Burnley are still an unknown quantity this season since their league opener against Manchester United was postponed due to the latter’s involvement in Europe in August, but we should know what to expect from a Sean Dyche side at this stage.
Burnley have been remarkably consistent since winning promotion to the Premier League in 2016 and enjoyed a particularly solid run of results following the restart in June this year.
This is their final dress rehearsal before their Premier League bow on Sunday and they should be right at it against a Sheffield United side that already looks as though it is in for a much tougher season this year.
Chris Wilder’s side defied all expectations last season, but haven’t really looked like the same side since the restart.
Their opening day defeat to Wolves, coupled with the manner in which they conceded, did nothing to ease those concerns and supporters will fear the cliched second season syndrome is about to kick in.
The League Cup should be a welcome distraction for the Blades, but they put a lot into Monday night’s game and they will surely rotate a lot ahead of a big trip to Aston Villa.
Burnley should overpower them on Thursday night.
While Wolves were excellent in their opening day victory at Bramall Lane, they have had two days less to prefer for this League Cup clash than Stoke and will surely have to rest players.
Stoke are building something under Michael O’Neill and were a completely different outfit at the end of less season than they were at the beginning. Their end-of-season wins over Brentford and Nottingham Forest put paid to both sides’ promotion ambitions and Stoke will surely be in the mix for promotion this year.
Michael O’Neill’s side came away from Millwall with a credible point on Saturday, and their extra two days of rest should play right into their hands.
Nuno Espirito Santo simply doesn’t have the depth at his disposal to simultaneously rest key players and field a strong team and Stoke will fancy their chances of taking this to penalties at least.
Brighton were unfortunate in their opening day defeat to Chelsea and fell behind on two occasions due to one moment of individual brilliance and one individual error.
Portsmouth, on the other hand, looked sluggish in their opening day stalemate at home to Shrewsbury and it looks as though their play-off heartache still weighs heavily on the players’ minds.
Pompey have now fallen at the play-off semi-final hurdle in each of their past two seasons and that may take its toll in the early weeks of the season.
Their chances of progressing against Brighton, who are building something under Graham Potter, are therefore slim but not impossible.
Brighton have a talented crop of young players and Potter will surely give some of them a chance on Thursday night. Youthful exuberance should make up for their lack of experience and they should have just about enough for their League One opponents.
Paddy Power’s Thursday night Carabao Cup treble
- A treble of the above 3 bets clocks in at 9/1 with Paddy Power.
*Odds are correct at time of publication and they’re always bang on in our handy betting widgets*
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