The 2019/2020 Carabao Cup enters the third round which is serving up some exciting matches, including an East Midlands derby and an all-Premier League showdown. Here are some of the things to look out for. Bet on football here.
Chance for Watford to kick-start their campaign
The Hornets have made a poor start to the season. Three successive defeats have left manager Javi Gracia under tremendous pressure. However, a match against League One side Coventry City in the second round of the Carabao Cup might just be something they need. The Hornets had a decent campaign last season, where they finished 11th and reached the FA Cup final. Still, their performances in the last three matches were not terrible but they have to improve defensively to gain some momentum. A game against a League One side gives Gracia an opportunity to rotate and improve certain areas of his team as they prepare to face Newcastle on Saturday.
Nottingham Forest v Derby County rivalry
The City Ground is set for the latest installment of the East Midlands derby as two arch-rivals Nottingham Forest and Derby County lock horns. This will only be the second meeting in the League Cup. This rivalry is one of the fiercest in English football. Brian Clough’s appointment as Forest manager in 1975, after he had managed Derby from 1967 to 1973, upped the stakes in this hostile relationship. In recent seasons, this fixture has been characterised by players switching allegiance, manager clashes, pitch invasions, disallowed goals and a plethora of yellow and red cards. This has hitched up the animosity to another level. This second round clash will not be different but who will walk away with the bragging rights?
West Ham’s date with giant-killers Newport
League Two outfit Newport County gained a reputation last season for beating teams in the Premier League and the Championship. Rodney Parade became a giant-killing fortress for teams in the higher divisions of English football. Leicester City and Middlesbrough were well-beaten in Wales last season, but will the Hammers be the latest victims? The hosts have lost just once since early March, therefore, Manuel Pellegrini will be profoundly aware of the problems Mike Flynn’s side can cause for them. Nevertheless, the Hammers have progressed from 11 of their last 12 ties against fourth-tier opposition in this competition.
Can Lincoln formidable home form stop Everton?
League One side Lincoln City are formidable on their own pitch and lost just twice on their way to winning the League Two title last term. The Imps have already beaten Championship side Huddersfield to reach this stage of the Carabao Cup. Their Wednesday opponents Everton will be aware of the hosts’ phenomenal run in the FA Cup two years ago where they eliminated Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley before their run was ended by Arsenal. Lincoln’s home advantage means Everton will have to dig very deep to get a win. The Toffees have lost just two of their last 19 away League Cup games against sides in the lower divisions. Can the Imps do the impossible?
All Premier League clash between Leicester and Newcastle
Newcastle United host Leicester in the second round of the Carabao Cup in the all-Premier League clash. The Magpies incredible victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday ended a run of two straight defeats in the league. Leicester are one of the four unbeaten teams in the league after three matches. Without European football, the Foxes are hoping for a good cup run starting with this difficult trip to Tyneside. Brendan Rodgers’ side have won their last three away matches at St James’ Park. Can they continue this good run?