Righto, let’s finish with an email from Kári Tulinius:
“At his best, Philip K. Dick was able to drill into the gaps in his reader’s shared ideas about reality and wrench open a gap. In football terms, he’s like one of those managers who hit upon some way to exploit the rules of the game or the prevailing manner of playing, which unnerves and annoys the more conventionally minded. Philip K. Dick is the literary equivalent of Graham Taylor.”
Ha! And with that, I bid you all goodnight. Peace out.
Here’s Scott Murray’s Man City 2-0 Chelsea MBM.
In their history, Liverpool have been involved in 27 penalty shootouts; they’ve won 20 of them, and have arguably only lost one that really mattered, in the final of the 2016 League Cup to Man City. If it was actually a lottery, you’d say it’s rigged.
If I was Southgate, which I’m not, I’d be taking a variety of strikers to bring on in specific situations, and as many other gamebreakers as I could find. But it looks like he’ll go defence-heavy, which I guess makes some sense, as he’s so reticent to sub Kane or sterling that it barely matters who’s on the bench unless one of them gets injured. I’d also take Sancho because, though he’s unreliable, he has the skill, vision and composure to turn a game, but I can see why Southgate’s mistrustful of him.
Let’s do some reports…
Phew! That was a night!
Full-time: Liverpool 0-0 Derby County (Liverpool win 3-2 on penalties)
Wildsmith goes to his right, Elliott sweeps to his left, and Liverpool have won on penalties yet again! Kelleher is the hero yet again!
On-loan from Everton, here comes Lewis Dobbin … and Kelleher makes a terrific save, clawing away from above him! it wasn’t in the corner, but generally the power and height takes that in. 2-2 still, and can Harvey Elliott win it for Liverpol?
Nunez does a lot of dancing around, then slips to the keeper’s left; the keeper goes the right way, but the pen has just enough on it to creep home.
Sibley flips across Kelleher to give Derby 2-1!
Firmino, very casually, takes a big step to commit the keeper, then lofts his kick over the bar! 1-1 after three apiece!
At Anfield, each side has missed once; it’s 1-1 after two each. Stefan Bajcetic misses for Liverpool, but the Kelleher saves … and then saves another! Firmino will now take for 2-1!
Gutted we were denied the keepers. By way of compensation, here’s Kevin Pressman.
Full-time: West Ham 2-2 Blackburn (Blackburn win 10-9 on penalties)
Ogbonna, West Ham’s captain on the night, slams his kick against the bar and down the wrong side of the line! Blackburn are through, despite being behind after 87 minutes of normal time, and West Ham are gawn!
Sky’s reporter just accidentally slipped in an “us” talking about West Ham as Garrett made it 10-9 to Blackburn.
Back at West Ham, it’s 9-8 to Blackburn. Up steps Aguerd … and he scores! Nines!
Full-time: Liverpool 0-0 Derby County
We’ve seen this film before.
Full-time: Southampton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday (Southampton win 6-5 on penalties)
And Nathan Jones was in the stands, prior to taking over as manager.
Full-time: Man City 2-0 Chelsea
Chelsea had their chances, but City were easily the better team.
Rankin-Costello scores for Blackburn, Cresswell scores for West Ham.
Edun scores for Blackburn, Johnson scores for West Ham. I swear players are getting better at penalties, and it’s 6-6!
Lanzini slots home cooly as the keeper dives out of the road. Sudden death it is!
Someone scores for Blackburn, and here comes Lanzini; he must score…
West Ham and Blackburn are at 4-4 with one penalty left each…
Full-time: Newcastle 0-0 Crystal Palace (Newcastle win 3-2 on penalties)
Pope saves from Ebiowei! When it’s going for you it’s going for you, and Newcastle are through!
Oh! Johnstone saves from Botman … but Pope saves from Mateta! If Guimaraes scores Newcastle are through … he skips and dances to the ball … then smashes over the bar!
Newcastle now lead Palace 3-1 – Hughes scored for Palace, Trippier and Joelinton for Newcastle. Oh and Ward has tucked his go away, so it’s 3-2.
McGoldrick, the centre-forward who hates scoring goals, has just headed into the ground but at his feet, thereby allowing Kelleher to collect – when he might well have scored.
Full-time: Arsenal 1-3 Brighton
Arteta sent on the big guns at the end, but Brighton hung on well.
Chris Wood has scored Newcastle’s first penalty, and Pope has saved from Palace’s Milivojevic diving to his left. That’s a really good save.
