The Premier League’s big guns enter the Carabao Cup third round with a number of exciting match-ups. Here are the Things to look out for in the English League Cup: Round 3. Bet on football here.
Another upset by Nottingham Forest against Arsenal?
The Gunners twice came back from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2 at the Emirates on Sunday, though Unai Emery's side played the majority of the game with ten men due to Ainsley Maitland-Niles' first-half red card. Forest go into the match having only lost one of their opening eight matches in the Championship this season. The last meeting between these two was in the FA Cup back in 2018, when Nottingham Forest earned a shock 4-2 victory against Arsenal at the City Ground. Forest have what it takes to take on a second-string Gunners side. Can they upset the odds again?
Chance for Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to bounce back
Colchester, tenth in League Two, are the lowest-ranked team left in the competition and reached this round following an incredible penalty shootout win away at Crystal Palace in round two. They now face a wounded Spurs side at home. Spurs have not won a trophy since lifting the League Cup in 2007/2008 and have had a disappointing week, losing a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against Olympiakos in the Champions League and being beaten 2-1 at Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday. This should be a straightforward game for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. Manchester United also lost their last game and welcome third-tier side Rochdale at Old Trafford. The Red Devils are facing an injury crisis and have no fit recognised striker. However, Rochdale should be easy to dispatch.
Everton’s poor away form
Everton are on a poor run of form. Last weekend, they lost to newly-promoted Sheffield United at home which piled more pressure on Marco Silva. The Toffees have won just one game in seven away matches. In the second round, they were pushed to the limit by Lincoln City. Moreover, they are facing a side that has a solid home form at Hillsborough in this competition. They have lost only once at home since a loss to Everton in 2007. That makes it one loss in 11 home games. Gary Monk’s side have won six of their last seven at home in this competition. Things are not looking good at Everton at the moment and they could be in trouble at Hillsborough.
Portsmouth v Southampton rivalry
Portsmouth, 20th in League One, host Premier League side Southampton as the fierce rivals meet for the first time since April 2012. Its 35 years since the Saints last travelled to Fratton Park in a cup competition. The Pompey have won only once in League One since late April and only once in seven this season. Meanwhile, the Saints haven’t lost on the road in the Carabao Cup since a trip to Sheffield United in 2014. While these two teams are on almost opposite ends of English football spectrum, this rivalry is expected to live up to the hype at Fratton Park.
Watford to bounce back after 8-0 defeat v Manchester City
The Hornets were on the end of a comprehensive beat down by Manchester City on Saturday. After firing Javi Gracia early in the season due to poor form, they hired former boss Quique Sanchez Flores who is yet to register a win. They face a strong Swansea City side in the third round at home. Swansea are level on points with Championship leaders Leeds United while Watford are rock bottom in the top flight. However, this is a game that Flores cannot afford to lose. A win will give them the much-needed momentum and confidence given they face a tricky run of fixtures.