Back the Baggies to beat Bury
West Brom travel to Gigg Lane to face Bury in this Carling Cup first round tie as hot 8/11 favourites in the betting.
The Baggies, despite their relegation at the end of last season, still have some Premier League quality in their squad. Albeit five of their players are on international duty this week so will be missing this clash with the Shakers.
Chris Brunt, Robert Koren, Marek Cech, Youssouf Mulumbu and Abdoulaye Meite are all absent, the first four all started at the weekend against Newcastle in their 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns, so boss Roberto di Matteo will have to make at least four changes to his starting line-up.
The Italian could be tempted to make more though and this could hinder the Baggies' chances of progressing to the second round. Reuben Reid is likely to make his debut at a ground where he scored last season in a 2-1 success for his old club Rotherham.
That night he scored within two minutes of kick-off to notch the first of the game and he can be backed at 6/1 to do so again. He is also available at 7/4 to score within the 90 minutes.
Another player who is set to make his debut for the Throstles is new signing Joe Mattock. The left back joined today from Leicester City and could replace the absent Cech.
As long as Di Matteo does not make wholesale changes, which he says he won't, then Albion should have too much quality for Alan Knill's side and look well set for a 90 minute win at odds of 8/11.
If you fancy an upset, then a Bury win is priced at 14/5 and the draw is a 5/2 shot.
However the Shakers were left in shock as Bournemouth ran out 3-0 winners at Gigg Lane on Saturday, therefore I find it hard to see how Bury can lift their game so much to compete against the Championship title favourites.
Bury's star striker Andy Bishop is still on the sidelines so it will probably be the same strikeforce as Saturday, the summer signing duo of Ryan Lowe and Danny Carlton. There is no doubting Lowe's pedigree having top scored, with 18, for a poor Chester side last term. The same cannot be said of Danny Carlton though.
Carlton came up through Morecambe's youth set-up before signing for Carlisle. But he proved to be a failure in Cumbria scoring just three times in 21 starts.
The Cumbrians had seen enough and loaned the forward back to Morecambe last season and then another loan spell at Darlington followed. Alan Knill saw enough from Carlton in his spells in League 2 to bring him to Gigg Lane. But I would not want to be backing him to open the scoring at 8/1 or the 11/4 to score within the 90 minutes. Lowe is available at the same prices and is by far the better bet of the two.
Everyone knows that West Brom had a tendency to leak goals last season, but they could keep a clean sheet here, which can be backed at 11/10. Bury have won just one Carling Cup match since 2003 and have not scored a goal in the competition since 2006. They have also not won a game under boss Alan Knill in either the FA or the Carling Cup.
None of this bodes well for the League 2 side as they entertain one of the best footballing sides in the country.
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