English League Cup 2013: Full Predictions for Round 4 of Capital One Cup
The fourth round of action in the Capital One Cup kicks off on Tuesday. Although there were some high-profile exits in the early rounds, most of the top clubs are still standing, including Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and the Manchester rivals.
Since the domestic cup doesn't carry as much weight as the Premier League title, it opens the door for surprise champions, such as Swansea City last season. As it gets deeper in the tournament, clubs in European competitions that are facing busy schedules have to make tough lineup decisions.
The other storyline to watch is three of the remaining 16 clubs are from outside the EPL and hope to keep their dreams of a miracle trophy run alive. So let's check out predictions for every match in the round, followed by a breakdown of the top two matchups.
Round 4 Predictions
|Date||Home Club||Road Club||Pick to Advance|
|10/29||Birmingham City||Stoke City||Stoke City|
|10/29||Burnley||West Ham United||Burnley|
|10/29||Manchester United||Norwich City||Manchester United|
|10/30||Newcastle United||Manchester City||See below|
Breakdown of Top Matches
Arsenal vs. Chelsea
The top fixture of the League Cup's fourth round is undoubtedly the clash between the clubs that currently rank first and second in the Premier League. Arsenal sit atop the table with 22 points, two points ahead of Chelsea.
Which club will advance from this marquee matchup?
Since Arsenal have showcased slightly better form in the early portion of the campaign and are at home, they would seemingly be the favorite. Instead, the oddsmakers see it as a toss-up match, with Bovada giving Chelsea a slight edge.
That's mostly because of depth. As mentioned above, clubs are usually forced to rotate their lineups during hectic stretches of the schedule. That's certainly the case right now for both Arsenal and Chelsea, which helps the Blues for this matchup.
While it should still be a close, hard-fought encounter, players like Juan Mata, Willian and Samuel Eto'o all have something to prove for Chelsea. It makes for an uphill climb for Wojciech Szczesny and Co., even while playing at home.
Prediction: Chelsea 2, Arsenal 1
Newcastle United vs. Manchester City
Newcastle were seemingly turning the corner after a victory over Cardiff City and a draw with an in-form Liverpool side. They weren't able to maintain that momentum, however, allowing Sunderland to score their first victory of the league campaign over the weekend.
Which Round 4 match are you most looking forward to?
Luckily for the Magpies, City haven't been playing their best, either. The Sky Blues are coming off a late loss to Chelsea and can't find the consistency necessary to make a charge up the table. Better form should come eventually, but it hasn't yet.
It gives Newcastle at least some hope of scoring the cup upset.
It's an effort that must start at the back. They have allowed 16 goals in league play, the third most in the EPL. Tim Krul will need a couple game-changing stops in order to keep his side in the match.
Otherwise, the City attack will be able to dominate the match, regardless of which striker gets the call to lead the charge. Costel Pantilimon could also use a good showing as the club seeks some much-needed stability at the back.
Prediction: Manchester City 2, Newcastle United 0
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