The EFL Trophy in England is bizarre in that ties bring together the first teams from the lower divisions with the Under 21 teams from Premier League and Championship outfits. Betting on these matches is fraught with danger because it’s virtually impossible to compare the strengths and weaknesses of the players selected to represent their clubs in these ties. For example, is the Oldham first eleven better than Newcastle’s Under 21s? There could be some hidden gems in both sides.
The Premier League teams always play away at this stage of the competition. This format could provide a good opportunity for the young players who have won the Under 20 and Under 17 World Cups with England. In theory England are leading contenders for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but the group of talented youngsters won’t necessarily advance to the senior squad in five years time. There are not enough opportunities at the big clubs and few of the managers care about England.
The bookmakers might know something in making Oldham and Coventry favourites to beat the Under 21 sides playing for Newcastle and West Brom. These matches mean something for the lower ranked teams while their opponents from the Premier League could be going through the motions. The double on OLDHAM and COVENTRY pays 2/1 with bet365 which is the standout football bet of the day.
The equivalent to the EFL Trophy concept in racing would be juvenile horses racing against experienced chasers. There are a few of those running the 2pm race at Exeter and Ar Mad looks overpriced at 6/1 with William Hill. The horse is a front runner and brave jumper who won 4 of 5 races at a novice. Ar Mad has won at Grade 1 level and was destined for the top before injury intervened. Backing the horse in the day could win you funds for your EFL Trophy bet in the evening.