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This year’s Carabao Cup is about to get underway.
It’s a chance for the big teams to rotate their squad and it’s a chance for the lower league sides to potentially make a name for themselves as they face off against teams with far greater budgets and fan bases.
Giant killing is a phrase that we associate with the English League Cup but it can also produce games between good Premiership sides. Here are a few of the key ties from the upcoming fixtures:
Leicester V Liverpool
This meeting is the first chapter of a two part series which sees Leicester face off against the men from Merseyside at the King Power Stadium.
Craig Shakespeare’s men will see this game as a shot to nothing but with a serious possibility of causing Jurgen Klopp’s men some serious problems. Liverpool are dropping points left, right and centre after another shambolic defensive performance against Burnley at Anfield at the weekend.
Lovern, Moreno and Klavan have all come in for harsh criticism lately leading to the assumption that Klopp must be blind or oblivious due to the fact that he refused to enter the transfer market for an additional centre-half during the summer.
Southampton’s captain, Virgil Van Dijk, was touted as the ideal signing but a deal never materialised. Leicester have had a decent start to the season which sees Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez playing the same type of football that saw them clinch the league title a little over a year ago.
The aforementioned Vardy has a very good record when it comes to playing Liverpool. Both sides will make changes but expect an exciting game with plenty of goals.
Tottenham V Barnsley
On paper this tie seems relatively straightforward however, Spurs are in crisis at home.
After faltering in Wembley last year during their Champions League campaign their woes have continued into this season.
After losing 2-1 to Chelsea and conceding a 94th minute equaliser against Burnley, Mauricio Pochettino’s men drew another blank at home against struggling Swansea. The road to recovery at home seemed to have started after a very impressive 3-1 win against Borussia Dortmund but these Spurs players cannot get used to the Wembley pitch dimensions. Barnsley have had some home woes of their own.
A crushing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa sent shock waves throughout Oakwell. Spurs are sure to rotate their starting eleven but should still have too much for this Championship side.
West Brom V Manchester City
What can we say about this Man City side?
15 goals in the past week for Pep Guardiola’s side is a phenomenal strike rate.
Five against Liverpool, four against Feyenoord and a thumping 6-0 win away to Watford last time out shows a team brimming with confidence. Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero are soon becoming the best striker partnership in the league.
With two poachers such as themselves they need quality ball and in Kevin De Bruyne, they have one of the best playmakers in the world. The Belgian midfielder put in an inch perfect cross for Aguero to open the scoring at Vicarage Road.
The have addressed the problems of last year where they lacked steel and bottle, now they are a frightening side. Guardiola must love managing this side, from their South American flair to their European efficiency; they are nearly the full package.
In West Brom, we have a typical Tony Pulis side; hard working and a side very difficult to break down. They lack creativity in the final third but will physically be able to match any side. In midfield they have a man who has just equalled a quite incredible record.
Gareth Barry has drawn level with Ryan Giggs on 632 Premier League appearances; a quite outstanding achievement. The former Man City man will hope to line out against his former side at the Hawthorns on Wednesday night.
Keeping City quiet for the first 30 minutes is crucial to having any chance of beating them. Concede an early goal and it is nearly impossible reeling them back in.
Man City have the strength in depth to rest the likes of Silva, Aguero and Walker and still call up the likes of Danilo, Yaya Toure and Leroy Sané. Surely a comfortable win for the Cityzens is on the cards.