Cup competitions are notorious for their tendency to throw up huge upsets from time to time. With the Carabao Cup returning for the second round tonight and tomorrow, here are five potential upsets we have at hand.
Wimbledon – home v West Ham United
Wimbledon have had a miserly start to the season. They won their first match of the League One campaign, but then drew the next two and then lost the two that followed. They get a chance for a breather by hosting West Ham United in the League Cup tonight. The Hammers have also had a wretched run in their first three matches of the season, with no points won, nine goals conceded and just two scored.
New manager Manuel Pellegrini might decide to focus on stabilising his team’s form in the Premier League. That might just be the opportunity that Wimbledon need to cause an upset.
Fleetwood Town – away v Leicester City
Jamie Vardy is in for a special night tonight if he features in Leicester City’s League Cup match against Fleetwood Town tonight. The 31-year old, who has announced his retirement from the England national team today, was signed for the Foxes from tonight’s opponents by former manager Nigel Pearson in 2012.
Fleetwood are currently sixth after five matches in League One but are clearly nowhere near the quality of Leicester, who famously won the Premier League title just two seasons ago. So many pieces would have to fall into place for Fleetwood to win tonight, but in essence, that is what often sets the stage for a huge shock result.
Exeter City – away v Fulham
Exeter City’s impressive start to the season has left them just three points from the top of the League Two table. They however face a different prospect tonight as they travel to Craven Cottage to face Premier League new boys Fulham. Slaviša Jokanović’s men beat Burnley 4-2 to claim their first top flight points since 2014. They had lost their first two matches 2-0 to Crystal Palace and 3-1 to Tottenham Hotspur.
Exeter know they are up against the odds but in a one-off clash, anything can happen.
MK Dons – away v Bournemouth
MK Dons know a thing or two about causing a massive upset. In 2014, the Dons famously thrashed a Manchester United side that contained the likes of David De Gea and Shinji Kagawa 4-0. A then-budding attacking midfielder Dele Alli featured that night at the Stadium MK. The season has started in promising fashion for Paul Tisdale’s side, and they will fancy their chances of sending shockwaves across football by humiliating another Premier League side.
Nottingham Forest – home v Newcastle United
Football is never an exact science, but Nottingham Forest are probably better equipped to upset the odds than the other four teams mentioned above. They have had a good, if unspectacular, start to their season. They have just one win in five games so far, but are yet to lose. Newcastle, on the other hand, have lost two of their three matches so far, to continue the poor form they showed in pre-season.
Forest can also count on positive history against the Magpies. They were, in fact, the side who eliminated Rafa Benitez’s side from the League Cup last season. They also won 2-1 when they last faced their opponents at the City Ground, in a Championship match in December 2016.