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Five potential EFL Cup second round upsets featuring Leeds, Swansea and more

Holly Thackeray | August 23, 2016

Five potential EFL Cup second round upsets

English cup competitions are renowned for giant-killings, David and Goliath style shocks and surprise results galore, and the recently rebranded EFL Cup is continuing that trend in earnest.

The League Cup, as it is also known, proved its entertainment value in early August as underdog lower league clubs raised the curtain on round one in style.

Luton Town v Aston Villa - EFL Cup - First Round - Kenilworth Road

Several Championship clubs fell at the first hurdle, with Aston Villa crashing out to League Two Luton Town, while fellow third tier team Morecambe outscored Rotherham United in a nine-goal thriller, as League One’s Shrewsbury Town sank Huddersfield Town – and those are just some of the highlights!

So, as this midweek throws up yet more fascinating fixtures, here are our picks for five potential EFL Cup second round upsets…

Oxford could oust understrength Seagulls

There’s little doubt that, on the surface, Championship club Brighton and Hove Albion would be favourites headed into their encounter with hosting Oxford United of League One.

Yet the away team aren’t odds-on for victory, perhaps due to coach Chris Hughton’s decision to make wholesale changes, 11 in fact, for the Seagulls’ first round victory against Colchester United.

Birmingham City v Oxford United - EFL Cup - First Round - St Andrews

As the Brighton boys are seeking promotion, the seaside club are tipped to tinker with their usual line-up again but in Oxford they face a different opponent – one which tasted success against the likes of Swansea City and Brentford in cup competitions last term.

The ambitious U’s, riding the crest of a wave after promotion, courageously conquered Championship club Birmingham City in their first fixture, and look tasty at 13/5 with Coral to scalp another second tier team.

Posh could pip Swans

Could a Premier League team also exit the EFL Cup early? Odds of 5/2 say League One Posh can upset the apple cart against Swansea, as Peterborough host the struggling Welsh side at the ABAX Stadium.

Peterborough United v Norwich City - Pre Season Friendly - ABAX Stadium

League Cup success may be the last thing on Swans boss Francesco Guidolin’s mind after a 2-0 loss to Hull City in the PL, with the visitors looking vulnerable after star turns Ashley Williams and Andre Ayew’s departures.

Luton looking for repeat against Leeds

Of course, Luton’s spirited antics against Aston Villa was the headline stealer in round one, and the League Two Hatters can go mad again versus Leeds United with a 19/10 price to triumph at home.

Luton Town v Aston Villa - EFL Cup - First Round - Kenilworth Road

Fallen Yorkshire giants Leeds only won their first game in normal time at the weekend, having previously required penalties to get to this EFL Cup round, and must have one eye on performing in the Championship so could very well rest key players.

While, Bedfordshire boys Luton have nothing to lose and have been beaten in just one of five matches across all competitions this campaign.

Crewe can heap blues on Blackburn

Blackburn Rovers are another Championship team to have fallen far in recent years and Crewe Alexandra can compound the Lancashire club’s woe with a win at Ewood Park.

Sheffield United v Crewe Alexandra - EFL Cup - First Round - Bramall Lane

The Railywaymen may be in League Two but sank League One superiors Sheffield United to get this chance and look value at 11/2 to end Rovers’ run. Blackburn are in bother as they sit rock bottom of the English second-tier on just one point after losing talents such as Jordan Rhodes last season.

MK Dons can ruin Royal Reading plans

Reading are without a win in three, and will surely have Championship duty on their minds, as they currently sit in an uncomfortable 21st place under new boss Jaap Stam.

MK Dons v Everton - Pre-Season Friendly - stadium:mk

Readers, meanwhile, will remember that MK Dons love a good cup shock, as they thumped Premier League big-guns Manchester United 4-0 back in 2014.

That memorable evening aside, League One Dons also took four points from six versus the Royals last term when they were in the same division, so make for an enticing 8/1 to win in 90 minutes.

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Don’t forget to stop by our football section for more top tips.

What is your favourite football cup shock of all time? Let us know in the comments below.