Full-time: West Ham 2-2 Blackburn
And yet more!
Full-time: Southampton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday
Full-time: Nottingham Forest 2-0 Spurs
Disaster for Spurs, while Forest, who were well worth their win, make round four for only the second time in 18 years!
Full-time: Wolves 1-0 Leeds
That’s a massive win for Wolves, who were desperate for some good vibes.
Full-time: Newcastle 0-0 Crystal Palace
Penalties it is!
“Speaking of players whose names are always referred to in full,” says Phil Russell, “I don’t recall anyone ever shortening Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink despite it being quite the mouthful, and unlikely to be confused with anyone else.”
I guess it’s the pleasure of getting to say such thing.
It looks like we’re getting penalties in West Ham 2-2 Blackburn, Newcastle 0-0 Palace and Southampton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday.
WHAT A GOAL! West Ham 2-2 Blackburn (Brereton Diaz 88)
Brereton Diaz gets the ball on the left of the box, steps across the first challenge, then absolutely devastates a rising finish into the far top corner! He is for real!
Liverpool have sent on Firmino, Nunez and Elliott in a bid to avoid a shoot-out against Derby, as though they don’t always win those.
Ortega has just made a really good save from Pulisic, who turned a cross inside the near post while, at Forest, Djed Spence has apparently come on and done well.
Southampton have a free-kick and Ward-Prowse clips back to the edge instead of crossing, whereupon Armstrong power-sweeps against the bar! That was a serious hit.
GOAL! Wolves 1-0 Leeds (Boubacar Trore 85)
This is another lovely finish, Traore teed-up to sweep into the far side-netting from 20- yards. Man, Wolves need this win.
“Elsewhere in your esteemed rag,” emails Nicholas Brown, “the great John Crace, Spuds fan [otherwise nice guy] says he’s not gonna bother showing up for first halves. He figures if the team doesn’t, why should he?”
Concourse-slaking sounds a decent option.
“And another thing that’s actually crap…” dares Matt Dony. “Iconoclasm, is it? (In lieu of any goals in the Liverpool v Derby match.) Blade Runner. Magnificent film, in my top 5. But the original book, like almost everything by Philip K Dick, is almost unreadable. He was an ideas machine, but a phenomenally bad writer, which no one ever seems to talk about. Barely any dialogue that isn’t hilariously expositional. Laboured metaphors. Pace all over the shop. He’s a legend of sci-fi, but couldn’t actually write for toffee.”
I’ve not read, but I must confess to trying twice with the film and not getting it. I didn’t like Quantum Leap either.
Grealish weaves into the box, round two challenges, and just as a goal seems inevitable, Cucurella flings himself into a block. Good de-fence.
GOAL! West Ham 2-1 Blackburn 1 (Antonio 78)
It’s a good one this, a diag seeking Bowen sent back towards him, 15 yards out, right of centre, and he drills a proper centre-forward’s finish low into the far corner.
Benrahma, following up as Antonio is blocked off, has just leathered over the bar with plenty of goal at which to aim. West Ham and Blackburn are still 1-1.
RED CARD! Orel Mangala of Forest is sent-off for two bookable offences!
The second one is for a possible ball-winning but definitely scissoring challenge on Richarlison as he tried to counter. Can Forest hang on?
GOAL! Arsenal 1-3 Brighton (Lamptey 71)
And it looks like Brighton are through too! The exceedingly likeable Tariq Lamptey has, we’re told, defended really well tonight, and now he advances from right-back, no one unloads him, and he buries a finish under Hein and towards the far corner.
GOAL! Man City 2-0 Chelsea (Alvarez 58)
You could see Julian Alvarez was settling – it was so obvious even I wrote it – and he’s finished this tie. He spreads a terrific pass out to Mahrez, from left to right, then follows it in. So when Mendy shoves out his mate’s shot, he’s on-hand to bury the rebound. Game over.
“Love a player only ever referred to by both names,” tweets Robert Wilson-Fry. “Ruel Fox is the OG.”
And an absolute lock for my Headless Chicken XI.
GOAL! Man City 1-0 Chelsea (Mahrez 53)
Oh, it’s Mahrez it’s Mahrez! He curls inside the near post though, on the far edge of the wall, Koulibaly is its only member who doesn’t jump, and the ball passes over his shoulder. He’ll be hearing about that behaviour, I shouldn’t wonder.
Chalobah has just scythed through Mahrez and City have another free-kick just outside the box. Will it be Mahrez, will be be Grealish, we’ll have to wait and see.
