Coventry and Cardiff clash in Capital One Cup
Coventry City have never lost a cup tie against Cardiff City, but their Capital One Cup clash could change that history. The Bluebirds have creative force Peter Whittingham in their ranks, and over the years he’s been a real scourge for the Sky Blues.
With five goals in his last six appearances against the West Midlands outfit, Coral’s odds of 7/2 for Whittingham to net anytime are hugely attractive. It can come as no surprise, then, that Cardiff start as even-money favourites to win this tie in 90 minutes. They are also odds-on at 1/2 to advance.
For all their differences in terms of resources and status, Coventry and the Bluebirds share common ground over losing key players this summer. Sky Blues top scorer Callum Wilson was sold to Bournemouth, while impressive Cardiff midfield anchor Gary Medel and centre back Steven Caulker have joined Inter Milan and QPR respectively.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also moved to replace Fraizer Campbell with a trio of strikers. Adam le Fondre, Javi Guerra and Federico Macheda. That latter duo could make debuts here, and are 6/4 each to cap their bows with goals. Fellow summer signing Guido Burgstaller and Joe Ralls are set for wide Bluebirds berths; they are 11/4 and 11/2 respectively to be on target anytime here.
Coventry, 13/5 outsiders for a win in 90 minutes (and 6/4 to upset Cardiff by qualifying for second round), will make a change in goal, with coach Steven Pressley confirming Lee Burge is getting the nod. Odds on a draw, which means a minimum of extra time, is 5/2.
The Sky Blues scoring burden after Wilson should fall on former Nottingham Forest forward Marcus Tudgay. Now 31, his experience will be essential if Coventry are to get change out of the Bluebirds backline. Tudgay is 15/8 for a goal anytime.
Northern Ireland international Josh McQuoid, a loan signing from Bournemouth that helped smooth the Wilson deal, provides a foil in the Coventry attack at 2/1. Pressley named former Sheffield Wednesday defender Reda Johnson as his new captain, and that responsibility was repaid with two goals in an opening day loss to Bradford City.
Benin international Johnson is a real set piece threat, so Cardiff will have to be wary of him. Odds of 9/2 say he will score anytime, and looks likely to shake off a knock. The strength in depth available to Solskjaer, which he has pledged to use, should prove too strong, however, and, odds of a 2-1 away win at 8/1 look attractive.