With the Carling Cup tie between Bristol Rovers and Watford called off at the request of police, the only match in the competition this evening sees Oxford United take on Cardiff City.
The game pitches a side who finished in mid-table in League Two last season against a team who pushed for promotion to the Premier League in the last campaign.
However, it is not long ago that Oxford and Cardiff met in the same division, with a 1-1 draw at Ninian Park and 3-2 away win for the Bluebirds at the Manor Ground played out in the 1999-2000 season in the equivalent of today’s League Two.
It is a measure of how far Cardiff have come since then that today’s match is not expected to be as close.
Indeed, the fixture is likely to be something of a mismatch if bwin’s 3Way football betting market is anything to go by.
Cardiff are priced at evens to secure victory, with a home win for Oxford available at 11/5 and a draw at 57/20.
However, Oxford will take heart from the performances of League Two sides against more-fancied opposition in yesterday’s first round matches.
Shrewsbury beat Derby County 3-2 at Pride Park, Macclesfield beat Hull 2-0 at the KC Stadium, Northampton beat Ipswich 2-1 at Portman Road and Barnet beat Portsmouth 1-0 at Fratton Park as League Two sides put their more illustrious Championship counterparts in their place.
Any football betting fans who think Cardiff could be on the end of a similar Carling Cup shock could take advantage of odds of 31/50 and bet on Oxford to win or draw in normal time in bwin’s double chance market.
A successful £25 bet on Oxford to win or draw against Cardiff in normal time, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £40.50.
Oxford’s chances will also be boosted by the fact that eight Cardiff players are away on international duty, meaning Bluebirds manager Malky Mackay will be forced to field a significantly weaker team to the one which so impressively beat West Ham 1-0 on the opening weekend of the Championship season.
Even so, the gulf in class should be too much for Oxford to overcome and, as such, the best bet remains on Cardiff joining the likes of Shrewsbury, Macclesfield, Northampton and Barnet in round two.
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