Carabao Cup Wednesday preview: Best bets for the third round, including Chelsea v Grimsby and MK Dons v Liverpool

Check out our fancies for the latest round of Carabao Cup games
Check out our fancies for the latest round of Carabao Cup games

The Carabao Cup action continues on Wednesday with eight third-round matches taking place. George Pitts looks for value in the betting.


Recommended bets

1pt 3+ Grimsby corners v Chelsea at 13/8

1pt Liverpool to be leading at MK Dons after 30 minutes at 21/20

1pt 30+ Oxford bookings points v West Ham at 3/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Wednesday's Carabao Cup fixtures

All kick-offs 1945 BST unless stated

  • Brighton v Aston Villa
  • Burton v Bournemouth
  • Chelsea v Grimsby
  • MK Dons v Liverpool
  • Oxford v West Ham
  • Sheffield United v Sunderland
  • Wolves v Reading
  • Man United v Rochdale (2000 BST)

Latest Carabao Cup odds


  • Click selection to add it to your betslip

Chelsea v Grimsby

Frank Lampard: Chelsea boss prepares to take charge of his first Premier League game
Frank Lampard: Chelsea boss has won just two games from eight this season

Frank Lampard is no stranger to cup upsets after beating superior opposition in Manchester United and Southampton as Derby manager last term, so he will be wary of being on the receiving end as Chelsea host Grimsby.

Of all the third round ties, this is one that has real banana skin potential, but in front of their own fans you would expect even a much-changed Blues' side to win fairly comfortably.

Chelsea have shown their defensive frailties this term and Grimsby's James Hanson is leading the line, with the 31-year-old capable of troubling Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori at the back.

The Sky Bet League Two player of the month for August, Hanson was part of the Bradford side which beat Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in west London in the FA Cup in 2015. He's arguably the man most likely for the visitors.

That said, scoring here will be a tough ask, although Grimsby should at least have a couple of dangerous attacks and the price on them to clock up at least three corners is particularly appealing.

The Blues, albeit against superior opposition, have conceded 17 corners in their last four games. Grimsby, meanwhile, have taken at least four in their last four fixtures and they have a high rate of creating chances.

On an exciting evening for the Mariners, they can at least put the pressure on the hosts with a few set pieces.

Best bet: 3+ Grimsby corners at 13/8


MK Dons v Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp wins the FIFA Best Coach award
Jurgen Klopp wins the FIFA Best Coach award

With Liverpool expected to make wholesale changes, MK Dons will be hopeful of disrupting Jurgen Klopp's side at Stadium MK.

The Reds should be a mix of experience and youth, the likes of James Milner, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren providing the former and summer signings Harvey Elliott (16 years old) and Sepp van den Berg (17 years old) with the latter.

Premier League title-chasers Liverpool do not need the distraction of another competition, but they do not need a defeat to a mid-table Sky Bet League One side either.

Their full strength team, even when not at their best, are efficient and effective on most days and the back-ups can prove equally adept at taking care of business here.

It is a great chance for Naby Keita to return to fitness, while Rhian Brewster (a 'complete striker' according to Liverpool's assistant Pep Lijnders) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can get some minutes as well as pushing for more regular league involvement.

They can start strongly and put any thoughts of an upset to the back of their mind with a goal to give them the lead in the first half hour.

Liverpool have scored inside 30 minutes in three domestic fixtures this term and odds-against that they're in front after 30 minutes looks generous despite the expected changes.

Best bet: Liverpool to be leading after 30 minutes at 21/20


Oxford v West Ham

Luke Garbutt (left) battles for the ball with Riyad Mahrez
Oxford's Luke Garbutt (left) battles for the ball with Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez in 2018/19

Looking at this fixture and going on previous years, it's not all that difficult to envisage West Ham losing to lower-league opposition and the real test for Manuel Pellegrini's side is in dispelling those concerns over their vulnerability.

In all fairness, they won 8-0 at this stage against Macclesfield last year but a couple of months later lost in the FA Cup at AFC Wimbledon, and they have previous. In 2017/18 they lost in the FA Cup at Wigan and the list goes on.

After the high of beating Manchester United on Sunday and this match being at the Kassam, it certainly has all the ingredients for an upset with Pellegrini likely to make changes to his side.

You can get a best price of 6/1 on Oxford, but the preference is to avoid the result and instead look at the bookings market.

Karl Robinson's side are no strangers to receiving cautions, having been shown 26 in just 10 Sky Bet League One outings, so discipline is an issue and there could be value in backing certain players to be carded, with Jamie Mackie, Alex Rodriguez and Cameron Brannagan all regular culprits.

You can back 20+ Oxford bookings points at evens and, considering they have received at least two cautions in seven of their last eight in all competitions, it looks a generous price.

So does the 3/1 available on them to receive 30+ bookings points, our preference on an evening where the home players will be fired up against opposition with pace and fast feet on the counter.

Best bet: 30+ Oxford bookings points at 3/1


Wolves v Reading

Patrick Cutrone: Wolves new arrival from AC Milan
Patrick Cutrone: Wolves new arrival from AC Milan could start against Reading

The games keep coming thick and fast for Nuno Espirito Santo's Wolves. They have had a busy Thursday-Sunday schedule to start the season, balancing their league campaign with European competition, and it's been difficult for them.

Their wait for a Premier League win goes on, failing in six attempts so far, and they could play a number of fringe players for the visit of the Royals.

Jose Gomes' side have collected just seven points from 24 in the Sky Bet Championship this term but, prior to their current three-match losing streak, they enjoyed a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions and are capable of finding the back of the net at the very least.

In that promising run, they scored 11 goals and secured an impressive 3-0 win against promotion chasers Cardiff, while Wolves have not picked a domestic clean sheet since the opening game of the season.

With Wolves there for the taking, there was temptation to look at Reading in the double-chance market at odds-against or draw-no-bet, but the price available on them to score at least a couple against the much-changed Wanderers is a more appealing one.

Best bet: Reading to score 2+ goals at 9/4


Manchester United v Rochdale (2000 BST)

Mason Greenwood celebrates scoring for Manchester United
Mason Greenwood celebrates scoring for Manchester United

Things have not been going swimmingly of late for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Man United, with the weekend defeat at West Ham leading to some questioning his position.

They have won just two of their last six (both narrow 1-0 victories) and have dropped points to bottom-half Premier League sides, but surely they won't lose to Sky Bet League One Rochdale on home soil.

Few will call it a derby, but just over 13 miles separate their two grounds and Brian Barry-Murphy will take his side on the short trip to Old Trafford with no fear knowing they have nothing to lose and the famous ground is no longer the fortress it once was.

A second-string United side should still run out convincing winners and it could be a good chance for Mason Greenwood to add to his tally.

The 17-year-old forward opened his account in the Europa League win over Astana - a match where he had four shots and showed off his confidence in the attacking third - and he is a player Solskjaer rates highly, one who could start centrally here.

As well as it being a good chance for Marcus Rashford to add to his tally of one goal in his last eight appearances for club and country, Greenwood can rain the shots down on Dale and grab a brace.

Best bet: Mason Greenwood to score two or more at 7/2


Odds correct as of 1400 BST on 24/09/19

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