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Capital One Cup kicks off with County at Carlisle

Carlisle United and Derby County last met in 1990/91 in the Capital One Cup, and this season’s edition of that competition starts with these two teams. Both sides came up short in their respective missions to gain Premier League promotion and stay in League One, but will come again.

Steve McClaren’s men start as odds-on 8/11 favourites to advance in 90 minutes because their hosts are on a seven match winless run. United have tasted victory at home just once since February, and that is why Coral make Graham Kavanagh’s club 7/2 outsiders to upset the beaten Championship play-off finalists. A draw, which would mean extra time and possibly penalties, is an 11/4 chance.

Leading the Carlisle attack will be journeymen Stephen Elliott, who is set to make his debut for the Cumbrians, and Billy Paynter. Odds of 15/8 say one of these strikers score at anytime and break their ducks for Kavanagh.

Finding the net has been a real problem for Carlisle, and four goals in their last 10 outings explains why they were relegated. Why not back County, then, to win to nil at 15/8.

It remains to be seen how seriously the Rams will take this, but one thing McClaren has in attack is strength in depth. Leon Best, a loan signing from Blackburn Rovers, may be promoted into the starting XI. He is 5/4 to be on target anytime.

Alternatively, Best’s compatriot and target man Conor Sammon may relish coming up against fellow Irishmen Gary Dicker, Elliott and Danny Kearns. Odds of 6/4 say the former Wigan Athletic frontman nets anytime.

The wide gulf between Derby and Carlisle should see the visitors put out a second string, so Mason Bennett, the Championship’s Apprentice of the Year, could get a run-out too. McClaren has put plenty of faith in youth during his return to the Rams, so odds of 15/8 on Bennett scoring in this match should be considered.