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EFL Cup: Eight teams left to fight it out

Monday 31st October 2016
The draw for the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup took place after the recent conclusion of the fourth round games. Eight clubs are still in with a chance of lifting the trophy at Wembley Stadium; we look at each of the sides that remain in the competition.
Quarter-final draw


The quarter-final ties take place in the week commencing 28 November and there are some intriguing games to look forward to. Hull City and Newcastle United will be a close game featuring two evenly matched teams. West Ham United and Southampton will both be confident of producing upsets when they travel to Old Trafford and the Emirates respectively. While the clash between Liverpool and Leeds United brings back memories of some enthralling games from the past.

The final of the EFL Cup takes place on 26 February 2017. Which team will add their name to the trophy this season?

The four favourites



Arsenal



Arsene Wenger uses the EFL Cup to give first team opportunities to his fringe players; it's working so far in this season's competition. Arsenal defeated Reading 2-0 in the last round, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring both goals. The Gunners have a strong second XI: Gabriel, Chamberlain, and Giroud all featured against Reading. Arsenal have a real chance of going all the way, but Wenger has never won this competition in his career: Will that change this season?

Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp is desperate to win his first piece of silverware at Liverpool after coming agonisingly close in last season's League Cup final: his side was edged out by Manchester City on penalties. On Tuesday night, Daniel Sturridge was the hero, as his two goals were enough to see off Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round. Liverpool are playing with confidence, the club's ready to win a trophy this season, and the EFL Cup presents the perfect opportunity for Klopp's side.

Manchester United



If there's one manager in the Premier League who takes the EFL Cup seriously, it's Jose Mourinho. Manchester United handed starts to key players in their recent fourth round victory over rivals Manchester City. Juan Mata scored the only goal of the game to take his side into the quarter-final stages. Man United have a strong squad, one that's capable of performing in all competitions, which gives Mourinho's side a shot at going all the way in this season's EFL Cup.

Southampton



Claude Puel has seen his side improve significantly recently; Southampton continued their excellent run of form by defeating Sunderland in the last round of the EFL Cup, 1-0. Club record signing Sofiane Boufal produced a moment of brilliance to send Saints into the last eight; a strike worthy of winning any game. Southampton have never tasted League Cup success in their history, but they are now only three games away from adding the trophy to their collection.

The four outsiders



Hull City and West Ham United



The EFL Cup run has provided Hull and West Ham with a welcome distraction from their Premier League problems. Hull's recent form has been extremely poor, the club's unlikely to win the League Cup this season, but Hull are dangerous opponents on their day, as they have proven at times in this campaign. West Ham progressed to the last eight of the competition by defeating Chelsea 2-1. The Hammers will believe they can win at Old Trafford in the next round, but West Ham must return to last season's form if they are to realistically challenge for the EFL Cup.

Leeds United and Newcastle United



Two teams from the Championship have made it into the last eight: Leeds and Newcastle. Leeds are the biggest underdogs to win the EFL Cup, as they are the weakest side remaining in the competition, but Garry Monk's side has the grit and determination to cause more upsets in the rounds to come. While further north, things are going to plan at Newcastle. Rafael Benitez has taken his side to the top of the championship, and to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup with a 6-0 win over Preston North End. Can Benitez add the League Cup to his resume this season?
Danny Glendenning

Passions include reading, sport, and nights out with friends. A football fanatic whose writing career began in May 2016. Now 30 years old, lives in South Yorkshire - local team is Doncaster Rovers, although heart lies with Arsenal. Contributing editor for It's Round And It's White. Current claim to fame is an interview with Ron Atkinson. Always looking for work, either editing or writing. Contact via email: Dannysg1988@outlook.com. Or Twitter: @DannySG1988.

 

 


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