We hit four out of five winners on Saturday for our accumulator column with only ten-man Bolton Wanderers letting us down.
This three-way treble I’ve put together might not be the most likely but in the current climate of relegation-threatened Premier League teams putting out weakened fields for cup matches, this 93/1 threefold for Tuesday’s action looks to capitalise on this recent trend…
Luton have failed to set the world alight since their promotion to the Premier League in the summer and that isn’t exactly a surprise to anybody. With several teams looking bang-average however in the division, they still have every opportunity to survive and they don’t need a long cup run to stretch the squad.
On Tuesday night they make the trip down to League 1 Exeter City, who themselves have started their campaign in pretty decent form. Gard Caldwell’s side currently lie in the playoff spots having picked up 16 points from their opening nine games.
They have not enjoyed the best seven days however it must be said. Reading went down there in the Football League Trophy and walloped them 0-9 before they went on the road and dropped a 3-0 scoreline at Oxford.
Reports from that game indicate that it was defensive errors that were the primary reason for that defeat. Until Saturday, they had only conceded four goals in league play through eight games. So having shipped 12 in two games (in all competitions), is this a blip or something bigger to consider?
For this game however, this column is all about bad Premier League teams playing weakened sides on the road and slipping up. Exeter have every chance to win this game should Rob Edwards heavily rotate his squad before a huge game at Goodison Park at the weekend.
Next up is actually a game where even if the Premier League outfit put out their best XI, it would still be a real contest. Wolves have tasted victory just once in the top flight but they did smash Blackpool 5-0 in the previous round of this competition.
Ipswich have been a mainstay of my accumulator columns all season long and that is helped by the fact they’ve only failed to win on one occasion so far in the 23/24 season. That is an excellent record and Kieran McKenna has got his side playing on the front foot and looking like a genuine promotion contender.
Gary O’Neil walked into Molineux with the cupboards empty but has done a very good job in the short time that he’s been in charge. The squad however does not have much depth and any major charges to their best XI will cause them plenty of problems at Portman Road.
Lastly, the biggest punt of the night as Burnley travel the short-distance down the M66 to take on League 2 strugglers Salford City. All logic points to Vincent Kompany’s men battling it out and finding a way to win and progress to the next round. Neither side however are in anything we could remotely class as form.
The Premier League side have just the one victory to their name and that was in the previous round where both they and Nottingham Forest put out pale imitations of their best XI’s. It was the Lancashire club that made their way through via a last minute winner. In the league they’ve earned just the solitary point.
Salford made it this far following a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Leeds in round two. Neil Wood’s team though haven’t won a game in 90 minutes for over a month. That last victory was a 3-4 win at Tranmere Rovers back in the middle of August.
Since that day, their league form has fallen off a cliff. Five straight defeats isn’t going to get it done under the scrutiny of a board who do not have a great reputation for giving whoever is in charge, plenty of chances.
This however is the cup and anything can happen. It will be an absolute free hit for the home side who will be able to play with freedom and I’m not expecting them to rotate their side half as much as Burnley are likely to do.
With odds of 93/1 for this treble to come in, it is that long for a reason, it would be a bit of a shock if all three Premier League sides went down in normal time but do I think it happens more than on one in 93 occasions? I do. It is certainly not one for big stakes but a small play isn’t the worst bet you could make on these fixtures.