Before the Premier League’s incredibly busy period of festive fixtures kicks off on Boxing Day (Saturday), there’s a small matter of the League Cup quarterfinals to tend to on Tuesday and Wednesday, as six PL sides and two EFL Championship clubs battle for a place in next month’s semifinals.
On one hand, the likes of Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City — all of whom fancy a finish in the Premier League’s top-four this season — will find themselves fighting for fitness ahead of the weekend’s league fixtures; however, on the other hand, they also find themselves 270 minutes (perhaps a few more) from winning the 2020-21 season’s first major trophy.
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For a club like Tottenham, who haven’t lifted a piece of silverware since the 2007-08 League Cup, a trip to the quarterfinals of any competition shouldn’t be taken lightly. Jose Mourinho’s men will travel to the northwest of England to battle Championship side Stoke City on a wet and windy Wednesday night at the bet365 Stadium.
Elsewhere, there are two contenders up for consideration in the category of most intriguing matchup of the quarterfinals: a current top-four battle with Everton hosting Manchester United, and a once-upon-a-time top-four battle with Arsenal hosting Manchester City. Unlike the other three of those clubs, Arsenal are already long out of consideration for the Premier League title and could perhaps turn their attention toward the cup competitions — they’ve done mighty well in them over the last decade, despite their continued fall from grace in the PL — as Mikel Arteta looks to save his job.
The final quarterfinal matchup is perhaps the upset special of the round, as 4th-place Championship side Brentford welcomes struggling (for health and results) Newcastle to west London. The Bees have already knocked off a trio of PL sides en route to the quarterfinals, going through Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham in consecutive rounds.
League Cup quarterfinals schedule
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur — 12:30 pm ET
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 23, 2020
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) December 23, 2020
Everton v Manchester United — 3 pm ET
How to watch League Cup quarterfinals
Stoke City (+500) Tottenham Hotspur (-195) Draw (+340
Everton (+235) Manchester United (+110) Draw (+260)
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