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Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Shrewsbury could deliver early blow to Trophy champions

Shrewsbury's Alex Rodman chats with the ref
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Matches from 7pm Tuesday

Coventry v Shrewsbury 
Coventry won the EFL Trophy last season, offering some relief to their long-suffering supporters, but their defence of the competition may start with a loss at Shrewsbury at the Ricoh Arena.

The priority for Coventry is to secure an immediate return to Sky Bet League One but they have had a mixed start in the league, winning two and losing two.

Their 2-0 loss at Yeovil on Saturday was a bitter disappointment and they may find it tough to bounce back against the Shrews, who are flying high in the third tier.

Shrewsbury won their first three league games and showed plenty of character at the weekend by coming from behind to secure a deserved 1-1 draw at Oxford.

Paul Hurst's side are 31 league places above Coventry and do not deserve to be outsiders to win their EFL Trophy opener.

Recommendation
Shrewsbury
1pt 11-5 Boyles


Oldham v Port Vale
The teams with the biggest squads usually have an advantage in the EFL Trophy and that is bad news for threadbare Oldham, who start their Northern section Group D campaign at home to Port Vale.

Oldham boss John Sheridan is working frantically to get players in before the transfer deadline on Thursday.

He named just three substitutes on Saturday as the Latics lost 2-1 at Blackpool.

Athletic academy graduate Kallum Mantack came off the bench to make his Football League debut at the weekend and he can expect more game time as Sheridan tries to shuffle his pack.

Oldham could be there for the taking and Port Vale will not get a much better chance of beating a higher division team.

Vale have lost their last three games in Sky Bet League Two but they had a full bench for Saturday's 1-0 defeat at home to Crewe and their greater squad depth could be the key.

Recommendation
Port Vale
1pt 11-4 general


Blackpool v Wigan
An under-strength Wigan side won 2-1 at home to Blackpool in the EFL Cup first round and a similar scenario could play out in their EFL Trophy encounter at Bloomfield Road.

Wigan manager Paul Cook made 11 changes for the League Cup tie against the Seasiders but his side were two goals to the good at half-time and held on for the win.

The Latics' squad strength must be the envy of League One and it should help them to compete on multiple fronts.

Blackpool are unbeaten in three and growing in confidence but they may struggle against Wigan, who look strong candidates to win the competition.

Recommendation
Wigan
1pt 17-10 Betfred, Betway, Boyles

Paul Hurst's side are 31 league places above Coventry and do not deserve to be outsiders
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