The Carabao Cup Third Round concludes tonight, with three further Premier League sides facing tricky lower-league challenges. We’ve previewed tonight’s games below.
Bristol City have quietly built an ensemble of experienced Championship players over the past few transfer windows, with the likes of Chris Martin, Nakhi Wells, Chris Brunt and Andreas Weimann in their ranks. It is strategy that is paying dividends for the Robins, who have won their opening two matches in the Championship so far.
Tonight, Lee Johnson’s side can test themselves against Premier League Aston Villa – having already dispatched of Exeter City and Northampton Town in the Carabao Cup, without conceding a goal.
Villa have had a good start to the season, having won at Burton Albion in the League Cup and got their Premier League campaign off to a perfect start with a 1-0 win over Sheffield United on Monday. It’ll be a close-run contest at Ashton Gate tonight, and we think that Bristol City could prove to be coupon busters.
Lincoln City have had an equally impressive start to life this season, albeit slightly lower down the pyramid, in League One. The Imps have won both of their league fixtures this far, at home to Oxford United and away to MK Dons, as well as seeing off Crewe Alexandra and Bradford City in the cup.
However, the grade of their opponent steps up considerably at Sincil Bank this evening. Premier League winners Liverpool are two wins from two as they look to defend their status as champions this season.
The Reds will see the Carabao Cup as an opportunity to give minutes to their squad players, but that won’t be much of a relief for Lincoln. With Diogo Jota set to make his Liverpool debut alongside the likes of James Milner, Takumi Minamino, Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi, this should be a walk in the park for the Merseysiders.
Manchester City have won seven of their eight home matches against Bournemouth down the years, with the Cherries yet to beat City in Manchester or even at home on the south coast.
Despite seeing long-term boss Eddie Howe leave the club following last season’s relegation – and their squad subsequently decimated, the Cherries have made a decent start in the Championship this season under Jason Tindall.
Bournemouth saw off Premier League opponents in the previous round of the League Cup, with an epic penalty shootout win over Crystal Palace, but another win tonight seems like a stretch.
Manchester City have only played one game so far this season, but it was an impressive 3-1 over Wolves at Molineux. Pep Guarliola’s side will play a weakened side at The Eithad, but having won the League Cup on four of the last five years – including the last three in succession, it’s clearly a competition they take seriously, and it could be a long night for Bournemouth fans.