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EFL Cup Quarter Finals: The Previews

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EFL Cup quarter finals:

Tuesday and Wednesday night brings football fans the EFL Cup quarter finals. During a time where football is non-stop over the Christmas break, the remaining eight sides will be looking to progress into the semi-finals of the competition.

The last round of matches brought heaps of action, as we saw Premier League clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea and Aston Villa all bow out of the competition. With two championship teams still left, we may still see some upsets going forward.

With all the games available to watch via Sky Sports, football fans can tune in to watch the last eight battle it out for a spot in the next round. We’ll see a big clash between Arsenal and Manchester City on Tuesday, where Mikel Arteta will face his old colleague Pep Guardiola. Another huge tie will see Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton host in-form Manchester United on Wednesday.

We take a look at all four fixtures, to see who could move into the final four of the competition. The semi-finals will be played on January 5th and 6th in 2021, with the final being played at Wembley on the 25th April.

 

 

Brentford v Newcastle United (Tue/5.30pm)

In the first fixture of the EFL Cup quarter finals, Premier League side Newcastle will travel to play championship promotion hopefuls Brentford. In the last round we saw Brentford dominate top flight strugglers Fulham 3-0, thanks to two goals from now West Ham midfielder Said Benrahma.

Newcastle on the other hand just managed to avoid a huge upset, beating League two side Newport County on penalties after drawing 1-1. Jonjo Shelvey hit a stunning right-footed curler in the 87th minute to take the game into extra time.

Both teams are hoping to reach the semi-finals for the first time in the competitions history. This is also the longest cup run Brentford have ever experienced, reaching the quarters of the FA cup four times. Newcastle currently sit 12th in the league table but haven’t won in their last two games. They were thrashed 5-2 by Leeds in mid-week, before being held to a 1-1 draw by Fulham.

Brentford however, are unbeaten in 13 games and sit 4th in the table with promotion in sights. They reached the playoff final last season, but unfortunately lost to two extra time goals from Fulham’s Joe Bryan to give the opposition promotion into the top flight.

Bees forward Ivan Toney has 16 goals in 20 games since arriving in the summer for ยฃ5m. He will definitely be one to look out for, for Steve Bruce and his side. But Newcastle will fancy their chances to progress into their first semi-final since 2005.

 

 

Arsenal v Manchester City (Tue/8pm)

In arguably the biggest tie of the quarter finals, Arsenal will host Manchester City. Since arriving at Arsenal over a year ago, Mikel Arteta has faced his previous colleague Pep Guardiola three times, winning once. However Arsenal go into this game in extremely poor form, having lost eight league games already. They are 15th in the table.

City on the hand, are beginning to climb up the table after a slow start. They are unbeaten in eight games in all competitions and are 7th in the Premier League with a game in hand over their nearest competitors. They are also the EFL cup current champions, having won the competition three times in a row.

The Round of 16 fixtures saw Arsenal shock the Premier League champions Liverpool, and win on penalties. The game finished goalless after two hours of football. City however dominated their opponents Burnley 3-0, with Raheem Sterling grabbing two for himself.

A win against City and Pep will definitely ease the pressure of Arteta, who looks like he has the world on his shoulders at the moment. Even though he won the FA cup and Community Shield last season, they have made their worst start to the league since 1974/75.

Key players, Aubameyang, Partey and Xhaka are still ruled out for Arsenal as well as City’s Gabriel Jesus. Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia are also injury doubts. Pep will be confident that they can go on a win this match however. They will look to take full advantage of the Gunner’s poor run of form.

 

 

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur (Wed/5.30pm)

Wednesday night’s games kick off with Championship side Stoke v Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham. Stoke had previously knocked out last season’s finalists Aston Villa in the last round, courtesy of a Sam Vokes goal. Spurs progressed to the quarters after beating Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on penalties, following a 1-1 draw.

Mourinho’s side had started the season off nicely this year. They lost only one league game up until their mid-week loss to Liverpool last Wednesday. However a draw to Palace before that and now another loss to Leicester has seen their league form take a sharp turn. They now sit 5th in the table, with their last silverware came in this competition in 2008.

Stoke on the other hand, are looking to reach the last four for only the second time since 1971-72. They are currently the lowest ranked side in the tournament, but are 7th in the Championship. Two losses in their last 10 games will give them the confidence to go into this match and try to pull off a shock victory.

They will however, be weakened by an injury to their in-form striker, Tyrese Campbell. He will be out for the rest of the season, after scoring six goals and producing five assists in 16 games.

Mourinho may put out a different side to what we have seen in recent weeks, with Giovani Lo Celso limping off at the weekend. The likes of Gareth Bale, Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius may feature as part of rotation, especially with a busy Christmas schedule coming up. However Spurs will be the favourites to progress into the semi’s for this game.

 

 

Everton v Manchester United (Wed/8pm)

In another big match up, in form Man United will travel to Everton for their quarter final game. Carlo Ancelotti and the Toffees beat West Ham United 4-1 to reach this stage. With Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring a hat-trick to help them through.

Man United overcame a resilient Brighton side, and ended up winning 3-0. Goals from Scott McTominay, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba were enough to send them into the quarters. This game is set to be a great encounter with both sides coming off big wins in the Premier League.

Everton are currently 4th in the league table, winning their last three consecutive games against Chelsea, Leicester and Arsenal. Their fine form has sprouted after a poor run of games last month, but Ancelotti has got them firing again. Front man Calvert-Lewin already has 11 league goals in 14 games, and will be tough for United to stop.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team are also on a great run. They have won seven of their last eight league games, drawing the other to Manchester City. They go into this fixture after thrashing Leeds United 6-2 on Sunday and have now have moved up to 3rd in the table.

With a game in hand they can go second, two points off leaders Liverpool if they win. A big turnaround has seen them go from a potential managerial sacking to title contenders and potential semi-finalists. Even despite their early Champions League exit.

We can expect to see rotations in this match given the upcoming fixtures, but James Rodriguez may be a key figure on his return. It will be interesting to see who will win this fixture, with both teams equally the favourites to reach the semi’s.

 

 

We hope you enjoyed the article โ€˜EFL Cup Quarter Finals: The Preview.โ€™ Which teams do you think will progress from the EFL Cup Quarter Finals? Let us know!

 

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Joe is an aspiring sports journalist with an excellent knowledge and passion for football and basketball, with a wide-range of understanding in major sports. He studies Multi-Media Journalism at Bournemouth University and is currently completing a โ€˜year in industryโ€™ placement, beginning his first 3 months here with us at Sporting Ferret! You can contact him on twitter: @joewillis_12

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