It has been a disappointing start to the 2020/21 campaign for Brentford as they scraped past newly promoted Championship side Wycombe Wanderers on penalties at the start of the month to advance through to this second round fixture of the Carabao Cup. They followed that up with a 1-0 defeat at Birmingham as they failed to make their chances pay, which for some part has to come down to the sale of Ollie Watkins. The striker netted 25 times for them last term and it looks as if Aston Villa have picked up an absolute gem of a player, and his void will be very hard to fill.
Southampton had a tough opening fixture at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace in the Premier League, with them suffering a 1-0 defeat after Wilfred Zaha broke the deadlock in the 13th minute. However, that was just their first loss in eight matches dating back to last season and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men will know they still have the quality. In fact, that run includes two wins from their last three unbeaten at St Mary’s Stadium, as they defeated both Man City and Sheffield Utd, so it’s no surprise to see them as favourites.
Interestingly, the Saints have a very respectable record in this competition since the start of the 2016/17 season too. They reached the final and the fourth round twice over that period and they’ll be hoping to go deep into the competition yet again. Indeed, their only defeats came against Man Utd, Wolves, Leicester and Man City, while they won eight of their other nine matches to nil as the other came saw them advance on penalties against Everton. That includes wins over lower league opposition at the time Fulham and Portsmouth last term and we’d be very surprised to not see them advance to at least the third round.
The Bees on the other hand, have crashed out in the opening round in three of their last five attempts in the League Cup, with the best sides they’ve faced over the last few years being Norwich and Arsenal, both of which beat them by two clear goals. To further the Saints’ hopes, Brentford have now lost to nil in each of their last three trips since mid-July and that looks the way to go in this one again.
Southampton Win to Nil @ 17/10
Southampton Win @ 8/11