It is nonstop at this time of the year and it has been the case in recent years that the EFL Cup is an unwelcome distraction for the very top teams. There is such strength in depth now though in many of the squads that we can still expect to see a fair amount of stars on show. Not least at Anfield for the tie of the night as Liverpool take on Spurs.
Liverpool are on a nine match unbeaten run and come into the game full of confidence. It may seem harsh to pick holes but their last 4 wins are against Derby, Hull, Swansea and WBA – hardly leading lights. They couldn’t break down the Man Utd bus and will find similar issues against a Spurs side who have only conceded one goal in their last 5 games. Tottenham’s issue is since they beat Man City and got the world’s attention they have had three very average performances. Liverpool are plenty short enough to win this one and with a few changes expected on both sides it seems Spurs represent much better value and will be a nice boost to any cup acca.
Elsewhere on Tuesday night the acca banker is most definitely Arsenal. They will have no problems dispatching of a Reading side who will come to the Emirates to play good football but will ultimately be outclassed. Newcastle are finding life very much to their liking in the Championship and will be clear favourites to beat Preston. This one does come with a warning though as Preston’s last 3 wins have been against Norwich, Villa and high flying Huddersfield. They clearly love a scalp and with Newcastle likely to rest players this one could well produce a surprise result.
The other two games have tight look about them. Hull travel to Bristol City in desperate need of a confidence boost. The Premier League side will expect to win but Ashton Gate is a tough place to go and Lee Johnson’s side play good football. They are hard to beat at home and we expect another miserable night for Hull’s travelling fans.
The final game of the night sees Leeds play host to Norwich. These two Championship sides will both see this as a good opportunity to progress in the competition. Norwich boss Alex Neil will not be happy with Saturday’s loss to Preston and will have his side fired up for this one. There will be some rotation of the squads but Norwich clearly have more depth. Leeds look like mid-table is their likely finishing position in the league and this match looks the likely end to their EFL Cup hopes. At a decent price Norwich look to be the pick of the night.