We have arrived at the quarter final stage of the EFL Cup. Arsenal, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle, Southampton and West Ham are all four matches away from a trip to Wembley and a place in this season’s final.
Hull City vs Newcastle United
Hull will look to this match as a must win in order to boost morale and confidence. They will however be without Ryan Mason, who is a key player for them. Their danger man is Robert Snodgrass so Newcastle will need to be clinical at set pieces if are to keep him out.
Newcastle may of lost Saturday’s clash with Blackburn Rovers but given their squad, will surely be looking for a win. Resting Dwight Gayle will certainly help provide Rafa Benitez with options up front.
Either way, it should be a tight match with the struggling team at home to the Sky Bet Championship leaders.
Prediction; Hull 1-2 Newcastle (AET)
Result: Hull 1-1 Newcastle (AET), Hull win 3-1 on penalties.
Liverpool vs Leeds United
The Liverpudlians will be fancying a crushing win against their Yorkshire rivals tonight. Things might not go Liverpool’s way though with Leeds in form and got a manager in Garry Monk, who has experienced victory in the League Cup before.
Liverpool are currently experiencing an injury crisis after losing Phillippe Coutinho on Saturday. He joins Sturridge and Firmino on the injury list meaning that Jurgen Klopp will surely be looking to rest many of his first team squad as is practicable without leaving the kids exposed to a strong Leeds side.
Leeds are coming into the meeting at Anfield with real confidence after a local derby victory over Rotherham. Chris Wood is currently in strong form and will be looking to start tonight’s game.
Prediction; Liverpool 3-0 Leeds
Result: Liverpool 2-0 Leeds
Arsenal vs Southampton
Arsenal will be looking to build on a impressive win against Bournemouth on Sunday. The Saints will however be looking to cause problems, having also got a win over the weekend.
The Gunners’ November form has often been rocky, so Claude Puel will be looking to cause an upset against the title contenders. With a tough December on the horizon, Arsene Wenger will surely be looking to rotate his squad and perhaps give a few kids a run out.
Puel will be happy to have so many attacking options available with Josh Sims proving that he can cause issues against big clubs, after that win over Everton. Will be risked though? Given his age, he would benefit from being on the bench at the Emirates.
This clash has been tight and cagey at the Emirates meaning that it will either be a dull or energetic match. I think Southampton will edge it because their best hope to be in Europe next season is via winning one of the two domestic cup competitions.
Prediction; Arsenal 1-2 Southampton
Manchester United vs West Ham
Both teams will come into this match wanting the bragging rights, after a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Manchester United will be looking to put in a better performance than they did at the weekend. Jose Mourinho will be keen to put out a strong team with Martial, Rashford and Rooney involved. Luke Shaw is back from injury so will be pushing to start the match.
Losing Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini to suspension will hurt Man U with Morgan Schneiderlin and Andrea Herrera struggling to impress. Mourinho will certainly be looking to give Henrikh Mkhitaryan a run out and tomorrow night will represent the perfect opportunity against an unpredictable Hammers defence.
West Ham will be looking at Sunday’s 1-1 draw and hoping to kick off in the same fashion as they did on Sunday. With Darren Randolph starring at Old Trafford, Slaven Bilic will be hoping that he can reproduce that performance to send Man U out of the EFL Cup. Andre Agnew will be looking to start tomorrow’s meeting having come back from a spell on the side lines.
The home side will be looking ahead with a challenging December in store, if they are to get in the title race. As a result, they won’t really be wanting a two legged semi final in January to look forward to on top of the FA Cup. This could well influence the team sheet and hand the Hammers an extra edge, having crashed out of the Europa League at the play off stage in August.
Prediction; Manchester United 1-2 West Ham