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Friday, 18 January, 2019

Premier League focus may mean Burnley struggle for grip at Pirelli Stadium

West Brom primed to benefit with Crystal Palace needing to reshuffle

Burnley manager Sean Dyche
1 of 1

Third-round matches From 7.45pm Tuesday

Burton v Burnley
Burnley were undone by Olympiakos in the Europa League and now it’s the turn of another European heavyweight, Burton Albion, to put the Clarets in their place in the EFL Cup.

Sean Dyche appears to have little time for this competition judging by a record of only one League Cup triumph in the last five years, a sequence which includes losses at Port Vale and Accrington.

Having already overseen 12 games this term, including six in Europe, the Clarets boss needs to start focusing on resting key players for future Premier League battles and he’s made it clear he will ring extensive changes at the Pirelli Stadium.

That has to be good news for Burton, who are nicely rested after Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash at Barnsley was postponed.

Burton beat Aston Villa at home in the previous round, beat Sunderland at home in their last league game, and can hold their top-flight opponents over 90 minutes.

Burton +0.25 on Asian handicap
2pts 23-20 bet365

West Brom v Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace shrugged off Wilfried Zaha’s absence to win at Swansea in the last round but the trip to the Hawthorns is a far sterner test where the Ivory Coast ace’s no-show could prove crucial.

Swansea simply weren’t good enough to trouble the Eagles in round two. West Brom, like the Swans, were relegated last term but they have lost only one of their last ten so are a very different proposition.

Zaha, troubled by a back injury in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle, needs to recover for bigger tests ahead while ex-Throstles chief Roy Hodgson is also without Christian Benteke.

Palace have looked toothless of late – their recent haul is one Zaha goal in their last three league assignments – and that makes this a particularly awkward-looking challenge.

West Brom
1pt 2-1 Betfred

Wycombe v Norwich
Norwich took a shine to the EFL Cup last season, winning three matches before lucklessly exiting the competition at Arsenal in extra time.

This season they’ve registered 3-1 wins over Stevenage and Cardiff and are on a run of three straight league wins, kickstarted by a 1-0 triumph over Middlesbrough.

Daniel Farke’s boys look to be going well and on current form should be too strong for Wycombe, who needed shootouts to see off League Two outfits Northampton and Forest Green in the previous rounds.

1pt 21-20 Betfair

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Burton beat Aston Villa at home in the previous round, beat Sunderland at home in their last league game, and can hold their top-flight opponents
E.W. Terms
Sky bet