Berths in the Round of 16 will be granted this week, as the League Cup’s third round hits the United Kingdom.
Seven Premier League teams are in action on Tuesday including holders Manchester City, but the most intriguing match is on the South Coast.
That’s where Portsmouth will entertain Southampton at Fratton Park in the first South Coast Derby in seven years.
Well, the first the South Coast Derby in seven years. Saints and Bournemouth tangle the New South Coast Derby biannually, but that rivalry seems yet to truly catch on.
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has pledged his best XI to deal with the challenge at Pompey, which could not be more fired up for the occasion given the League One side’s early season struggles to replicate last season’s challenge for promotion.
Kenny Jackett’s men have six points from seven league outings, but an upset here could change the tenor of things. As Joe Prince-Wright pointed out in his preview, the heated rivals have met just 10 times in the last 31 years.
A Pompey defeat of Saints might be the biggest possible upset of the day, although the holders are visiting Preston North End.
City has won two-straight League Cups and seven of eight domestic pieces of silverware including Community Shields.
Bernardo Silva is wary of visiting the Deepdale Stadium, knowing that City’s lone departure from a domestic tournament came at the hands of a lower division side.
“We want to win, but we are away to a team that – I have checked – are doing well this season,” said Bernardo. “People sometimes think games against Championship teams are easy, but they’re not. In the last two seasons I have played for City, some of the most difficult games we have had were against teams from the Championship, and in our first season we were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan from League One.”
We can’t say enough how much we love Bernardo’s insistence that he checked up on PNE.
Tuesday’s League Cup docket
All matches kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET
Watford v. Swansea City
Preston North End v. Manchester City
Portsmouth v. Southampton
Luton Town v. Leicester City
Sheffield Wednesday v. Everton
Crawley Town v. Stoke City
Arsenal v. Nottingham Forest
Colchester United v. Tottenham Hotspur