League Cup quarterfinalists set: What are the juiciest draws?

AP Photo/Frank Augstein

The League Cup is down to its final eight clubs, with several Premier League giants angling for their first bit of hardware this season.

Arsenal will be looking for its second, having won the Community Shield, and is joined in the quarterfinals by West Ham United, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Bournemouth, Leicester City, and Bristol City.

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The Irons knocked Spurs out of the tournament on Wednesday, eliminating the chance for a North London Derby. There are still some terrific possibilities for Thursday’s quarterfinal draw.

Here are our favorite ideas:

Keep ’em separated — A draw that keeps the big boys away from each other gives us much better odds on a huge final, or two big semifinals legs in January (Coincidentally, this is also wanted by Spurs and Liverpool in the hopes of schedule congestion for their Top Four opponents). That would be something like:

Arsenal vs. Bristol City
Chelsea vs. Leicester City
Manchester United vs. Bournemouth
Manchester City vs. West Ham United

Derby Day(s) and Cinderella clearances — The flip side would put those glamorous match-ups in the quarterfinals, set for late November.

Manchester City vs. Manchester United
Arsenal vs. Chelsea
West Ham United vs. Bristol City
Leicester City vs. Bournemouth

A good mix — In this draw, we’ll keep United and City apart to ensure the first Manchester Derby of the year remains in the Premier League (Dec. 10), but still give the world a London Derby.

Chelsea vs. Arsenal
Manchester City vs. Bristol City
Manchester United vs. Bournemouth
West Ham United vs. Leicester City

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