Saturday , September 30 2023

Cup Carabao: To continue their march? Southampton to surprise you?

Tuesday marks the return of the Carabao Cup, which is currently in the quarterfinals.

Charlton is the only non-Premier League team in the last eight of the EFL Cup, which began in August with Championship, League One, and League Two teams. However, Charlton will play Manchester United on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Newcastle will play Leicester, Nottingham Forest will take on Wolves, and Manchester City will travel to Southampton on Wednesday.

In yet another riveting week of cup football, BBC Sport examines the outcomes of each of the four matches.

To continue their march?

Manchester United host Charlton for the first time in almost 16 years on Tuesday evening. They are looking to reach the semi-finals of the EFL Cup for the third time in four seasons, having last won the competition in 2017.

With the Manchester derby following on Saturday, United are likely to make several changes to their starting XI with the likes of Alejandro Garnacho, Scott McTominay and Fred in contention to start.

Nevertheless Erik Ten Hag’s side will go into the contest as firm favourites to progress having won their past seven matches in all competitions, although they will definitely be without the creative influence of Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes who is suspended.

Charlton, who last reached the quarter-finals in 2006 when they were still a Premier League club, sit 12th in League One having won back-to-back games for the first time since October.

The Addicks, who saw off Brighton in the last round, have not won at Old Trafford since 1986.

And this fixture appears a tough assignment for a club that moved on to a fifth manager in two years when Dean Holden took charge at The Valley in December.

Newcastle intends to rebound.

On Tuesday, Newcastle will host Leicester City at St. James’ Park. They want to reach the competition’s last four for the first time since losing in the 1976 final.

The high-flying Magpies under Eddie Howe will be looking to rebound from their shocking FA Cup third-round loss to Sheffield Wednesday. They had only lost once this season, to Liverpool at Anfield in August.

After a number of the club’s fringe players failed to impress on Saturday at Hillsborough, Bruno Guimaraes, Miguel Almiron, Kieran Trippier, and Allan Saint-Maximin could all play for the hosts.

The weekend’s narrow FA Cup victory over Gillingham ended a string of three consecutive Premier League losses for Leicester, led by Brendan Rodgers’ team, which included a 3-0 home loss to Newcastle.

James Maddison, whom Newcastle attempted to sign last summer, is still out of the Foxes’ plans. With Harvey Barnes, Wout Faes, and Timothy Castagne all resting against the Gills, they are also likely to rotate several regulars from their first team back into the team.

Forest is eager to amend

During a golden era for the club in which they were also twice crowned champions of Europe, Nottingham Forest won this competition four times between the years 1978 and 1990.

After returning to the Premier League after a 23-year absence, it appears that their primary goal is to stay in the league. However, they will also be eager to make up for Saturday’s humiliating 4-1 FA Cup loss to Blackpool, who are struggling in the Championship.

In their quest to make their first semi-final appearance since 1980, when they defeated Forest in the championship game, Wolves travel across the Midlands.

Julen Lopetegui’s appointment as manager in November appears to have energized the visitors, and the Spaniard will almost certainly make several adjustments to the team that played out a respectable FA Cup draw against Liverpool on Saturday.

Saints to surprise the world?

When Southampton, the lowest-ranked team in the Premier League, plays host to Manchester City, an eight-time champion, on Wednesday at St. Mary’s, they will be hoping that new signing Mislav Orsic can help them pull off an upset.

The Croatian international has been brought in to add more attacking guile to Nathan Jones’ team, which won the FA Cup at Crystal Palace and is likely to be encouraged by that.

However, in order for the home team to surprise, they will need to exhibit their disciplined best at the opposing end of the field.

In October, Pep Guardiola’s team defeated the Saints with a crushing 4-0 victory. Until last season, they had dominated the competition, winning it four times in a row.

In addition, the City manager was able to rest players like John Stones, Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, and Erling Haaland during their Sunday victory over Chelsea to advance to the FA Cup fourth round.

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