Bury v Sunderland - Thursday 19:45, Sky Sports
Bury will be particularly keen to get one over on Sunderland here after the Black Cats signed their top scorer from last season, James Vaughan. He’s one of the players tasked with replacing Defoe and whether he’ll actually get into the side remains to be seen, but he’ll certainly be a massive miss for Bury. He netted 24 goals for them last term and their next highest managed only seven. We expect Bury to struggle this term and so Sunderland look like bankers at 1.57 to qualify.
Bury were decent when hosting the lesser sides in League One last term but they were W0-D1-L8 at Gigg Lane against top-nine opponents and so Sunderland should have too much for them. Of slight concern is the fact that League One sides were unbeaten against Championship opposition at this stage of the EFL Cup last season, though there were six draws in these eight games and the Championship side went on to progress in three. However, Sunderland are far stronger than most of the Championship sides in that sample so The Black Cats look a fair price at odds-against.
There were generally goals when League One sides played Championship sides last term as six of those eight games saw both teams net. Four of Bury’s eight home games against top-eight opposition saw more than three goals and so Over 3.5 Goals looks a massive price at 3.8, whilst the Sunderland win and both teams to score is also of interest at 4.4.