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Carabao Cup Previews: Wednesday’s Fixtures

Carabao Cup Previews: Wednesday’s fixtures

Following on from Tottenham Hotspur’s dramatic penalty shootout victory last night, there are four more Carabao Cup ties on offer tonight. Who will join Spurs in the quarter finals?

Newport County v Newcastle United

They may be the lowest-ranked side left in the League Cup, but Newport County certainly have it in them to cause an upset at Rodney Parade tonight. Newcastle United will be well aware that Newport currently sit joint-top of League Two, and have eliminated Swansea City and Watford en-route to tonight’s match.

Newcastle have had a fairly indifferent start in the Premier League. An impressive opening day win at West Ham was soon forgotten when the Magpies were beaten 3-0 at home to Brighton, then in their latest league outing, they somehow emerged from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a point – albeit in very controversial circumstances.

Steve Bruce’s side have looked impressive in the League Cup though. A solid 1-0 home win over Blackburn Rovers paved the way for a trip to Morcambe in the previous round, where any sniff of an upset was soon put to bed with a resounding 7-0 win. Whilst this will be a more difficult test than Morcambe, Newcastle should still progress and the Toon Army can start dreaming of winning a first domestic trophy since 1955.

Burnley v Manchester City

The first of three all-Premier League clashes in the cup this evening – and it’s a game that neither of these sides would have wanted right now. Manchester City, fresh from a 5-2 home defeat to Leicester City at the weekend, will be looking to react and return to winning ways as soon as possible. Sunday’s result may have had Burnley wincing, but tonight’s trip to Turf Moor will be far from a walkover for Pep Guardiola’s side.

That said, Burnley are already struggling with injuries and they’re yet to win a point in the Premier League this season. The Clarets have lost their last five games to City in succession, and Sean Dyche’s lack of options will certainly hamper their chances. City have won the Carabao Cup four out of the last five seasons, including each of the last three editions – we don’t foresee their grasp of the trophy ending tonight.

Brighton v Manchester United

It’s a case of déjà vu at the American Express Community Stadium tonight, as Manchester United visit Brighton for a second time in the space of a week.

The Red Devils were lucky – by their own manager’s admission – to win all three points in Saturday’s Premier League contest, with the Seagulls hitting the woodwork five times. Unique circumstances saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side awarded a penalty after the full-time whistle sounded. Bruno Fernandes duly sealed the victory from 12 yards, this just moments after Solly March’s injury-time equaliser for the hosts.

For all of their endeavour, Brighton will feel that the Premier League table is an unfair reflection of their performances so far this season. Manchester United, on the other hand, will have been breathing a sigh of relief on Saturday afternoon. Graham Potter’s Brighton will have taken plenty of encouragement from Saturday’s defeat, and if there’s going to be an upset anywhere in tonight’s cup action, it’ll be on the Sussex Downs.

Everton v West Ham United

Ask any football fan for their most-improved Premier League team so far this season, and you’ll get a unanimous answer: Everton. The Toffees’ shrewd transfer activity is already reaping rewards, as Carlo Ancelotti’s influence is starting to grow at Goodison Park.

Summer arrivals James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure have settled instantly. Everton’s new look has brought a new lease of life to the likes of Seamus Coleman and Michael Keane, as the Premier League’s top six begin to look over their shoulders.

Whilst Evertonians are purring at their prospects this season, it has been a very different story in East London. West Ham United fans are at war with the club, with protests to remove the Hammers’ current owners intensifying due to a number of factors, but not eased by the team’s results of late.

However, West Ham’s results don’t tell the whole story of their season. In reality, David Moyes’ side have played badly in just one of their five matches so far in 20/21. The green shoots that were showing in their recent narrow Premier League defeat to Arsenal blossomed into an emphatic 4-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday night – a result that nobody would have predicted.

Everton fans’ main concern this season has been the form of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, but we’re backing the Toffees’ and England number one to be the hero tonight. A draw at Goodison Park will mean that the sides go straight into a penalty shootout, and Pickford has it in his locker to send Everton into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

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