After a relatively quiet but competitive Tuesday, will Wednesday’s action see plenty of goals?
Highlights include Everton vs Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester City.
Arsenal vs Doncaster Rovers
Doncaster Rovers head to the Emirates as underdogs but could they do the unthinkable?
Arsenal’s last meeting in this competition with a League One club came in the 2012-13 tournament at the quarter final stage.
The Gunners somehow as favourites managed to lose to Bradford City via penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Fast forward five years, Arsenal now have a stronger squad including Aleix Sanchez and Alexander Lacazette. They have however only matched that quarter final appearance once (2016-17 vs Southampton).
These teams have met twice before in the League Cup (1987-88 over two legs and 2005-06 QF). Arsenal won on those two occasions.
Unless Arsene Wenger puts out the U21s, I can’t see Rovers mustering something up here. They will be lucky to not be crushed if Lacazette and the likes of Ozil start but I can only see an Arsenal win.
Prediction: Arsenal 4-0 Doncaster Rovers
Result: Arsenal 1-0 Doncaster Rovers
Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest
This fixture has one result written all over it given the contrast in squad depth.
Chelsea will have Eden Hazard back starting for the first time this season. His return plus some changes are probably only going to freshen up their attack.
Nottingham Forest’s record against higher division clubs in this competition is poor, despite beating Newcastle in the last round. They have lost their previous 11 matches vs clubs from a higher division prior to that and can’t see it changing here.
The Blues won this fixture in its only previous League Cup meeting back in 1971-72, after a replay having drawn the first match 1-1.
As stated at start, there is only going to be one result but can see it being a quiet but comfortable one.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Nottingham Forest
Result: Chelsea 5-1 Nottingham Forest
Everton vs Sunderland
Everton are in shambolic form and their League Cup record vs Sunderland is atrocious, to pile on the misery.
These two teams have met in this competition twice before with the Mackems winning both ties.
The Toffees however have only lost one of their last six ties with lower league opposition. That defeat came exactly at the same stage last season so could lightning strike twice?
Since making it to the 2014 League Cup final, Sunderland have lost all of their five meetings vs Premier League opposition.
Given how poor both teams have been this season, I can see a penalty shootout being needed with Everton edging it.
Prediction: Everton 0-0 Sunderland (Everton win on penalties)
Result: Everton 3-0 Sunderland
Manchester United vs Burton Albion
Burton face a giant task here against a rampant Manchester United side, who are unbeaten so far this season.
Man U has a strong record, having reached the fourth round so far this decade in all but one season (2014-15 2nd round defeat to MK Dons).
Other than last season’s winning run, that defeat was their only away defeat as two of their last three defeats have come at Old Trafford.
Despite that stat, I am backing Man U to deliver a drubbing here.
Prediction: Manchester United 5-0 Burton Albion
Result: Manchester United 4-1 Burton Albion
West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester City
This will prove a tough test of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side as they head to West Brom.
These teams have met in the League cup on four occasions with the Baggies running out 2-1 winners in their last clash, back in 2010 at this stage.
That victory is one of two wins over fellow top flight opposition across last nine seasons.
Man City have however reached the fourth round in past four seasons whilst West Brom manager, Tony Pulis is yet to reach that stage. His last fourth round appearance came with Stoke in the 2011-12 season.
I am expecting both teams to make changes but Man City will ultimately be too strong.
Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Manchester City
Result: West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Manchester City