Capital One Cup Draw 2013: Wednesday's Most Intriguing Matchups
The 2013 Capital One Cup, also known as the Football League Cup, is wearing on as elite clubs try to punch their ticket to the next round.
Round 3 has no shortage of intriguing matchups, which continue on Wednesday.
While a whopping 11 matches took place on Tuesday (find the results here), the best was saved for last, with traditional English club powerhouses taking center stage in age-old rivalries that will be rekindled on the pitch.
Let's take a look at the most intriguing matchups on Wednesday.
Note: A full list of Wednesday's slate can be found at CapitalOneCup.co.uk
Manchester United vs. Liverpool
Luis Suarez making his much-anticipated return to the pitch is enough to make any match a must-watch affair, but this one just so happens to be a thrilling rivalry as well.
Brendan Rodgers will take Liverpool into Old Trafford to face David Moyes' Manchester United crew, and an unheralded upset has never been more in the cards. The Red Devils have notched just seven points in five Premier League appearances this season, and a title defense initially looks to be in serious doubt.
That doubt was further manifested over the weekend in a 4-1 beating at the hands of cross-town foe Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are jamming to a much more upbeat tune with a surprising 10 points in five EPL matches, including a 1-0 victory over these very same United foes at Anfield on Sept. 1.
Will the return of Suarez jump-start this club and bring them to higher heights, or will he serve as a distraction and impose on the budding chemistry of Daniel Sturridge and company?
Can United fix their offensive woes against a much-improved EPL contender, or will they continue to sputter?
We'll find out shortly.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Arsenal
Arsenal fans are still pinching themselves at the current EPL table, and a road win on Wednesday would only add to the excitement surrounding the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners' offensive attack has been revamped by the addition of Mesut Ozil and the emergence of Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud, propelling them to four wins and a loss through their opening Premier League slate.
West Brom, on the other hand, are struggling early on in the Premier League with five points in as many matches.
Arsenal will have to do without one of its most prolific attackers on Wednesday, as Theo Walcott has been ruled out for "a few weeks" by manager Arsene Wenger, per Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail. With that being said, after what we've seen from this offense thus far, that shouldn't completely hinder their chances.
Of course, West Brom have added their own well-known attacker in Nicolas Anelka, who joined Arsenal 16 years ago. According to John Wragg of the Daily Express, the 34-year-old is looking forward to the reunion.
The Gunners will have to go on the road to pull out this one, but don't bet against the streaking club.
Swansea vs. Birmingham
The two aforementioned matches conclude Wednesday's duels between Premier League clubs, but arguably the match with the most implications takes place between Swansea City and Birmingham City.
Swansea took the Capital One Cup crown a season ago and look to stay in contention to defend it against Birmingham.
Will Swansea's title defense stay alive Wednesday?
Birmingham is relegated to the second division of English club football but still remains a threat, as they won this very tournament back in 2011 in a final over Arsenal. You may not have been able to tell from the surface, but these are two of the last three Capital One Cup champions.
Much of Swansea's offensive firepower is reliant on Michu, a skilled attacker as talented as almost any player in England. He has come off a breakout season last year to notch two goals and 18 shots in five Premier League appearances in this campaign.
If the Arsenal target—as reported by Goal.com—can't get things going offensively, look for a potential upset.
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