Northampton Town v Cardiff City
Cardiff City enjoyed a fine 4-1 victory against Newcastle United on Saturday and their performance prompted Alan Pardew to suggest the Bluebirds “had a very good chance” of getting promoted, especially with Craig Bellamy close to completing a move from Liverpool.
Malky Mackay certainly seems to have created a quality squad and City seem like a very good bet at 5/6 (BetVictor £100 free bet) to win at the Sixfields Stadium, with the Scot having signed talented South Korean Kim Bo-Kyung in the summer, while Etien Velikonja also seems like a dangerous player.
The Cobblers are also managed by a former Watford boss and Aidy Boothroyd will be hoping for a strong performance from his Northampton side ahead of their League Two campaign, with odds of 3/1 (bet365 £200 free bets) available that they dump Cardiff out of the cup.
Swindon v Brighton
This match is on Sky and little wonder considering we have two feisty young managers on the touchline in the form of Paolo Di Canio and Gus Poyet. The Swindon manager did excellently in his first season at the County Ground and will be relishing the challenge of facing a Seagulls side that should build on last season’s mid-table finish in the Championship.
The bookies do make Brighton marginal favourites to win this game at 11/8 (bet365) although it won’t be an easy task against a team who claimed the League Two title last season and also beat Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup to show they are not a soft touch at home.
Swindon are probably the bet at 21/10 and Di Canio has recruited well this summer, bringing in Gary Roberts, Alan Navarro and James Collins among others.
Torquay United v Leicester
A long trip to the south coast for the Foxes who are fresh from a 1-0 friendly win over Sunderland at the weekend, with Nigel Pearson now looking for his team to continue a winning run and carry them into the new season.
Leicester could prove too strong for the Gulls and City can be backed at 5/6 (Coral) to claim the spoils in this match, with Jamie Vardy and Jermaine Beckford potentially being paired together again for the game and the former Fleetwood man looks a decent bet at 8/1 to score the first goal.
Torquay are many people’s dark horse to win the League Two title and they do seem an attractive price considering they landed a play-off spot last term. Martin Ling is an experienced manager and the south coast side have little to lose from this contest.