Crawley Town v Leeds United
Sunday 10th January, kick-off 13:30
Live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer
Red Devils in good shape – but they need Watters fit
I’ll refrain from using “The Only Way Is Sussex” line, although I would have if I had got in there first, but former TOWIE celebrity Mark Wright has featured in the news in the build-up to this following his decision to sign for the club last month. It’s a family affair, as Crawley wrapped up a deal to capture his brother Josh too.
On that theme, my uncle Bobby Dennington played at the club in the late 90s. Another good left-footer.
The Red Devils are in a good trot of form at the moment in League Two as they last tasted defeat back in November. Whilst their path to this stage of the competition came off the back of an extra-time win at Torquay and victory against AFC Wimbledon.
Manager John Yems will be hoping top-scorer Max Watters recovers from a hamstring injury, as he has netted 16 goals in 18 appearances this term and has been one of the success stories of the interrupted campaign.
Expect plenty of changes from Bielsa
The contrasting quotes of managers in the build-up has been quite amusing. Yems has said the hosts won’t try to kick lumps out of Leeds as they won’t be fast enough to catch them. Whilst Bielsa’s attempted praise might have got lost in translation by describing Crawley as a team that “responds to a direct approach”. Or Long ball. At least he is subtle.
Bielsa at least has some good news on the injury front as captain Liam Cooper is fit again following a three-game absence, although Tyler Roberts is out.
As to what team to expect from the Argentine is a guess, but the reports are going with a much-rotated side and a fairly young team.
The romantic in me would love to see a cup run for Leeds, for which they trade at 30.029/1 in the Winner market, but I doubt this competition with the way the fixture list at the moment will feature too heavily on the club’s roadmap.
As always with these markets, you are on a hiding to nothing. I’ll never go down the route of tipping or backing 1.351/3 chances, and likewise, if you go for the outsider, there’s every chance they’ll get pummeled.
However, Leeds have got history of faltering in this competition, as they have been eliminated in the third round in each of the last three campaigns – although two of those defeats were against Arsenal and QPR.
Although they have come a cropper in the third round in 12 from 17 attempts; with losses to Newport, Sutton, Rochdale, Histon and Hereford. And not to aftertime here, I am fairly sure I tipped Histon on these pages a long time ago.
The lack of a crowd obviously takes away one of the factors for the hosts, but laying Leeds at 1.351/3 looks a very-low risk lay.
After all, they lost to Hull on penalties in their opening game in the Carabao Cup, and we certainly have a laying price.
Same Game Multi Bets with players to score aren’t particularly easy without knowing team line-ups well in advance.
If you are playing Leeds, the Sportsbook Same Game Multi of the Whites to win and Over 2.5 Goals pushes you to near-evens at 1.88, whilst the in-form Watters for the hosts might appear in one or two bets, although the 21/20 to Score Anytime looks awful value.