Brighton v Aston Villa: Aston Villa to win – 23/10
Brighton are without a win at home in all competitions since the beginning of March and it is something that they’ll have to arrest promptly if they are to survive this season.
Wednesday night is a good opportunity to do so against a wounded Villa side who came agonisingly close to collecting three points from the Emirates and left with nothing.
It has been the tale of Villa’s season so far, as they have shown plenty of promise but still find themselves 18th.
Both sides have blown hot and cold in the Premier League, and both will likely be in the relegation mix towards the tail end of the campaign.
Dean Smith is likely to experiment with his starting XI on Wednesday as he did against Crewe in the last round, while Brighton are likely to hand a start to young Ireland prospect Aaron Connolly who has looked promising in the early days of his career.
If both sides do end up resting players, Villa’s second-string side looks stronger on paper and that means Brighton’s winless run at the Amex may continue.
Burton Albion v Bournemouth: Bournemouth to win – 4/6
Bournemouth have started this season in a similar fashion to how they started the last. The Cherries ultimately set a pace that they could not sustain last season and they ended up finishing a meagre 14th.
The challenge for Eddie Howe this season, therefore, is to maintain these early season levels throughout the campaign and finish in the top half of the table for the first time since 2017. Either that or they could put together a good cup run.
The Premier League high-fliers should have no trouble prolonging their cup run against League One Burton Albion though, and The Brewers have struggled hugely since they were relegated from the Championship in 2018.
Burton currently languish in 14th in England’s third tier and have an impeccable record of consistency in the league so far, having won three, drew three and lost three.
A weakened Bournemouth still should still have way too much for Burton on Wednesday.
Oxford v West Ham: West Ham (-1) – 13/10
West Ham are another club that need to find some consistency this season. The Hammers have forked out a huge amount since their move to the London Stadium in 2016 but have yet to finish above 10th in the Premier League.
However, they have started this season remarkably well given that they were obliterated by Man City on the opening day and they look like a genuine contender to challenge for a top six spot.
The time is probably right for a West Ham cup run as well, and they should have no problems sweeping past League One Oxford United on Wednesday.
Like Burton, Oxford have been exceedingly average in League One this season, losing more games than they have won at this early stage. They did just thump Lincoln 6-0 on their own patch at the weekend, though.
Having said that, Lincoln have fallen from grace after an unsustainable start to life in League One and West Ham should have far too much quality for Oxford here.
* All odds correct at time of posting.