There are eight EFL Cup third-round ties on Wednesday with Manchester United, Man City, Spurs and Southampton all entering the competition and the Red Devils, in particular, will be keen to secure a much-needed win after a miserable week.
The Red Devils have endured a September to forget so far, losing the Manchester derby, suffering defeat against Feyenoord in the Europa League and then going down to a dismal 3-1 defeat at Watford in the Premier League on Sunday.
There are plenty of question marks over Jose Mourinho’s team selection at the moment and, ordinarily, he would be expected to make plenty of changes for the League Cup.
However, a shock defeat against the Cobblers would only serve to crank up the early-season pressure on him further, so Jose may decide to field more first-team regulars than normal.
Whoever he selects, United (2/7) should still be good enough to see off Town, but they enter this tie in a fragile state and those brave enough to back League One Northampton would be rewarded with attractive odds of 17/2.
Like United, West Ham are a team in need of a win following back-to-back 4-2 defeats to Watford and West Brom in the league.
Accrington are the visitors to the London Stadium on Wednesday but it’s surely too much to ask for the League Two side to get the better of the Hammers, at 21/2, and progress, even if Slaven Bilic’s side (20/87) so far this season look a pale shadow of the team that finished seventh in the top flight last term.
The Black Cats have yet to win this season and while boss David Moyes would love a morale-boosting win at Loftus Road, the EFL Cup is not his priority at the moment.
With that in mind, he’s set to ring the changes and rest players for the Premier League challenges ahead, giving Rangers an even better chance, especially in the absence of Jermain Defoe who is nursing a knock.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is expected to make some changes too, but that will offer little respite to Gillingham as it’s only likely to mean summer signings Vincent Janssen and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou will get the nod up front, while highly-rated youngsters Harry Winks and Cameron Carter-Vickers should also feature.
Therefore it’s still set to be a line-up far too good for the Gills, who are available at a huge 12/1 to win at White Hart Lane.
There are three all-Premier League ties and, again, expect plenty of changes from managers keen to rest players and give those on the fringes of the first team a chance to shine.
Southampton (1/1) and Crystal Palace (51/20) have both made indifferent starts to the season and this looks like a clash that could go either way, unlike the Man City v Swansea (5/1) encounter at the Liberty Stadium, which you can only see being won by Pep Guardiola’s men (20/41).
These two have made very similar starts in the league, with three wins each from eight games so far and, as the odds suggest, it’s another tricky game to predict although the Cottagers, with home advantage, will hope to edge it.