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Salford City v Leeds United betting preview

TV: Sky Sports Football / Main Event, 7.45pm Tuesday

League Cup first-round matches often fly under the radar but there is no getting away from the significance of Salford's first ever fixture in the competition against Leeds.

Not only does the encounter at Moor Lane rank among the biggest in Salford's history but there is added spice given the ownership of the club by Manchester United's Class of '92 legends such as Gary Neville, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs.

The Ammies have enjoyed a meteoric rise up the footballing ladder, with four promotions in the last five seasons earning them a place in Sky Bet League Two.


Their big-spending approach has divided opinion but they ranked among the title favourites in the ante-post betting for England's fourth tier and should give a good account of themselves against another side looking upwards.

Marcelo Bielsa's second stab at promotion to the Premier League with Leeds has started with four points from two tricky encounters against Bristol City and Nottingham Forest.

Gone is last season's top scorer Kemar Roofe but Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah looks capable of shouldering the goalscoring burden and could feature in a much-changed starting 11.

Bielsa has a habit of ringing the changes for cup matches, having made eight alterations to the team for last year's first-round match with Bolton (Leeds won 2-1 at Elland Road), and a second-string side could boost Salford's chances.

City started their season with a 2-0 win over Stevenage before defeat to Crawley, who had 30 shots in the match.

They are an exciting outfit going forwards, with Leeds-born Emmanuel Dieseruvwe, who bagged a brace in their opener, partnering last term's top scorer Adam Rooney.

The capture of Richie Towell this summer adds another string to their midfield bow and, although defensive fragility may cost them a memorable scalp, they should be able to test Leeds in the final third.

With widespread changes expected to the United team, it could be wise to avoid lumping on a result and instead go for a goalfest.

Salford created 1.98 expected goals for their match at home to Stevenage, mustering 15 shots, and punters should expect another attacking display in the League Cup.

The intensity of United's high-pressing approach, meanwhile, was pinpointed as a reason why the club fell off the pace towards the end of last season but it did wonders for them against Bristol City.

They saw 60 per cent of the ball and won the shot count 18-14 at Ashton Gate against a side renowned for their attacking qualities.

Nketiah may also be a viable anytime goalscorer selection, having impressed during pre-season for Arsenal with goals against Bayern Munich and Fiorentina. His pace and movement could unsettle a shaky Salford rearguard as the game progresses.

Recommendations
Both teams to score
E Nketiah to score

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