Michael Owen’s Carabao Cup Preview6 min read
Everything was put into perspective by events on Saturday and I would just like to add my sincere condolences to the family and friends of all who lost their lives in the tragic incident at the King Power Stadium.
I would also like to pass on my very best wishes to my former England manager and now friend and BT colleague Glenn Hoddle who is recovering in hospital from a heart attack suffered in the BT studios at the weekend.
The latest news is hugely encouraging with Glenn reported on Monday morning to be out of intensive care and speaking to his family. I am looking forward to both seeing and working again with Glenn in the not too distant future.
Carabao Cup Ties
Bournemouth v Norwich City
Bournemouth are looking to reach the quarter finals for the third time and I feel they will just nose past a Norwich side who have only reached the last eight of the competition once in the last 22 seasons.
The Canaries sit fourth in the Championship table and have picked up nine wins and two draws from their last 12 games in all competitions, but promotion must be their priority. Daniel Farke’s side did win at Cardiff in the last round, but the Cherries are at the top of their game at present and they can win what promises to be a hugely entertaining tie.
Bournemouth to win and both teams to score
Burton Albion v Nottingham Forest
Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion entertain Nottingham Forest, who have reached the last eight of the League Cup on 11 previous occasions. On 10 of those eleven times the club has reached the quarter final stage they were managed by Nigel’s father Brian and Nigel is also a former manager and top-class player at the City Ground.
Nottingham Forest will always be associated with the Clough name and legacy and I think it will be the Forest supporters who leave the Pirelli Stadium in better spirits.
Forest to win
Arsenal v Blackpool
The great Sir Stanley Matthews was playing for Blackpool the last time they won at Arsenal back in 1958 and I expect the Gunners to return to winning ways after their draw at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
Unai Emery will shuffle his pack with Liverpool the visitors at the weekend, but whatever side he fields should be able make their way past the Tangerines. Emery will want his side to start quicker than has been the case in recent games.
Chelsea v Derby County
The return of Frank Lampard to Stamford Bridge, where he is sure to get a great reception from the Blues’ supporters, as befits the homecoming of one of the clubs’ greatest players.
That said I don’t expect to see Frank’s Rams’ side take anything from the game, such is the quality of this Chelsea squad who showed at Turf Moor on Sunday that they are genuine title contenders.
Chelsea to win to nil
West Ham v Tottenham
Spurs are back in action just 48 hours after their Wembley clash with Manchester City and I expect Mauricio Pochettino’s side to gain revenge for last season when the Hammers came from two-down to win 3-2 at Wembley at the corresponding stage of the competition.
Both managers are likely to make changes, but I feel Spurs have the stronger squad although it is a concern they are playing just two days after their vital Premier League clash with City.
Both teams to score
Middlesbrough v Crystal Palace
I would be surprised if we saw many goals at the Riverside, a ground at which Roy Hodgson has never won at in three previous visits.
It would not surprise me if the tie was decided from the penalty spot and if there is to be a winner one goal might suffice.
Under 1.5 goals
Manchester City v Fulham
This tie takes place on Thursday which gives the champions an additional 24 hours to recuperate from their Wembley trip. That said, Pep Guardiola’s squad is so deep that I expect City to have far too much pace and power for a Fulham side who continue to leak goals.
City have already beaten the Cottagers 3-0 at the Etihad in the Premier League and I expect to see another fluent and emphatic win for the League Cup holders.
City to win and both teams to score
Michael’s midweek League Cup treble:
Arsenal, Chelsea and Forest at