Carling Cup: Match Previews and Predictions for Round 4

Thomas AtzenhofferCorrespondent IIOctober 24, 2011

Carling Cup: Match Previews and Predictions for Round 4

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    This seasons edition of the Carling Cup is already approaching the showdowns of the last 16 remaining clubs.

    Tuesday and Wednesday will showcase four games per night as the Carling Cup nights start to get more competitive. The chase for the first piece of Silverware of the new season, aside from the Community Shield, is up for grabs.

    There is yet to be a clear cut favorite. Anything can happen in a one off match in football. 

    Many will argue that Manchester City are certain to become the most likely to take it should they progress once again.

    No matter what happens the midweek match offerings are sure to be top drawer. The Carling Cup takes center stage once again in the English footballing world during the last full week of October.

Aldershot Town vs Manchester United

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    Aldershot Town secured passage through to round four of the Carling Cup when they defeated Rochdale in round three.

    However, they face a much tougher test against Manchester United this go around.

    United were the victims of an absolute trouncing at the hands of Manchester City in the Manchester Derby on Sunday October 23, 2011.

    The Citizens were up 3-1 in what would have been a painful enough rivalry loss, but the finally minutes of the match saw three more goals be put past David De Gea.

    The Red Devils will be out for blood and lower league Aldershot is most likely to be on the receiving end of the backlash.

    Date: Tuesday October 25th, 2011

    Key Players: Ashley Grimes (Aldershot), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United)

    Match Prediction: Aldershot 0 - 4 Manchester United

Arsenal vs Bolton Wanderers

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    Arsenal have made a turn around in results slowly over the last month.

    They have moved from the basement of the EPL to seventh place after another victory this past weekend.

    Bolton Wanderers have been a disappointment all season.

    Another loss this weekend only compounded the frustrations of the Trotters. They will hope to perhaps get a chance to take something from Arsenal in this match.

    The Gunners already defeated Bolton once at the Emirates. They will look to do the same as they search for a return to the Carling Cup Final that they failed to win last season.

    Date: Tuesday October 25th, 2011

    Key Players: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) Gary Cahill (Bolton)

    Match Prediction: Arsenal 2 - 1 Bolton

Cardiff City vs Burnley

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    Cardiff City and Burnley face off in one of two all Championship battles in the Carling Cup.

    Cardiff have been circling the top places on England's second division and are only a point back from fourth.

    Burnley on the other hand are continuing to struggle on as they hope to reach the top half of the table.

    Both need a solid victory to continuing building their spirits after they both notched wins in the league this past weekend.

    Date: Tuesday October 25th, 2011

    Key Players: Kenny Miller (Cardiff City) Keith Treacy (Burnley)

    Match Prediction: Cardiff 2 - 1 Burnley

Crystal Palace vs Southampton

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    One of the best matches that this round of the Carling Cup has on offer is the Southampton vs Crystal Palace Championship Showdown.

    The Saints are leading the Second division with a goal of a triumphant return to the EPL or bust.

    Crystal Palace on the other hand took a little bit to get going but have surged up to third in the Championship.

    Both sides want this and it could be a preview of some great matches to come. They look sure to be contesting the promotion spots at the end of the season.

    Date: Tuesday October 25th, 2011

    Key Players: Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace) Adam Lallana (Southampton)

    Match Prediction: Crystal Palace 2 - 3 Southampton

Stoke City vs Liverpool

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    Liverpool travels to Stoke City for the second time this season.

    The first trip ended with a 1-0 Potters victory thanks to veteran Red Jamie Carragher having given up a penalty that was dispatched by Jonathan Walters.

    The Reds were further frustrated with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Norwich City on Saturday while the Potters fell to the Gunners at the Emirates.

    It will be a match that pits two clubs in need of a solid result against one another in one of the most atmospheric stadiums in England.

    Liverpool will be desperate to continue their search for a trophy this season. They are sure to continue playing the attacking football they have been displaying in the last several league games.

    Date: Wednesday October 26th, 2011

    Key Players: Peter Crouch (Stoke City) Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

    Match Prediction: Stoke 1 - 1 Liverpool, Reds through on Penalties (3-4)

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester City

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    Wolverhampton Wanderers finally earned another point in the EPL with a hard fought draw against Swansea City Saturday morning in ESPN2's early game.

    Wolves have struggled since their seven point August but look to possibly be starting to get a few things right.

    However, there is little hope they can get past a Manchester City club that is bound and determined to destroy any team and obstacle in their path after their impressive 6 - 1 victory in the Manchester Derby.

    Date: Wednesday October 26th, 2011

    Key Players: Matt Jarvis (Wolves) David Silva (Manchester City)

    Match Prediction: Wolves 0 - 4 Manchester City

Blackburn Rovers vs Newcastle United

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    Demba Ba put Blackburn Rovers to the sword a few weeks ago when he scored a hat trick for Newcastle in their 3-1 victory over Rovers.

    The rematch is expected to go much like the last as the Magpies return once again to Ewood Park.

    Ba continues to be on a scoring streak, and Yohan Cabaye is bossing the midfield more ever week he is in the black and white.

    Rovers have the second worst goal differential in the EPL and are joint last in the table. Their only hope for pride this week will be a chance to take out Newcastle in the Cup.

    Date: Wednesday October 26th, 2011

    Key Players: Yakubu (Blackburn Rovers) Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United)

    Match Prediction: Blackburn 1 - 2 Newcastle United

Everton vs Chelsea

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    No one expected the result of the Chelsea vs Queens Park Rangers derby on Sunday.

    After the Blues slumped to a overly carded mockery of their selves while dropping to a stunning 1-0 defeat.

    Everton have already been handed a loss by the Blues once this season in the league. They will hope to return the favor in the cup when they play host at Goodison Park.

    The Toffees got their first win in three matches over the league weekend. They will be looking to keep their new streak alive as there is a continued push to find the right mix by David Moyes.

    Date: Wednesday October 26th, 2011

    Key Players: Tim Cahill (Everton) Fernando Torres (Chelsea)

    Match Prediction: Everton 1 - 2 Chelsea

Conclusion

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    Another great round of the Carling Cup is in store for us this week.

    No matter what, the number of EPL teams will be reduced by at least five with that many of the games holding all top flight clubs against one another.

    The Championship will hope to have some strong representation in the form of two of the four teams playing against one another.

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