The EFL Cup is back tonight, and we’ve got a 7/1 EFL Cup accumulator ready and waiting for those who want to get involved in some midweek knockout football.
Interestingly, there are no matchups in the League Cup 2nd Round tonight in which both managers were in charge of their clubs in last year’s competition. Whilst this speaks to the modern game and the shelf-life of managers, it also means that it is difficult to predict how much rotation certain managers will go with in tonight’s games.
However, we’ve done the hard work to research all of the managers who are still in charge of their clubs from last season’s competition and how much they rotated their teams. This can be key to finding the value in this competition in particular, and is something we’ve leaned on heavily tonight with our 7/1 EFL Cup accumulator.
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Tuesday’s EFL Cup Accumulator Tips
Fulham v Tottenham
The basis for this bet is all about the Postecoglou method. It is the expectation that Marco Silva will completely rotate his Fulham side, he did so last year in a poor 2-0 defeat to League Two Crawley Town at this stage.
Whilst it is not yet known what the Tottenham manager will do in terms of personnel, we can be quite sure that the way that the Australian wants his team to play will not change. Looking at his League Cup record with Celtic, which is perfect in terms of wins, he also selected fairly strong sides in the competition. Though not full strength, his team played with attacking verve and intent, last year scoring four goals in each of their first two ties, both against SPL opposition.
The quality of top Premier League squads in the modern game is such that even a full rotation doesn’t necessarily reduce the quality of play all that much. However, the second XI of Tottenham is slightly stronger than Fulham’s. Add to this that Richarlison is likely to retain his place and Spurs should have the edge there.
In terms of form, Spurs also have the edge. Fulham have created a respectable 2.2xG in their two Premier League games so far, but have conceded 6.2 xG in the same period. This chance concession is the worst in the Premier League so far.
Tottenham’s xG isn’t amazing at this stage either, but they have shown more in both boxes than Fulham. Postecoglou’s style of play is a difficult one to play against, especially for players who aren’t potentially at full-match fitness. There is enough in Spurs’ favour heading into this match to make them a strong enough fancy for this acca.
Luton v Gillingham
Rob Edwards’ side must be reeling somewhat. They haven’t disgraced themselves in any way in their two matches so far, indeed there are aspects of their performances that show promise, and though relegation does feel likely for the Hatters, they will give a good account of themselves.
However, this is a tricky tie for Edwards. Undoubtedly they really want to view this as a potential to get their confidence up with a potential big win, but Gillingham could be a tougher nut to crack than they might expect for a League Two side.
Neil Harris’ side are sitting 2nd in the early league table after winning each of their first four matches 1-0. The spell was broken somewhat with a pretty shocking defeat at home to Colchester last time out, but, perversely, this could help them ahead of this tie. There will be a degree of determination to return to defensive solidity from Harris and his players.
Luton are very likely to rotate to give their squad players a taste of action and whilst they have obviously improved their squad depth over the summer, their second XI is still going to contain players that are more used to a Championship level of football than Premier League. Whilst Edwards wasn’t in charge of Luton for the early League Cup rounds last season, his approach with Watford was to fully rotate his side, with the result being a 2-0 home defeat to League One MK Dons.
Neil Harris’ approach as Gillingham’s manager was to only rotate minimally. They were actually pretty successful in the League Cup last year, reaching the round of 16, despite enduring a very poor start to the season. Harris and his players clearly took this competition seriously and one would expect them to do so again.
Newport v Brentford
Newport’s record in cup competitions in recent years is quite incredible. Their victory against Charlton in the previous round was yet another example of the Exiles’ proficiency in knockout football.
The Addicks were added to Swansea City, Watford, Luton, Portsmouth, Leeds, and Middlesbrough, as victims of Newport in recent League Cup or FA Cup runs. In other words, there is confidence at the club that they can take anyone on, especially at Rodney Parade.
Added to this confidence in the cups is the fact that Newport have had an excellent start to the season under Graham Coughlan. There were concerns ahead of the season that cost-cutting and the departures of key players, especially in defence, would derail the progress of the Welsh club, but early on-pitch evidence suggests that Coughlan had galvanised his small squad and, importantly, found a way to get goals from his side.
Indeed, Newport have arguably deserved more from their performances than they have gotten so far. Their performance data has them 4th in League Two for xG difference and 5th for expected points. This is relevant because Coughlan doesn’t really have the size of squad required to rotate his team very much, they are likely to play a strong XI here.
Conversely, Thomas Frank will definitely look to rotate his team. Frank performed a full eleven-place rotation in the League Cup last year, and one suspects he will look to do the same again this time around.
It worked out ok in the opening round in 2022 with a 2-0 win away at Colchester, but they then lost on penalties to Gillingham in the next round. Newport are playing much better than either of those sides were last season and with the handicap being +2, we can still have a narrow Brentford win onside. It seems like a cracking bet to add to the acca.
Wrexham v Bradford
The Racecourse Ground was where chances went to die in the last round against Wigan. Despite both sides having a plethora of chances neither team were able to convert in what then became quite a tense cup tie in the second half.
This cup tie was in direct contrast to what we have seen from Wrexham in League Two. Their scorelines in the league read 3-5, 1-1, 4-2, 5-5, 1-1, in other words, lots of action in both goal areas. This is matched by their performance data which boasts the highest overall xG in the league, over 17xG in their five matches so far.
This is obviously Wrexham’s first League Cup run in years, owing to their absence from the league since 2007/08, but they certainly took the competition seriously judging by their performance against Wigan, despite a bit of rotation in their starting lineup.
Mark Hughes always takes cup competitions seriously. He has had good records as a player and as a manager in both cup competitions and last year his Bradford team showed no rotation from his best league side.
Bradford aren’t flying in the league at the moment and pressure is gathering around Hughes so it will be important for him to gather some momentum and get a result in this match. They will certainly be looking to progress and, actually, their xG numbers aren’t bad in the league. They have been able to create over 8xG in 5 matches, and they will undoubtedly get chances in this match.
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Written by an Andy verified content writer
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