Slaven Bilic. Everton are now 6/17.0 in the Top Four Finish market.
It's a shame the hosts won't get to test themselves against Rodriguez, as Toffees' boss Carlo Ancelotti is more than likely to go with a similar sort of line-up that featured against Salford City last week in the previous round. The likes of Tom Davies, Theo Walcott, Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson all played, whilst youngster Anthony Gordon impressed with a performance full of zip and energy. And shot attempts!
The Merseysiders have recorded a staggering 5.43 xG in their two PL games so far, coupled with a 1.14 xGA. Ancelotti has discovered alchemy by the looks of it, but the Salford example when winning 3-0 is the one to focus on. Salford got bombarded in that, and Everton got their third towards the end of the game but had to be patient.
Fleetwood are one of the better third tier teams, but I can't bring myself to get involved in the 8/18.8 price, and I'm one of League One's biggest advocates. Barton has played a 4-5-1 with a lone striker on occasions with Ched Evans leading the line superbly against Wigan.
Opta stats offer a negative with the fact that Town have never kept a clean sheet in their previous 11 matches in the competition. And that's been the case in their two games so far in the competition with 3-2 and 2-1 wins against Wigan and Port Vale.
On the flipside, Everton have won 12 of their last 14 League Cup ties against lower league teams, and they have also won their last eight first-time meetings with domestic opponents. But can we get involved in backing the visitors at 2/51.42? No, It's too short.
The Everton/Everton in the Half Time/Full Time market is 11/102.10, and that could be popular as an obvious point to turn to, and it's the sort of game I can see Everton winning with a clean sheet with all their shot dominance further up the pitch.
The Win To Nil price for Ancelotti's side can be backed at 11/82.32, and I'll take that. While the 0-2 Correct Score bet at 7/17.8 might be one to be able to trade.
Gylfi the man again to net?
The "go-to" man in this competition for Everton has been Sigurdsson - and he's been involved in five goals in his last five League Cup games (four goals and one assist).
His 9/5 price on the Sportsbook in the Anytime Goalscorer market makes plenty of appeal, and he should have one or two opportunities considering the Toffees had over 30 shots in the previous round. It was a match Ancelotti declared himself satisfied with, something I hope continues with a professional display on Wednesday.
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Back Everton To Win To Nil 'Yes' @ 11/82.32
Back Gylfi Sigurdsson Anytime Goalscorer on Sportsbook @ 9/5