Carabao Cup predictions: QPR can edge past Charlton
There are 27 Carabao Cup first-round ties on Tuesday and among them are a whole host of clubs from League One and League Two hoping to progress.
With the draw split on a geographical basis into Northern and Southern sections, there are several eye-catching local derbies, including Charlton at home to QPR and Ipswich facing Colchester.
Charlton vs QPR (Tuesday, 7.45pm)
League One Charlton entertain London rivals QPR at the Valley with the Addicks hoping to cause an upset and knock out the Championship club.
Charlton have made a solid start to the season and are unbeaten in their two league games so far, drawing 2-2 with Accrington Stanley on the opening weekend before beating Derby 1-0 on Saturday.
Boss Ben Garner, like a lot of managers involved in this round of the competition, may decide to rotate his squad for the visit of Rangers, who have won one and lost one in the Championship so far.
The R's went down to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Blackburn in their first game of the campaign before they held off a Middlesbrough fightback on Saturday, eventually winning 3-2 after racing into a 3-0 lead inside 38 minutes.
Garner admitted that there is still plenty for his side to work on, despite the victory over the Rams.
The Addicks are likely to find it difficult against a team from the division above in QPR, who were highly impressive in the first half at the weekend as they blitzed Boro with three goals before the break.
QPR got to the fourth round last season, a run that included a win over Premier League Everton on penalties and they can edge out Charlton to get off to a good start in the competition this time around.
Ipswich vs Colchester (Tuesday, 7.45pm)
Ipswich's main aim this season will be to secure promotion up to the Championship but a Carabao Cup run would also be welcome and they start with a home clash against near-neighbours and League Two side Colchester.
Town have picked up four points from six so far in the third tier, drawing 1-1 with Bolton at home first up before seeing off Forest Green 2-1 on the road at the weekend.
United, in contrast, have yet to win in the fourth tier, losing 3-2 at Northampton before being held to a 1-1 draw at home against Carlisle.
Ipswich have a poor recent record in this competition, having been knocked out in the first round in three of the last four years.
Colchester have been eliminated at this stage in nine of the last 10 years with a memorable run to the quarter-finals in 2019-20 the notable exception to that dismal run.
At Portman Road, Kieran McKenna's side should be too strong for the U's and a comfortable home win seems likely.
The visitors' slow start to the campaign means they could be relegation candidates in League Two this season and the Carabao Cup may not be high on their list of priorities.
Huddersfield vs Preston (Tuesday, 7.45pm)
The John Smith's Stadium is the venue for an all-Championship tie when Huddersfield entertain Preston as two sides who have both yet to win this season go head to head.
After last season's third-place finish in the second tier, Town would have hoped to be in the promotion mix again this season but they have made a poor start, losing to both Burnley and Birmingham in the league so far.
Preston have kicked off with successive goalless draws, at Wigan on the opening weekend and then at home to Hull City last time out.
After two years of being knocked out at the first hurdle in this competition, the Terriers at least progressed to the second round last year, when they were eliminated by Everton.
Preston made the third round in 2020-21 before being knocked out by Liverpool in the fourth round last year.
With both teams out of form at the start of the season this could go either way and a draw at full-time to take it to penalties may well be the most likely outcome.