Capital One Cup 2013: Predicting Winners from Wednesday's Action
As tournaments go, the Capital One Cup is probably a bit down on the radar of fans. After all, there is the Premier League season, Champions League, Europa League and eventually the FA Cup to follow.
Nonetheless, a bit of silverware always makes a season better, and with a few title contenders in play on Wednesday, the Capital One Cup will be the center of the English footballing world.
Let's make predictions for all five fixtures on Wednesday.
West Brom vs. Arsenal
The Gunners have been devestated by early-season injuries, and come into this match quite thin. Here's the list of players exected to miss this fixture: Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Lukas Podolski, Abou Diaby and Yaya Sanogo.
While Mikel Arteta could get his first start of the season, the Gunners are likely to go with Nicklas Bendtner at forward to give Olivier Giroud a rest. Yikes.
With Arsenal depleted and prone to dropping winnable domestic cup ties, look for West Brom to pull off the upset.
West Brom wins, 1-0.
Birmingham vs. Swansea City
Now is not the time to face the Swans—the club has a draw and three wins in its past four fixtures, and Michu has scored in his past three contests. Swansea may not be on the same level as the top seven teams in the Premier League, but they'll make a push to finish eighth on the table.
And they'll continue on in the Capital One Cup as they begin their defense of the trophy they won last season.
Swansea wins, 2-0.
Manchester United vs. Liverpool
While one striker likely won't be available for this contest (Robin van Persie), another is expected to make his return from suspension (Luis Suarez). That will be the key storyline in this contest for sure.
United will have revenge on the mind however, after the Reds beat the Red Devils earlier this season. Plus, United will look to save some face after being decimated by Manchester City over the weekend, 4-1.
A motivated United side takes this one, 2-1.
Newcastle vs. Leeds
Things were going quite well for Newcastle until Saturday. The team was unbeaten in its prior four games and was hosting Hull City in a winnable contest. That didn't come to fruition, however, as the Magpies dropped expected points, losing 3-2.
Now, however, Hatem Ben Arfa, Loic Remy and company have a chance to right the ship at the Capital One Cup. There is no excuse for this team to drop a game against Leeds at home.
Luckily, they won't. Newcastle wins, 2-0.
Tranmere vs. Stoke City
If Stoke loses a match to a third-tier English club, Mark Hughes will probably need to go into hiding. Expect the Potters to handle their business here, even if it isn't pretty.
Stoke wins, 1-0.
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