Capital One Cup 3rd Round Preview

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Aston Villa V Birmingham City, Tuesday 22/09/15 at 19.45 GMT What’s the last thing you need when you’re sitting fourth from bottom in the Premier League and you’re off the back of a defeat to arguably your second biggest rivals? A cup game against your biggest rivals of course, especially when your confidence is at rock bottom and your nemesis is riding high in their respective, yet albeit lower, division. Welcome to the world of Tim Sherwood. And sometimes, you just have to let the man himself do the talking; “These next two games mean absolutely everything to this club,” Sherwood said on Thursday. “We’ve got two of the biggest football matches this club is ever going to have ahead of us. The players will know after the West Brom game that the next time they play it will be the most important game they are ever going to play in for this club.” Bearing in mind they lost that game to West Brom, does this make Tuesday night’s encounter the biggest in the history of Aston Villa FC (a side who won the European Cup – that’s the Champions League to the young ‘uns – in 1982)? This is a Villa side who haven’t won in the league since the opening day of the season, and navigated the last round of the competition by needing extra-time (and not to mention a 78th minute equaliser) to overcome League 1 Notts County. So, who are their opponents on Tuesday night? Ladies and Gentlemen, in the blue corner, we have Birmingham City – a club whose supporters would like nothing better than to plant a metaphorical kick into the guts of their bitter rival while they are down. Let’s not kid ourselves, this is one of the most passionate derbies in British Football – the two main clubs of England’s second city going head to head for a place in the last 16. Birmingham, lest we forget, won the competition back in 2011 (the same season they were relegated from the Premier League). The Blues are currently sitting 7th in the Championship table, and must surely fancy their chances of getting one over their nearest and bitterest rivals. All eyes on Villa Park, and for the best football tips from the top football tipsters, visit Aston Villa 2.00, Draw 3.60, Birmingham City 4.00

Sunderland V Man City, Tuesday 22/09/15 at 19.45 GMT

Speaking of struggling Premier League teams, is there a team faringworse than Sunderland right now? The league table would suggest not, with the Black Cats sitting rock bottom without a win to their name. It would almost be depressing for Sunderland supporters if it wasn’t for the fact Newcastle are just as bad. Similarly to Villa, the Black Cats also struggled through the previous round against lower league opposition – a 6-3 scoreline rather flattering the home side in the end considering League 2 Exeter City pegged them back at 2-0 and then again at 3-2 to go into the break level at 3-3. 78th and 87th minute strikes gave the scoreline a gloss it hardly deserved. So, who would you cherry pick for this particular encounter for a team desperate for distractions from their woeful league form? How about top-of-the-table Manchester City? Oh, go on then. City themselves will be looking to return to winning ways after defeat in the Champions League to Juventus was followed up by their first league reverse, at the hands of away specialists West Ham. City certainly didn’t play badly on Saturday, and with a squad brimming with the kind of talent you’d expect froma team with the financial backing of the blue half of Manchester, there certainly won’t be many weak links to any side named on Tuesday. Who needs the win more? Well, you would hardly expect motivation to be an issue from either side, so with that much at stake, it’s over to the experts to see what the best football tipsters are predicting for this one at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland 7.00, Draw 4.75, Manchester City 1.50

Tottenham V Arsenal, Wednesday 23/09/15 at 19.45 GMT

Whoever was drawing the balls for this particular round of ties certainly loved a derby, because right here they presented football lovers with a real cracker – a North London derby between an in-from Spurs side and an Arsenal side brimming with talent if not quite the results they would have been looking for at this stage (or any stage) of the season. There will be no question as to where the eyes of the neutral will be drawn on Wednesday night as the tie of the round pitches last season’s beaten finalists and four-time winners Spurs against close neighbours, fierce rivals and twice winners Arsenal. The atmosphere will be electric for a derby that has produced its fair share of classics down the years, and yet another could ensue at White Hart Lane in this 3rd round tie. It’s also worth pointing out that, as with all games in this competition, there are no replays, so the tie must be decided on the night. In a game this close to call, the insights of expert football tipsters are worth their weight in gold – visit for all your betting needs. Tottenham Hotspur 3.00, Draw 3.60, Arsenal 2.40 All odds courtesy of Bet365 and correct as of 09.00 GMT on Tuesday 22/09/15

Full list of 3rd round ties

Tuesday 22/09/15, all 19.45 GMT unless stated

Aston Villa V Birmingham City Fulham V Stoke Hull V Swansea Leicester v West Ham Middlesbrough V Wolves Preston V Bournemouth Sunderland V Man City Reading V Everton, 20.00 GMT

Wednesday 23/09/15, all 19.45 GMT unless stated

Crystal Palace V Charlton MK Dons V Southampton Newcastle V Sheffield Wednesday Norwich V West Brom Walsall V Chelsea Liverpool V Carlisle, 20.00 GMT Man Utd V Ipswich, 20.00 GMT   By: Steven Paget]]>