Bolton Wanderers will be attempting to continue their excellent start to the campaign by beating Everton’s Under-23 side when the new-look EFL Trophy starts this week.
For the first time this season, the 48 League One and League Two sides are joined by 16 invited Category One Academy teams and they will all be battling to reach the Wembley final next April.
Phil Parkinson has transformed Bolton and, after finishing at the foot of the Championship table last term, they have taken 13 points from their first five League One games this season to sit in top spot. They are 20/23 to beat Everton’s youngsters at the Macron Stadium on Tuesday night.
Elsewhere in the Northern Section, Sheffield United take on Leicester City’s starlets at Bramall Lane.
The Blades have made a poor start to the season, winning only one of their first five League One encounters, and will be looking for some success in the EFL Trophy as they attempt to kick-start their campaign. Chris Wilder’s stuttering side are 5/12 to beat the Foxes youngsters.
Fleetwood Town are always difficult to beat at their Highbury ground and they should be too strong for Blackburn’s U23 side. A Fleetwood win is available at 10/17.
In the Southern Section, last season’s beaten finalists Oxford United will be confident of getting past an Exeter City side that have lost four of their first five League Two games.
However, the Grecians have the ability to see off anyone on their day and are available at 4/1 to beat Michael Appleton’s side while Kane Hemmings is 23/20 to score at any time in the match for the U’s.
West Ham United’s U23 side travel to Coventry City for what should be a mouth-watering encounter.
Promotion from League One will be the Sky Blues’ main aim as they embark on their fifth season outside the top two divisions, but they can be backed at 2/3 to triumph against the young Hammers.
Charlton Athletic continue to have problems off the pitch but they have made a solid start to their League One campaign following last term’s relegation from the Championship and the draw, which is available at 27/10, looks good value for Tuesday’s match against Southampton’s starlets.
There is just one tie on Wednesday and it is an all-League Two encounter at Meadow Lane between Notts County and Hartlepool United.
Former Swindon Town and Leeds United striker Billy Paynter has made a good start to the season for Pools and is 15/2 to score the first goal of the match against John Sheridan’s inconsistent side.