The Carabao Cup’s second round is now over and the winners progress into the third round draw. They will be joined by Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton, who join at this stage.
After the EFL decided that the draw should be overnight UK time to suit the Asian market, here is a morning round up of the top ties from a disappointing draw.
Bristol City vs Stoke
Easily the most interesting tie to come out of the hat.
Bristol City has so far been the Championship’s surprise package and claimed a huge upset against Watford in the last round.
Stoke City are however a stronger challenge, having breezed past Rochdale and will be confident of avoiding a cupset here.
Overall, this is the most evenly matched match and stands out because of the other ties being poor.
Reading vs Swansea
Another decent tie is Reading vs Swansea with a good chance of producing a cupset.
To neutrals, this isn’t really a great tie but if Swansea goes for a weakened starting eleven, the Royals will fancy a chance at knocking the Swans out.
Four of their last seven meetings ended in draws with Swansea emerging victorious in the other three. The results in those fixtures were all tight, whilst the 2011 Championship Play Off final saw the Swans win 4-2 in a Wembley thriller.
Realistically, this game is probably going to be won by a single goal making a cupset a real threat here.
Leicester vs Liverpool
Without a doubt, one of the top ties from this draw.
Leicester again are at home to a member of the ‘Big Six’ for second season running in the third round. They are also back to their best and will see this cup as their best shot at securing a return to Europe.
Liverpool are stronger attack wise but their defence is still wobbly. That coupled with a busy September makes this match difficult to call right now.
The Foxes have won their last two home games against Liverpool with Jamie Vardy bagging a brace in both matches. If he plays here, expect the Reds to stare an early exit face down given their schedule means that squad rotation is required.
This cup fixture falls just days before they meet in the Premier League. Could this affect how each team approach this game so don’t expose their strengths and weaknesses here?
Everton vs Sunderland – This will be a tough test for Sunderland but Everton went out at this stage last season to another Championship team in form of Norwich.
Bournemouth vs Brighton – South Coast derby but tainted by fact that they meet just four days before.
Burnley vs Leeds – Reunion for Charlie Taylor and Chris Wood with their former club and chance of a cupset given Leeds’ strong performances so far.
Crystal Palace vs Huddersfield – An early chance of redemption for Palace after their 3-0 humiliation on the opening weekend of new Premier League season.