The EFL Cup is considered by many as a Mickey Mouse Cup but it is particularly attractive to many from in the Premier League and the other lower leagues as it gives them a chance to win an extra piece of Silverware. It is true that the League Cup fixtures do act as a distraction for several big clubs in England competing in Europe, but it is not an easy competition to win by any means.
With the platform set for fairy tales and shocking upsets, the EFL Cup always offers its fair share of talking points and memorable matches which remains in our memories for a number of significant reasons or moments. Let’s look at 3 of those matches which can turn out to be significant from the upcoming pool of fixtures in the 4th round of the cup.
Leicester City Vs Chelsea
An all Premier League affair, this fixture is particularly interesting because both the teams need to have a very good cup run for different reasons. Leicester have not made the best of starts and would hope to do good this year in the cup competitions, something they failed to do last year. A win against Chelsea can lift the spirits at King Power once again providing much impetus to the team while a loss would put them under a bit of pressure as with their squad, the League Cup is a tournament they must aim to do well.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have started well under Conte but just lost to Liverpool in their last game. They would want to put that loss behind them and win in the cup to progress further while another loss can affect their momentum.
Stoke City Vs Hull City
Stoke City have been in total turmoil with the team playing without any coordination or confidence. The defence has been totally awful and the attack lacking motivation. After their fourth defeat in a row where they lost against Crystal Palace and again shipped four goals at the back.
Stoke’s opponents in the EFL Cup are Hull who have done very well in the Premier League so far. The League Cup is an opportunity for Stoke City to start afresh and give a good performance and if possible progress into the final stages. Another loss would heap more pressure on the manager and can be significant in terms of his future at the club. Veen though it’s still early.
Derby County Vs Liverpool
Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool have been the model of inconsistency this season winning against Arsenal and Chelsea and losing against Burnley. The problem with Liverpool from last season has been the fact that they play very well against the top teams but fail to maintain their level against the so-called smaller teams. After demolishing Burton Albion in the previous round of the competition by 5 goals, they will travel to Pride Park to take on Derby County, who are struggling in the Championship at the moment. That is exactly the reason why this tie will be an interesting one.
Derby would be desperate to give a memorable performance in front of their home crowd which will go a long way to calm the angry fans at the moment. Liverpool are the overwhelming favourites for the match but their knack of not turning up against the small teams can hurt them if Nigel Pearson’s Derby can play their best game of the season so far. The stage is set for a potential upset for this one.