The big fish with European commitments swim into the Capital One Cup pool in round three, though their aquatic exploits en route have rendered them ripe for a first hurdle upset.
Arsenal and Everton are the obvious candidates, having stretched their relatively small squads drum-tight in the opening exchanges.
Their foes – Southampton and Swansea – combine in a nice double that pays out at 29/4 should they bag some scalps tonight and here’s why it’s worthy of a wager.
Southampton to beat Arsenal @ 11/4
The Gunners are certain to experiment after contesting three European ties in addition to their five Premier League games.
A fully restructured defence could feasibly turn out at the Emirates, with the north Londoners unable to risk any more senior stoppers succumbing to injury.
Abou Diaby, Joel Campbell and David Ospina are poised to feature alongside youth products such as Hector Bellerin and Chuba Akpom in what is sure to be a side much-changed from the one that bested Aston Villa so easily last time out.
Fixture gridlock is an issue the Saints don’t have to deal with and boss Ronald Koeman could well stick with many of the players that helped his team scale to second-place in the table.
New signing Sadio Mane is set to make his debut following a summer move from Red Bull Salzburg, for whom he fired 13 goals from the left-wing last term.
The St Mary’s establishment look good in the annals too, having avoided defeat in four of their last six against Arsenal.
Swansea to beat Everton @ 6/5
Those very same annals do not reflect so well on the Swans though, with a goalless draw in 2012/13 the modicum of positivity they can extract from their seven clashes with the Toffees since earning their Premier League stripes.
However, victory numero uno is but a few hours away, with Roberto Martinez almost certain to give the staples of his first-team the night off.
Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo are poised to start their first games since their long-term injury lay offs, but statistics refute the notion that their returns will herald a Blues win.
Everton have lost five of seven away games in this competition and have been ejected at this stage three times in the past four seasons.
The 2013 winners have kept five clean sheets in six Capital One Cup outings and look a big price to claim the laurels on their own patch.