Capital One Cup derbies promise passion between northern rivals
The Capital One Cup is upon us once again, and brings football fans some tough and tasty ties with the first round featuring several feisty derbies between fierce rivals.
While the latter stages of this competition are usually reserved for the glitz and glamour of Premier League duels with a sprinkling of Championship underdog tenacity, the opening encounters often offer the chance to see something a little different.
Here, Coral writers run the rule over three exciting riveting rivalries between plucky northern competitors…
The two Northwest teams have had contrasting fortunes of late, with Bury brilliantly boosted by promotion into League One, where they will now tussle twice with Wigan, who were wretchedly relegated from the Championship last term.
While the Shakers announced their arrival in the third tier with a hard fought draw, the Latics, who have fallen a long way since being Premier League regulars and FA Cup winners in 2013, slumped to an opening defeat.
Perhaps Wigan, odds-on favourites for victory with Coral in 90 minutes at 10/11, will still be classed as the bigger fish, and have gotten the better of Bury in three of their past five battles. However, the historically successful Shakers hold the record in cup clashes, with four wins and two draws, so are worth a 3/1 punt to claim local bragging rights.
York City Bradford City
Next we travel across the Pennines to Yorkshire, as the Minstermen play host to League One side Bradford at Bootham Crescent, in the iconic and historic former capital of York.
The visiting Bantams (11/8 to win) venture from Valley Parade to begin another cup adventure, having enthralled neutrals last campaign after sinking giants Chelsea and Sunderland in the FA Cup, before crashing out to Reading.
Runners-up in this competition in 2013, the ambitious Amber and Claret club should have too much for League Two minnows York. Though, as Bradford were not so long ago in the same division, perhaps not so much will separate them on the night. Customers can take a draw at 12/5.
Doncaster Rovers v Leeds United
Staying in Yorkshire, representatives from the south and west of the county clash here and are all too familiar to one another, having encountered each other in this competition twice in the past four terms.
Championship toilers Leeds took the spoils from both of those tussles, so are 7/5 match favourites, but third tier Rovers have spoiled the Peacocks’ party before, famously defeating them in a League One play-off final back in 2008.
Former Arsenal and Manchester City striker Paul Dickov is currently ensconced in the Donny dugout, and is 15/8 to lead his team to a triumph against the unpredictable Elland Road outfit.
With an emphatic 13 wins to five against their fellow Yorkshiremen, former football royalty Leeds, now backed by wildcard Italian chairman Massimo Cellino, are expected to eventually see off Donny, in this tricky televised tie.
Expect this one to bring the fans out in force, and back Doncaster-born local hero and Leeds academy star Alex Mowatt at a tempting 12/5 to be on target anytime against his hometown club.