At Anfield, Derby are knocking at the door while, at the Etihad, Mendy has had to make a couple more saves. He’s playing well.
City send on Phillips and Bernardo for Gundogan and Rodri.
OK, I’ve not seen the Brighton goal and it’s a nice one, one and two-touch passing that takes the ball from the right touchline to the left of the box, whereupon Mitoma opens his body and pastes a finish into the far corner. Great stuff.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-2 Brighton (Mitoma 58)
I’ve not seen this one yet as SSN are on a break, but it’s been scored.
We’re back under way in our two 8pm games…
Conte makes three changes, bringing on Kulusevski – it’s good to see him back – Gil and Richarlison. Kane – though his team need goals – goes off, along with Perisic and Skipp.
GOAL! Nottingham Forest 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Lingard 57)
I didn’t get to print Yash Gupta’s email about Serge Aurier having the game of his life, but his team counter, Aurier crosses to the back post, the ball’s headed back and Lingard heads in for his first Forest goal. Oh, Antonio!
At Newcastle, Saint-Maximin has just stuck a cross on Burn’s head, but a weak effort into the ground was easily saved. That should’ve been 1-0.
“Forest have played better tonight than I have seen them play all season,” says Kári Tulinius, “and deserve the lead. The defence had already started to gel, but now the attackers are getting the ball in dangerous areas, with space to create. Considering where they were like in the early weeks of the season, Steve Cooper has worked a miracle.”
I guess we’ll have to see how it goes over the next bit, but yup, I’d not write off their survival prospects.
At Forest, Sam Surridge has just had a shot blocked while, at Arsenal, Nketiah has just hit the post. These games seem to have both been pretty good.
“I absolutely agree with you about Crouching Tiger, Hero, and Kill Bill.” says William Preston, another who knows how to get his email printed. “Shallower than New Brighton’s beach when the tide is in. And even shallower than that? Shawshank Redemption. Hours of saccharine, two dimensional, cliche-ridden rubbish that seemingly is rewatched and adored by fans in their droves. I’d rather go back in time and rewatch my student housemate’s video of Middlesbrough’s 1996-1997 season, which they described as ‘their greatest’ every Christmas day for the next twenty years than sit through it again. Wednesday are doing OK, tonight, which is nice.”
I only recently saw Shawshank. It was a funny one, a cinematic failure but massive video-store hit, and I didn’t hate it, but I was surprised it wasn’t better given how much people loved it. Other hand, if people loved it, it did plenty right.
LOVELY GOAL! Nottingham Forest 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Lodi 50)
Conte sent on Bentancur for Hojbjerg at half-time but Forest are still by far the better team and Lodi breaks forward, steps inside onto his right foot, and unfurls a beautifully geometric curler into the far side-netting!
We’re back underway in our 7.45pm games, and on course for penalties in all six of them – likewise our two later ones.
Half-times in our 8pm kick-offs
Liverpool 0-0 Derby County
Man City 0-0 Chelsea
Aaaarggggh! Lewis Hall finds himself on the left of the box, does beautifully to send Lewis out for a barmcake and actually picks a clever finish, sliding inside the near post … but Mendy stretches out a leg, and blocks. Had he lifted it, it was a goal.
“To some Spurs fans who’re wondering what this team is all about,” says Yash Gupta. “Well here’s what I do – I totally ignore whatever happens in the first half. It is as if that half has been deleted from existence because that for the past month brings out worst football memories of Poch, Jose and Nuno. That certainly helps and I then watch second half with full emotions. So yeah act like a zombie in first half, human in second.”
I should say, if any matches are level at full-time, we go to penalties. I’d say we’ve a decent chance of at least one set.
So we’ve just got our two 8pm kick-offs now, City 0-0 Chelsea and Liverpool 0-0 Derby.
Wolves 0-0 Leeds
Southampton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday
West Ham 1-1 Blackburn
Arsenal 1-1 Brighton
Newcastle 0-0 Crystal Palace
GOAL! Southampton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday (Ward-Prowse pen 45+2)
I didn’t see what this was given for, but I did see Ward-Prowse drill confidently down the middle as the keeper dived out of the way.
Half-time: Nottingham Forest 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs have, by all accounts, been useless, and when I wasn’t watching, Jesse Lingard hit the post for Forest.
