The Carabao Cup may not be the competition that most people associate with importance or prestige, but as the first major trophy of the season that gets decided, it still holds a valuable place in the English football calendar.
They’ve decided to rush through the first few rounds in order to resolve any fixture congestion later down the line, which makes sense, and because of that we’re now at the Round of 16 stage.
Tottenham Hotspur were the first side to book their place in the quarter-finals last night when they beat Chelsea 5-4 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 in normal time. Mason Mount missed the key penalty, handing another blow to the Blues in what is proving to be a questionable start to the new campaign for Frank Lampard’s men.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the other seven games that will take place during the Round of 16.
Newport vs Newcastle
As the lowest ranked side left in the competition by quite some distance, fourth-tier Newport will be eager to prove a point and go straight at Newcastle when the two meet later today. Given what the Magpies did in the last round, though, it probably won’t be enough.
Burnley vs Manchester City
If Burnley can frustrate City from the word go then they could be on to a shock, but Pep Guardiola’s men will be eager to make it four straight years of dominance in the Carabao Cup – and it’ll probably take something more than the Clarets to stop them.
Brighton vs Manchester United
In one of the many rematches we’ll see in the Carabao Cup, Brighton will be hoping that they can go one further than they did against United in the league by picking up an unlikely win. Alas, we think the same result will come, but the Red Devils will be made to work for it.
Everton vs West Ham
It may sound bizarre but we’re actually backing West Ham United to win this one. They’re riding a nice wave of momentum after their success against Wolves, Everton will want to focus on the Premier League, and the Hammers could really benefit from a cup run.
Brentford vs Fulham
Even though Fulham are down in the dumps after a poor start to the new Premier League season, we still think they’ll beat local rivals Brentford here. They did so in the Championship playoff final and we don’t think a whole lot has changed since then.
Aston Villa vs Stoke
After their win over Wolves, Stoke City will be aiming to prove yet another point against Villa in another pretty winnable tie. Unfortunately for them, Dean Smith’s men are on fire, and we think they’ll edge this one out on penalties.
Liverpool vs Arsenal
Liverpool should be winning this game but we’re more interested in what line-ups both clubs put out. The Carabao Cup is a secondary priority compared to the Premier League, which means this could resemble something of a Youth Cup game as opposed to what we saw from both sides just a few days ago.