With the domestic leagues back underway, this midweek sees the return of the Carabao Cup as EFL clubs contest Round One. 

As reward for failing to finish last in Premier League last season, Stoke and Swansea have been given byes to the second round, leaving 70 clubs at this stage. 

With 35 ties, we could well see some cupsets here so which ties are worth watching out for?

 

Carlisle United vs Blackburn Rovers

This has potential cupset written all over it because Carlisle have won their three previous meetings in this competition. 

2013’s clash proved to be a classic as both teams played out a 3-3 draw before the Cumbrians claimed victory on penalties. 

This time around, things should be much tighter after Rovers drew their last two games whilst Carlisle are slowly getting their act together, following an opening day defeat then draw on Saturday. 

Although Carlisle currently have the edge from previous League Cup meetings, I am going for a Blackburn win because they look the stronger side. 

Prediction: Carlisle United 1-2 Blackburn Rovers

Result: Carlisle United 1-5 Blackburn Rovers

 

Oldham vs Derby County

Having twice won this competition in Chelsea over a decade ago, Frank Lampard knows what it takes to win, as he takes his Derby side to Boundary Park, where Oldham will be sniffing a cupset. 

After Saturday’s demolition by Leeds, Derby need a swift response here but Oldham have won three of their last four cup meetings in this fixture. 

This time around, Oldham need to focus on the league more than Derby who can enjoy a little cup run, so therefore expect a nice simple away win. 

Prediction: Oldham 0-2 Derby County

Result: Oldham 0-2 Derby County

 

Exeter City vs Ipswich Town

Any tie with the bigger team away from home could always provide a slip-up, as Ipswich could well find out here.

Exeter are currently in form, having not lost their two opening league games so far nor pre season unlike Ipswich who have struggled so far with three wins and losses apiece plus a opening 2-2 draw in Championship. 

The Tractor Boys however are unbeaten in three previous League Cup meetings between these sides, although I reckon that stat might well end here if Ipswich don’t deliver. 

Prediction: Exeter City 2-1 Ipswich Town

Result: Exeter City 1-1 Ipswich Town (Exeter City win 4-2 on penalties)

 

Southend United vs Brentford

Brentford have an inconsistent love affair with this competition, having lost at this stage in six of last ten seasons.

Southend therefore will be smelling a potential cupset here, particularly given that they won two of three previous ties (played over two legs). 

Brentford however have started the  league season well for once and look set for a promotion bid, although they will hopefully take this seriously to create some momentum. 

If they do that, I can see just one clear winner here. 

Prediction: Southend United 0-2 Brentford

Result: Southend United 2-4 Brentford 

 

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