“You’re quite right, I think, about Eddie Nketiah,” returns Charles Antaki, who himself has a good sense of how to get his emails published. “Perhaps the fact that he runs about so much works against him; he can look more willing than efficient. And his demeanour doesn’t help either: close-ups sometimes do him no favours in making him look eager and a bit bewildered. But a useful comparison is with the unlamented Alexis Sanchez – with him the running about was largely for show (especially when on defensive duty), and if he looked mean and single-minded, it was all in the service of, well, Alexis Sanchez.”
Heh, that’s quite a drive-by. I’d never have though to compare those two.
Alvarez has just passed past the post when handily placed – he should’ve scored there – while, at St Mary’s, Barry Bannon is apparently dominating the game. He’s one of those players I really liked the look of when he came through, a proper old-skool schemer, but I guess not quite a good enough one for the top level. However, he’s still got plenty of ability.
Chelsea are threatening on the counter, and Ortega has just saved from Pulisic. You’re never going to dominate against City, but Chelsea do need to find a way of getting on the ball more.
GOAL! West Ham 1-1 Blackburn (Fornals 38)
That came about because of the best of Michail Antonio. First, he barged a defender off the ball, then a twinkletoed flick behind his own leg allowed him to pull back. He didn’t actually picks out a teammate, but a different defender helpfully knocked it to Fornals, who slammed home.
A City goal looks a matter of time. They’re finding so much space, er, “in and around” the Chelsea defence, and I’m not surprised. 3-4-3 against them is asking for trouble, because you’ll be outnumbered in the middle and out wide, so how are you getting on the ball?
Grealish wins a free-kick on the edge, left edge of the D, and Koulibaly is booked; Gundogan doesn’t get quite enough dip on his effort, flighting just over the top.
“In the absence of any way to actually watch the Arsenal v Brighton game, “ emails Charles Antaki, “can we give thanks to your photo editor for the image currently at the top of the screen? It shows the Arsenal players practising their Crouching Tiger stance while somebody from Brighton has a go at heading the ball into the net. The keeper seems a bit more alert to the situation, though, and is on a different page from his defenders, taking up the Kangaroo Boxing position, if at some distance from the actual ball. Apparently the ball went out of play, fortunately.”
I did not get on with that film at all, nor Hero – nor Kill Bill. There’s only so much of that stuff I can be mithered with without wondering where the plot and gags are at.
Chelsea have a chance at the Etihad, but a key touch from Rico Lewis – who I reckon will become one of those Delealli players who’s always referred to by his first and surname – means Pulisic’s shot dribbles wide.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Brighton (Welbeck pen 27)
Hein dives to his right and Welbeck passes to his left.
PENALTY TO BRIGHTON!
Poor old Hein. March puts him through and Welbeck’s touch isn’t the best, so Hein comes, Welbeck shifts it, and Hein takes him out.
GOAL! Southampton 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday (Windass 24)
This is a really good finish. Windass is stuck in and, alone on the right of the box, he rams an instafinish inside the near post. Wednesday deserve it too, apparently.
At the Etihad, City have Chelsea under pressure – two sots have been blocked, and now Grealish has walloped one just wide of the near post from 20 yards.
I’ve seen Nketiah enduring the wrath of the internet recently, but I don’t get it. He’s not good enough to start, no, but he’s a goalscorer, and such things are hard to find. If’ he’s prepared to sit on the bench and contribute to a team on the up, that’s a result for Arsenal.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Brighton (Nketiah 20)
“It’s gone to Arsenal, to be fair,” insights Clinton Morrison, and it’s a beauty. Reiss Nelson breaks forward unmolested from inside his own half, knocks it wide to Nketiah, and he opens his body to flight a gorgeous finish from not off the corner of the box, inside the far side-netting.
I’m semi-watching the Forest v Spurs game, as it goes, and there’s not been loads going on. Both sides have a few set-pieces, but there’s been very little else.
“As a life long Spurs supporter,” tweets Alasdair Phillips, “I’ve been struggling with Spurs this season. Watching this game I suddenly had a horrible flashback to Hodgson’s England team. Quite fancy Forest to be Iceland tonight.”
Yes, I keep saying this, but it’s hard to see what Conte’s plan is because I just don’t think he’s bought players good enough to lift them up a level, and wonder if the game has passed him by. Reactive football can still succeed – Mourinho’s Chelsea would have a shot at the title – but they had better players and a genius manager at the peak of his powers. Spurs have Kane, Son, and a decent but not exceptional support cast. In particular, the midfield is sorely lacking.
We’re under way at Anfield and at the Etihad.
