After an energetic Tuesday, the final batch of games in the Carabao Cup’s second round has plenty to live up to.
There might be six games but there are some intriguing gems within them.
Cheltenham vs West Ham
West Ham travel to Whaddon Road looking for their first victory of the season. The hosts however will fancy their chances as underdogs.
This is their only second meeting and again it comes in the second round of the League Cup. Their last and only meeting was four years ago with the Hammers winning 2-1.
Slaven Bilic is however missing winger, Marko Arnautovic (suspension) and defender, Winston Reid (calf). Michail Antonio could also miss out, having only just returned from a hamstring operation.
Realistically, this will be a tough test for the visitors because the home fans will be roaring their team on. I am however backing them to just ease through.
Prediction: Cheltenham Town 0-2 West Ham
Result: Cheltenham Town 0-2 West Ham
Southampton vs Wolves
For me, this is a evenly matched tie because Southampton have only brought in a few players. Wolverhampton Wanderers however brought in several new players and will be tough competition.
The Saints are expected to field Shane Long and James Ward Prowse alongside a few other players. In my opinion, those players need to start because they are amongst the strongest players within the home side.
The last three cup meetings have all gone Southampton’s way with the last coming in 2003, 19 years after their two leg win in the 1984-85 League Cup third round.
Since then, they met in the Championship for four straight seasons. Two of those seasons saw both teams clinch draws in each fixture (2005-06 & 2007-08) with the Saints doing double in 2006-07 and Wolves claiming that feat just two seasons later in 2008-09.
This is clearly even stevens so I am calling a penalty shootout here.
Prediction: Southampton 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Southampton win on penalties)
Result: Southampton 0-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Blackburn Rovers vs Burnley
This local derby certainly looks exciting given the two division gap between these Lancashire teams.
Blackburn has an injury crisis which makes Burnley favourites. The Ewood Park faithful will however will be in louder voices to cheer on those who feature here, which could be scary given the occasion.
Burnley are set to rotate their squad with new signing, Chris Wood set for a start alongside fellow ex Leeds teammate, Charlie Taylor. Jonathan Walters could also start here.
Recent meetings have been tight with not much in it. The Clarets have however won the last three meetings so have the advantage at kick off mentally.
I think that the increased quality in Burnley’s squad and Rovers’ injury issues will swing things the way of Sean Dyche’s top flight team.
Prediction: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Burnley
Result: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Burnley