Capital Cup first round fixtures, preview and free bets: Sat 11 August

The English football season starts this weekend, although teams from the Championship, League One and League Two will be involved in League Cup fixtures rather than raising the curtains on their respective divisions

There are thirteen matches being played on Saturday, with several second-flight teams involved and that includes Leeds United who will entertain Shrewsbury Town at Elland Road. Neil Warnock is assembling a squad that he hopes will challenge for promotion and you can get 8/13 (William Hill free bets) about the Yorkshire side winning the match.

Middlesbrough are another side hoping to land a place in the Premier League twelve months down the line and Tony Mowbray’s men are a best price 17/20 (Hills) to claim victory at Gigg Lane, although the Capital Cup might not be a priority for every side this season.

Sheffield United (1/2 bet365) are favourites to win League One after losing to Huddersfield in the play-off final last term and they will be expected to get past Burton, while the same applies to Wolverhampton Wanderers when they take on Aldershot.

Wolves are among the favourites to make an instant return to the top flight, while Hull City could also be in the thick of things and Steve Bruce gets the first chance to see the Tigers play a competitive match. It looks like an interesting encounter against a Rotherham side who have recruited Steve Evans as manager and are favourites to win League Two.

Cheltenham were a whisker from getting out of the Football League’s fourth tier last season and will entertain MK Dons who experienced play-off heartache of their own, while there is a Yorkshire derby at the Keepmoat where Doncaster host a York City team who are back in League Two.

Carlisle United have a fairly local tie against Accrington Stanley and will be looking to avoid any slip-ups ahead of their League One campaign which they hope will result in a top-six position. Greg Abbott’s team have threatened the play-off places in recent seasons and can be backed at 7/10 (Paddy Power) to claim victory here.

Watford will be led into battle by Gianfranco Zola this season and the Hornets entertain a Wycombe side who were relegated from League One last term, while there is an all-League One clash at the Bescot Stadium when Walsall hope to get the better of Brentford.

Notts County are another League One side hoping to make a promotion assault and they will be up against a resurgent Bradford team who ply their trade a division lower, with Crewe lining up against Hartlepool at Gresty Road.

On Sunday, Blackpool and Morecambe clash at Bloomfield Road, with Ian Holloway’s side coming very close to booking their place in the Premier League before losing to West Ham in the Championship play-off final last May.


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