The second round of the EFL Cup gets underway in England this week, with Premier League side Southampton welcoming Championship club Wolves to St Mary’s on Wednesday evening.
Southampton Team News
Southampton claimed their first three points of the new Premier League campaign against West Ham United on Saturday, with new boss Mauricio Pellegrino likely to use the EFL Cup as a competition in which to give some of his fringe and young players a run out. Having reached the final last year, the Saints will be looking to make good progress this time around also, with the South-Coast based club having a strong tradition in this tournament. The likes of Charlie Austin, Sofiane Boufal and James Ward-Prowse are likely to start on Wednesday, having been restricted to substitute appearances so far this season. Meanwhile, Captain Virgil van Dijk will once again be absent due to injury, with the Dutch defender having handed in a transfer request at St Mary’s last week.
Wolves Team News
Wolves have made a strong start to their Championship campaign, winning three of their opening four matches under new boss Nuno Santo. Having invested heavily in their playing squad over the summer, their team is much changed from last season, with plenty of foreign imports having headed to the Midlands in recent weeks. However, the likes of Ruben Neves, Leo Bonatini and Diogo Jota could all well be rested following their exploits at the weekend, with fringe players such as Danny Batth, Ryan Bennett and Nouha Dicko likely to line up against their opponents from the Premier League. Santo is likely to focus on his sides battle for promotion even at this early stage of the season, meaning that it would be little surprise to see Wolves line-up with a significantly weaker squad than usual.
Head to Head
Despite not meeting since back in 2009, the two teams having faced off against each other on no fewer than 62 times over their history, with Southampton having won 26 of those encounters, drawing 16 along the way too. However, Wolves won twice against Southampton back in the 2008/09 Championship, including a 2-1 victory at St Mary’s.
Betting Odds and Predictions
Taking all of this information into consideration, there are a whole host of betting markets that are potentially worth taking advantage of. Firstly, given the fact that Southampton are a Premier League club, as well as the fact that they reached the final of this competition last year, backing them to defeat Wolves in 90 minutes is well worth a look. With odds of 4/7 from SkyBet, this is an attractive bet.
Elsewhere, for those predicting a surprise away win for the Championship side, you can get odds of 50/11 from 10Bet, which may well be worth backing with a small stake given their early season form. Finally, backing a draw between the two teams may well prove favourable, with odds of 3/1 found at William Hill for this outcome.
Top Betting Tip
Despite the previous predictions, our top betting tip is to back Southampton to qualify for the next round, which means that even if they require extra time or penalties to beat Wolves, your bet will still be successful. This can be found at best odds of 5/1 at Ladbrokes.