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The first round of the League Cup concludes with 18 matches on Tuesday, with beleaguered Portsmouth's match with local rivals Plymouth headlining the ties

The first round of the English League Cup competition - now known as the Capital One Cup - wraps up on Tuesday [Wednesday morning Australian time] with 18 matches, with all eyes on the clash between south coast rivals Plymouth and Portsmouth.

When these two clubs last met almost five years ago, Portsmouth - then flying high in the English Premier League ‑ won 2-1 in the fourth round of the more prestigious FA Cup on their way to causing one of the biggest upsets in recent history by then going all to winning the competition for the first time since 1939.

But Portsmouth have fallen on such tough times since then that the team known as Pompey will start as the underdogs away to Plymouth on Tuesday, even though the Pilgrims only just managed to avoid relegation out of the football league completely last season by finishing 21st in League Two.

Portsmouth's well-documented financial problems have seen them - in the space of four years - go from FA Cup champions to relegated to the third tier of English football; League One.

And despite still being a division higher than Plymouth, online bookmakers Luxbet have installed Plymouth as clear $1.79 favourites for their first-round League Cup tie, with the draw at $3.60 and Pompey at $4.

Luxbet's Andy Scott said punters were clearly behind Plymouth in this game as Portsmouth's squad continues to be decimated by players having to be sold in order to shore up the club's finances.

Birmingham, Derby, Burnley, Ipswich Town and Leicester to win their first-round matches at Luxbet
Northampton Town to win v Cardiff City in their first-round tie at $4.20 at Luxbet

While the EPL clubs do not enter the competition until the second round, the remaining League Cup games on Tuesday herald the first appearance of the season of some of the biggest clubs in the second tier Championship competition.

And all are warm favourites to start their campaigns off on a winning note.

Birmingham City, which won this competition in 2011 by beating Arsenal in the final, are the shortest-priced favourites of the night at $1.34 at Luxbet to beat tiny Barnet at $8.75, while Leicester City - winners of this competition in 1997 and 2000 and runners-up in 1999 - are $1.73 favourites at Luxbet to beat Torquay United at $4.45.

Burnley, semi-finalists in the League Cup in 2009, face a tougher task away to Port Vale but still should win at $1.94 at Luxbet, with Port Vale at $3.60.

Derby County at $1.78 at home should also beat Scunthorpe at $4.20.

And Ipswich Town at $1.53 should win at home against lowly Bristol Rovers at $5.75.

For punters looking for an upset, it may come at Sixfields Stadium in Northampton, where according to Scott Northampton Town have been the best-backed underdogs among the 18 matches to win at home against Cardiff City.

Northampton may have finished a lowly 20th in League Two last season while Cardiff - runners-up to Portsmouth in the 2008 FA Cup Final ‑ only narrowly missed out on promotion to the EPL from the Championship for the third-straight season.

But Northampton have been well-backed at $4.20 at Luxbet to cause an upset in this game, with the draw at 90 minutes at $3.50 and Cardiff favourites at $1.78.


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