A quartet of Premier League sides are all on the field today in League Cup quarterfinal action looking for one of the final three spots among the last four.
Aston Villa booked its place in the semifinals with a 5-0 win over Liverpool’s youth squad yesterday, and now three more games will decide the remaining places.
[ MORE: Follow League Cup scores live ]
Manchester City travels to League One side Oxford United, with all eyes waiting to see whether Mikel Arteta will be alongside Pep Guardiola in the dugout. Reports have swirled this morning that Arteta has left the club and to finalize a deal to become Arsenal’s next manager.
Guardiola has decided to rest a number of first-team players with the festive fixtures on the horizon, as Gabriel Jesus is left on the bench alongside Ilkay Gundogan and Nicolas Otamendi, while Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva start. Oxford is currently sitting 8th in the League One table, and their 1-0 loss to MK Dons in league play over the weekend snapped an 11-match league unbeaten run that spanned back to early September. They have already knocked off West Ham, Millwall, and Sunderland in the Cup, including a 4-0 blasting of the Premier League side back in late September.
Elsewhere, Manchester United hosts League Two club Colchester United at Old Trafford with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer again giving Mason Greenwood a start outside of Premier League action. The 18-year-old is in fine form, and after Solskjaer said it was “hard to leave him out,” Greenwood finds the field. Colchester is sitting ninth in the League Two table, but has not lost since mid-October and has already downed Tottenham and Crystal Palace in Carabao Cup action, both on penalties after 0-0 draws.
Finally, an all-Premier League meeting features second-place Leicester City and a revitalized Everton side in a meeting at Goodison Park. The Toffees could use a talismanic victory that would send them into the semifinals of either domestic cup for the first time since reaching in both the FA Cup and League Cup in 2014/15. For Brendan Rodgers and the Foxes, a bounce-back would do them good ahead of the festive fixtures, having been held by newly-promoted Norwich City last time out in the league, a result which saw them fall 10 points back of leaders Liverpool.