Also on the Wales squad, here’s Matt Dony: “Gutted for Rhys Norrington-Davies, but I’m pretty happy with that Wales squad. I’d personally make a few changes, but Rob Page probably has a better handle on football players than I do. (Bet I’m better with Excel, though!) Solid, with a sprinkling of stardust. Very much the modus operandi these days. More than the sum of their parts. It’s going to be interesting.”
Yes, I agree – gobbing off about the failings of football managers is part of my job, so I’m forever reminding myself that I’d not be taking notes from them so I should endeavour to show some humility when giving them mine. I think Wales have a shot at escaping the group – USA haven’t been great lately – but they don’t look to have enough, and the opposition is strong enough, such that I don’t hold out much hope of them shocking any of us.
Oh gosh, at Forest, Sessegnon has just extended an arm and knocked the ball behind on the slide. I can see why it’s not been given and actually I don’t mind that penalties aren’t given for that, but in the league, with VAR, I think he’s struggling.
“That Wales squad,” says Phil Grey. “If you take away the three newly promoted sides you’re left with Ward (Leicester) and Davies (Spurs) currently playing in the Premier League. Wow.”
Yes, it’s a far cry from the Wales team with which I grew up, that had, variously, Hughes, Rush, Saunders, Giggs, Ratcliffe and Southall … that qualified for nowt. I guess it’s got easier since then, but it’s also worth noting that – without hyperbole – Gareth Bale is up there with the greatest international players of all time.
GOAL! West Ham 0-1 Blackburn (Vale 6)
Blackburn have, apparently, started really well and I owe an apology – we see it! I only caught the finish because I wasn’t expecting it, but it was a very nice slot from a one-on-one.
“Regarding your comment about Newcastle fielding a mainly second choice XI,” begins Ben Blatch-Hanlon. “As well as Saint-Maximin starting there’s also Pope, Burn, Longstaff and Joelinton to make five players who have been first-choice this season, plus Targett who was first-choice left-back in the second half of last season (but who’s been kept out of the team by Burn) and Shelvey who likely would be first choice if he hadn’t been injured until the last couple of weeks. That’s 7seven of the starting lineup, of course it could be stronger but it’s hardly like Eddie Howe has rotated the entire squad or played all kids! We’ve got a big game at home to Chelsea up next this weekend after the long trip down to Southampton the previous one, so not surprising in the grand scheme of things, and seemingly less rotation than most other Premier League teams.”
Yes, fair enough and, I guess, perhaps Howe thought Palace would rotate too.
We’re away in our 7.45 kick-offs. How I wish we had a goals show, as we get from BT in the Champions League. But we don’t, so I’m afraid you’ll get mainly musings and updates from me watching people watch games.
Southampton agree a deal for Luton's Nathan Jones to become their next manager
So report Sky.
Also on City, is it too late for Kalvin Phillips to make the World cup squad? My guess is not, because Gareth Southgate likes who he likes and isn’t replete with alternatives. I hope England’s midfield is Declan Rice – well we know he’ll be in it – Jude Bellingham and an attacker, but Southgate is conservative, so my guess is he’d prefer Phillips in preference to one of the latter two.
I guess it’s barely news now, which is why I didn’t mention it to begin with, but Cole Palmer also starts for City. He’s looked a talent every time I’ve seen him play, and might be one of the reasons Guardiola was happy to sell Raheem Sterling, who returns to the Etihad for the first time since signing for Chelsea.
Finally, it’s nine changes for Southampton and seven for Sheffield Wednesday; Saints, without a manager, need a win desperately.
Steve Cooper makes nine changes – a bold move, because even I could’ve told Steve Cooper that Antonio Conte would go strong. All he cares about is winning, and he’ll want to win tonight and this trophy, as well as back himself to make it happen.
Mikel Arteta makes 10 changes to the side that beat Chelsea; only William Saliba remains. But there’s a debut for Karl Hein in net, who’d better hope that he never makes a heinous error.
Brighton do similar – it’s eight changes for them, but Moises Caicedo and Solly March might give them an edge in midfield. Danny Welbeck plays too, up front against his former club.
Great news from Newcastle, who welcome back Alain Saint-Maximin. Otherwise, it’s mainly a second XI sent out by Eddie Howe – I guess he thinks top four is attainable, and in the long term that’s what his club needs and perhaps demands. But I don’t get why, with a break imminent and most of his players not going to the World Cup, he’s not doing all he can to try and win a trophy.
