The start of the football season means it’s also the start of the Carabao Cup ties and on Tuesday evening we have a raft of 1st round fixtures. Here, we’ve previewed the televised match between EFL new boys Wrexham and League One Wigan Athletic, as well as providing you with a couple of our best bets.
The Hollywood script had a troubling first act, as newly promoted Wrexham (19/20) found League Two a seismic step up, on Saturday.
Despite letting off 23 shots, the Red Dragons found themselves on the wrong side of an eight-goal thriller, as MK Dons beat them 5-3 in front of the Town faithful.
Now Phil Parkinson’s men have an immediate chance for redemption, as they take on Wigan Athletic (11/4) in the EFL cup, in front of the SKY Cameras.
The Latics made a winning start to life in League One, beating the pre season favourites Derby County 2-1 away from home.
However, Shaun Maloney’s squad still sit rock bottom and on -5 points after their points deduction for failing to pay their players on time.
Maloney will have been encouraged by the manner of the league victory and will maintain hopes of pulling away from relegation, if they can keep up that level of performance.
Star striker Paul Mullan is missing from the squad, due to the punctured lung he suffered in pre season.
Parkinson could be tempted to make some changes to the side that faced MK Dons and that may mean a first start for James McClean, who turned down a contract offer from the Latics, to sign for the Welsh club this week.
Maloney will likely also make his own rotations, with league survival a much higher priority than a Carabao Cup 1st round tie.
Loan signings Kell Watts and James Balagizi could make their debuts for the club, after joining from Newcastle and Liverpool.
Wrexham to win and BTTS – 13/5
Both sides will obviously be prioritising their respective league matches at the weekend but I feel it will be Wrexham who can benefit here.
Wigan have an appalling record in this competition, losing in the first round in four of the last five attempts.
Meanwhile, Wrexham are appearing in the competition for the first time since 2o07 and their fans should be well up for this one,
I’m backing another high scoring thriller, with the Red Dragons progressing to the next round.
Ollie Palmer first goal scorer – 9/2
One reason for that optimism is the likelihood of big frontman Ollie Palmer being recalled.
With Mullin out injured for a while, extra pressure will be lumped on the broad shoulders of the 31-year-old, to chip in with important goals.
Palmer scored 18 goals in all competitions last season and I like his chances to net first here.
Betfred are also running their famed Double Delight / Hat-Trick Heaven offer on this tie, meaning if Palmer scores first and then nets a 2nd, you’ll be paid at double the odds (9/1). If he grabs a hat-trick, you’ll be paid at triple the odds (27/2).