Carabao Cup Round Three: The Biggest Potential Upsets
Premier League clashes for Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea may steal the headlines, but here are three matches where lower league opposition could cause big upsets in the third round of the Carabao Cup…
Before I delve into the biggest possible upsets, here is the full Third Round draw:
Ipswich Town vs Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Exeter City vs Luton Town.
Aston Villa vs Everton.
Manchester United vs Crystal Palace.
Port Vale vs Sutton United.
Bradford vs Middlesbrough.
AFC Bournemouth vs Stoke City.
Lincoln City vs West Ham United.
Brentford vs Arsenal.
Chelsea vs Brighton and Hove Albion.
Salford City vs Burnley.
Fulham vs Norwich City.
Blackburn Rovers vs Cardiff City.
Liverpool vs Leicester City.
Newcastle United vs Manchester City.
Mansfield Town vs Peterborough United.
So, here are the three games where Premier League sides could face a shock against lower league opposition.
Lincoln City vs West Ham United
First up, I’ve selected Europa Conference League Winners West Ham, who face Lincoln City away at the Sincil Bank Stadium.
So far, Lincoln have had a strong start to their season in League One, winning three and drawing one from their first five games.
West Ham have also looked impressive thus far, winning two and drawing one from their first three.
I see a possible upset coming due to West Ham’s European involvement – West Ham’s first group game in the Europa League is the week prior to their clash against Lincoln.
Liverpool away is next after their European opener, before they face Lincoln.
I anticipate that West Ham will rotate heavily for this third round tie.
Lincoln have already took out Premier League Sheffield United, so could West Ham be next?
Salford City vs Burnley
Next, I’ve selected Salford City, who beat Leeds on penalties to reach round three. They have been drawn against last season’s Championship winners, Burnley.
Salford have had a fairly mediocre start to their season, winning two, drawing one and losing two so far.
This is better than Burnley, however, who have lost both of their opening matches in the Premier League.
Salford are co-owned by Manchester United legends such as Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, who will be keeping a close eye on this affair.
Imagine a potential scenario in which Salford beat Burnley and go on to draw Manchester United in round four, should they make it. It could be an incredible spectacle.
From a Burnley perspective, the number one focus at this stage is most definitely securing points in the Premier League.
So, will Vincent Kompany rest crucial players for the trip to Salford? If so, could Salford pick deliver consecutive home upsets in the Carabao Cup.
Exeter City vs Luton Town
Last up, I’ve selected Exeter City against Luton Town.
The Grecians have had a superb start to the season, winning three and drawing one from their opening five games in League One.
Meanwhile Luton, like Burnley, have had a less than ideal start as many anticipated, failing to pick up a point so far – including a 4-1 defeat away to Brighton.
The one advantage I see Luton having in comparison to Burnley and West Ham is that they have less squad depth. This likely means we’ll see a few regular first teamers line up against Exeter, which will help Luton’s chances.
However, Exeter currently possess stronger momentum, which could be crucial should they maintain their current form come the third round clash.
The Grecians have reached this stage of the competition for the first time since 1989.
If there was ever a season for Exeter City to have a cup run, could this be it?