James Mason predicts wins for Newcastle and Arsenal in his best bets for Wednesday's EFL Cup matches.
There are eight cracking Carabao Cup fourth-round ties split over Tuesday and Wednesday and with ante-post favourites Manchester City out of the competition, there is a real opportunity for the sides left in to get their hands on some silverware.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle will have eyes on the prize, and Manchester United will be hoping to stage a repeat of last year’s success. Mansfield and Port Vale are the lowest ranked teams left in the competition and with that pair facing each other on Tuesday night a kind last-eight draw could await one of the Premier League big hitters.
Manchester United v Newcastle (20:15)
Manchester United are the current holders of the Carabao Cup but the Red Devils have been playing nothing like champions in recent times.
Manchester City put up the second-highest expected goals number of the season when crushing their city rivals 3-0 in the derby on Sunday, making it seven defeats already this season for Erik ten Hag’s men
Prior to that, United were fortunate to beat Copenhagen, Sheffield United and Brentford, while they were rolled over at Old Trafford by Crystal Palace and Galatasaray.
There are more issues at United than what we see on the pitch, but the Red Devils are cutting a sorry sight at the moment and Newcastle are good enough to make things worse for Ten Hag.
The Magpies will have an eye on their Champions League commitments and top-four considerations, and Eddie Howe may well look to rotate his side at Old Trafford, but the Toon Army are a confident outfit and they look a value punt at the prices to gain revenge for defeat in the final last season.
West Ham v Arsenal (19:30)
Arsenal are another side that appear that have the strength in depth to absorb any changes that Mikel Arteta makes to his side when the Gunners visit West Ham.
The likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Leandro Trossard, Fabio Vieira and Takehiro Tomiyasu could come into the starting lineup and that should give Arsenal enough quality to get past a West Ham side that may also look to rotate their starting XI.
The Hammers have lost three matches on the bounce across all competitions and the latest of those was a poor 1-0 loss to Everton at the London Stadium.
David Moyes is heavily reliant on dangerous counter-attacking football, but West Ham are being outplayed in many of their matches and that could be the same again on Wednesday.
Ipswich v Fulham (19:45)
Ipswich have eyes on the Premier League and Kieran McKenna may look to make changes to his side in order to maintain their Championship promotion push. However, the Tractor Boys have been in fantastic form – winning nine of their last 10 matches – and they have already taken care of Premier League opposition when beating Wolves 3-2 in the previous round.
Fulham have the edge in terms of quality, but they make the trip to Portman Road and the Cottagers have been majorly short of goals.
Marco Silva’s men have scored only seven goals in their last seven matches and they may have a tougher time in Suffolk than the prices suggest.