Palace, meanwhile, don’t even bring Eberechi Eze and Wilfried Zaha – I don’t know why not, because they’re not going to get the top four and probably not Europe either, nor are they going down, so why not go all out for this? Still, the beautiful Michael Olise starts, so for that we can all be thankful.
Steve Davis, Wolves manager for another five days, gives a debut start to Joe Hodge, while Leeds make 10 changes, with Jack Harrison the sole survivor from their uplifting comeback win at Boyrnemouth.
As for Chelsea, Danis Zakaria, who scored last week, is in again, while Lewis Hall, who’s just 18, makes his first start – so I’m excited to see what he’s got.
Pep Guardiola, though, goes pretty strong. He includes seven senior players – and Rico Lewis, who scored such a beautiful goal on debut against Sevilla last week. City also have loads on the bench, Haaland, and De Bruyne among them – and, I’m delighted to report, Kalvin Phillips, who’s coming back from injury.
West Ham and Blackburn both change everyone; I guess it makes sense, given Blackburn want promotion, while West Ham have Europe and plenty on the bench if things aren’t going their way.
I note from Twitter that Ben Doak is on the Liverpool bench. He’s only 16, and I’ve seen bits and pieces of him playing for the youth team – he looks very serious.
Jürgen Klopp wins the changes prize – he makes 111 of them. It’s great to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on from the start, and I’ve been really impressed with Fabio Carvalho. Derby, meanwhile, make just the one alteration, Conor Hourihane for Lewis Dobbin.
Wales announce their World Cup squad!
Goalkeepers:Wayne Hennessey (Nottingham Forest), Danny Ward (Leicester City), Adam Davies (Stoke City).
Defenders: Neco Williams (Nottingham Forest), Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur), Ben Cabango (Swansea City), Joe Rodon (Rennes, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Chris Mepham (Bournemouth), Ethan Ampadu (Spezia, on loan from Chelsea), Chris Gunter (AFC Wimbledon), Connor Roberts (Burnley), Tom Lockyer (Luton Town).
Midfielders: Aaron Ramsey (Nice), Joe Allen (Swansea City), Harry Wilson (Fulham), Joe Morrell (Portsmouth), Dylan Levitt (Dundee United), Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City), Jonny Williams (Swindon Town), Matthew Smith (Milton Keynes Dons), Sorba Thomas (Huddersfield Town).
Forwards: Gareth Bale (Los Angeles FC), Dan James (Fulham, on loan from Leeds United), Kieffer Moore (Bournemouth), Mark Harris (Cardiff City), Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest).
There’s a lot to digest as regards these teams, so let’s see how we get on. But in the meantime, you can follow Scott’s Man City v Chelsea blog here:
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion teams
Manchester City v Chelsea teams
Liverpool v Derby County teams
For some reason we don’t yet have the Arsenal side but bear with me and them – it’s en route.
West Ham United v Blackburn Rovers teams
Southampton v Sheffield Wednesday teams
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leeds United teams
Nottingham Forest v Tottenham Hotspur teams
Newcastle United v Crystal Palace teams
Evening all, and welcome to your Carabao Cup round three clockwatch – there’s fair bit going on tonight, so let’s get to it.
The most resonant game, Manchester City v Chelsea, you can follow next door with Scott Murray, but Chelsea – and Graham Potter in particular – will be desperate for a performance having lost at home to Arsenal on Sunday. City, though, won this trophy in each of the four seasons prior to this one, so won’t be letting the tie go to pursue other goals.
Elsewhere, we’ve got got four all-Premier League encounters: Wolves v Leeds, Arsenal v Brighton, Forest v Spurs and Newcastle v Palace, though we won’t have much idea of how they’ll go prior to seeing who’s resting whom. But the last of those, in particular looks tasty, clubs in good nick and decent form who should really be trying to win the thing.
Ans otherwise, the holders Liverpool are at home to Derby; Sheffield Wednesday, riding high in League One, will fancy themselves away to managerless Southampton; and Blackburn, second in the Championship, have a chance of shocking West Ham, another side who should be targeting the trophy – especially if David Moyes rotates.
All of which is a longwinded way of saying you’d best stick with me, because this has all the makings of an extremely fun night of association football.
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leeds United, Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion, Nottingham Forest v Spurs, Newcastle United v Crystal Palace, Southampton v Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham United v Blackburn Rovers – 7.45pm GMT
Manchester City v Chelsea, Liverpool v Derby County – 8pm GMT