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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Derby have the depth to progress with triumph at Hull

Southampton, Rochdale and Bournemouth deserve support too

Frank Lampard got a good response against Sheffield Wednesday to Derby's home loss to Aston Villa before the international break
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From 7.30pm Tuesday

Hull v Derby

Frank Lampard is experiencing a few teething problems in his first managerial job but he has led Derby to back-to-back league victories and can steer them to success at Hull in the second round of the EFL Cup.

With Derby adjusting to a new manager and more of a passing style of play, there was always the possibility of them making a slow start in the Sky Bet Championship.

But confidence is on the rise after last week's twin 2-0 wins at home to Ipswich and Preston which have sent them soaring from 14th to seventh.

Hull had a mixed week, winning 3-2 at Rotherham last Tuesday and losing 2-0 at Stoke at the weekend.

And now they face successive home matches against Derby, who are their league opponents at the KCom Stadium this Saturday.

Hull manager Nigel Adkins is likely to prioritise the second of the games as he seeks to steer the 19th-placed Tigers to a safer position in the table.

He will probably make wholesale changes and will need turn to the club's youngsters because the Hull squad is short on experience and numbers.

Lampard will also ring the changes but he has a lot more options with big-money signings Jack Marriott and Martyn Waghorn among the players pushing for a start.

Derby's second string looks a lot more reliable than Hull's and their strength in depth could be the key.

2pts 7-4 Sky Bet

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Brighton v Southampton

Under-pressure Southampton manager Mark Hughes needs a victory and has promised to name a strong side for the south-coast derby in Brighton.

Saints have taken just one point from three league games but have done well in the knockout competitions in recent years, reaching the EFL Cup final in 2017 and the FA Cup semi-finals this year.

Premier League points will be their priority but they would much rather go into Saturday's clash at Crystal Palace with a win under their belts.

Brighton are only two points better off but they will be satisfied with their start, having already played at home to Manchester United (won 3-2) and Liverpool (lost 1-0).

However, Chris Hughton will be taking nothing for granted and is set to persist with his usual approach of resting players for the early rounds of cup competitions.

This time last year a second-string Albion side scraped a 1-0 success at home to League Two Barnet. They will find life a lot tougher against the Saints, who are keen to get their season up and running.

Southampton draw no bet
2pts 5-4 Betfair, Paddy Power

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Middlesbrough v Rochdale

Middlesbrough had a major scare in the first round, drawing 3-3 at home to Notts County and coming through in a penalty shootout.

However, manager Tony Pulis is set to make wholesale changes for the second-round clash at home to Rochdale and could pay the price with the Sky Bet League One strugglers in with a good chance of springing a surprise.

Pulis is putting all of his efforts into steering Boro to the Premier League and will be looking ahead to Friday's massive Sky Bet Championship clash against promotion rivals Leeds at Elland Road.

The Boro boss made ten changes for the first-round match with Notts County and handed a debut to 16-year-old defender Nathan Wood.

His selection policy may benefit Boro's promotion push but it also hands a great opportunity to Dale, who have a taste for the cups, having reached the FA Cup fifth round last term.

Rochdale +1 on Asian handicap
2pts 89-100 bet365

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Bournemouth v MK Dons

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is preparing to ring the changes but even his second string should be too strong for Sky Bet League Two MK Dons at the Vitality Stadium.

England international midfielder Lewis Cook, winger Jordan Ibe and striker Jermain Defoe are among the players set to come into the side and they can make their class count against a Dons team competing three levels lower than the Cherries.

Bournemouth -1 on Asian handicap
2pts 3-4 188Bet

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Pulis is putting all of his efforts into steering Boro to the Premier League
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