Liverpool vs. Spurs & Manchester derby dominate heavyweight schedule – League Cup Round of 16 Preview

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The midweek football action is dominated by the League Cup fourth round, with 16 teams eyeing up a place in the quarter-finals.

Liverpool are fresh off the back of a very positive weekend in the Premier League, with the Reds’ 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion made even sweeter by many of their rivals dropping points.

Jurgen Klopp is desperate to win a first piece of silverware at the club—Liverpool haven’t won a trophy since 2012—and he has made it clear that he sees the League Cup as an important competition this season.

The 49-year-old’s side welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield on Tuesday evening, with the north Londoners still unbeaten in 2016/17.

It promises to be a fascinating encounter between arguably the two most in-form teams in the country, but there are seven other games to look forward to as well.

 

Pressure on United Against City

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 28, 2016: Manchester City's manager Pep Guardiola during the FA Premier League match against West Ham United at the City of Manchester Stadium Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Wednesday evening sees the second Manchester derby of the season, as Man United host Man City in a huge game for an under-fire Jose Mourinho.

United’s 4-0 humiliation at Chelsea on Sunday afternoon was Mourinho’s lowest moment yet, and being knocked out by Pep Guardiola’s side would be another bitter pill to swallow.

City have already won at Old Trafford in the Premier League this season, but they have experienced a dip of their own in recent weeks, failing to win any of their last five games.

Some key players may well be rested for either side, but this is still an occasion that should make for riveting viewing.

 

Feisty London Derby

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 28, 2016: West Ham United's manager Slaven Bilic during the FA Premier League match against Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

West Ham United have made a disappointing start to life at the London Stadium, but the visit of Chelsea represents the most high-profile game there to date.

The Hammers are badly in need of an injection of confidence, and victory over one of their most bitter rivals would be the perfect place to start.

Chelsea have regrouped impressively of late, however, and their 4-0 win over United highlighted exactly what they are capable of.

With no European commitments this season, Antonio Conte can take the League Cup more seriously, and they will go into the showdown in east London as firm favourites to progress to the quarters.

 

Rafa Looks to Continue Newcastle Revolution

Rafa Benitez _DSC8078

Rafa Benitez is already working his magic at Newcastle United, with the former Liverpool manager guiding them to the top of the Championship as things stand.

The Magpies have not enjoyed much tournament success in recent years, but in Benitez, they have someone who can be a master in cup competitions.

While there are more superior clubs ahead of them still in the League Cup, Newcastle will feel they should have too much for Preston North End on Tuesday. They’ve sold 44,000 tickets for the game, such is the feel good factor on Tyneside under Rafa.

The Championship comes first, but Benitez will know that a good cup run will improve the winning mentality within the squad.

 

Arsenal Out To Avoid A Shock

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 18, 2015: Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger during the Premier League match against Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal haven’t won the League Cup since beating Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley back in 1993, and they have only lifted the trophy twice in their history.

The Gunners are primed to reach the quarter-finals this week, though, with Championship outfit Reading visiting the Emirates.

Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to Middlesbrough will have frustrated Arsene Wenger, but he will back his players to respond against weaker opposition.

Reading are going well in their own right in the Championship, currently sitting just outside the play-off places, and they will be desperate to spring a surprise.

 

More Misery For Moyes?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 29, 2014: Manchester United's David Moyes during the Premiership match against Aston Villa at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sunderland have made their worst-ever start to a Premier League season—two points from a possible 27—and David Moyes is now under severe pressure.

The Scot could probably have done without the distraction of the League Cup, and they visit a Southampton side playing some eye-catching football.

Claude Puel has replaced Ronald Koeman in impressive fashion, and Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Man City outlined the quality they have in their ranks.

Southampton should see the League Cup as a real chance of silverware, and if Sunderland get the better of them on Wednesday, it would be considered a real shock.

 

All-Championship Clash at Elland Road

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Friday, January 22, 2016: Norwich City's manager Alex Neil before the Premiership match against Liverpool at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There are several standout ties in the round of 16, but this clash between Leeds United and Norwich City is not one of them.

Both are searching for promotion to the Premier League this season—Norwich are fourth, Leeds are 10th—but a place in the quarters would also be seen as a real achievement for the winner of the tie.

Leeds are a big club whose supporters deserve something to shout about, and Elland Road is likely to be in excellent voice on Wednesday night.

On paper, it’s not a classic for the neutral, but games of this ilk can sometimes to be a pleasant surprise.

 

Hull Search For Much-Needed Confidence Boost

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 24, 2016: Hull City's caretaker manager Mike Phelan and Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After a surprisingly positive start to the season, in which they beat champions Leicester City on the opening day, Hull City‘s campaign is deteriorating at an alarming rate.

Mike Phelan has suffered a tough start to life as the Tigers’ permanent manager, and they now look strong candidates to be relegated.

Their trip to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City won’t be at the top of Hull’s list of priorities, but they need to put a stop to their four-game losing streak.

The Robins are in the play-off positions in the Championship, however, so this has the feel of a potential banana skin about it.

 

Fixtures & TV Info

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino during the FA Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal vs. Reading – Emirates Stadium, Tuesday 7:45pm

Winner: Arsenal

Bristol City vs. Hull City – Ashton Gate, Tuesday 7:45pm

Winner: Bristol City

Leeds United vs. Norwich City – Elland Road, Tuesday 7:45pm

Winner: Leeds

Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur – Anfield, Tuesday 7:45pm, Sky Sports 1

Winner: Liverpool

Newcastle United vs. Preston North End – St. James’ Park, Tuesday 7:45pm

Winner: Newcastle

Southampton vs. Sunderland – St. Mary’s Stadium – Wednesday 7:45pm

Winner: Southampton

West Ham United vs. Chelsea – London Stadium, Wednesday 7:45pm

Winner: Chelsea

Man United vs. Man City – Old Trafford, Wednesday 8pm, Sky Sports 1

Winner: Man City

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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