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Carling Cup Clashes: Three to Watch
The Carling Cup enters the third round stage tonight with some exciting ties on offer. Daniel Jolly takes a look at a trio of matches which are sure to whet the appetite.
Tottenham v Arsenal: Everyone loves a North London derby, don’t they? This will be the seventh meeting between the sides in the League Cup, with the Gunners’ having the edge over their rivals with four victories to two.
Spurs will be looking to reach the final for a third time in four years, with Harry Redknapp expected to give starts to the likes of Niko Kranjcar, Roman Pavyluchenko and Wilson Palacios.
Arsene Wenger, who famously uses this competition as a breeding ground for young talent, has said that he won’t change this policy despite playing their rivals. Wenger has confirmed that Lukas Fabianski will start in goal with youngsters like Jay Emmanuel-Thomas expected to feature.
Burnley v Bolton: If there was a draw that Owen Coyle must not have been hoping for, then this must have been it. The Scot walked out on the Clarets nine months ago and can expect a hostile reception from the home fans on his return to Turf Moor.
On his arrival at the club, many Burnley fans proclaimed the 44-year-old as the ‘messiah’ but on his departure, he quickly turned into a Judas. When the sides met at the Reebok Stadium last season, one fan saw the funny side as he unfurled a banner saying “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy.”
He is expected to give his fringe players some game time with Rodrigo Moreno expected to make his debut while Robbie Blake, who followed Coyle to the Trotters, is likely to feature with Blake vowing not to celebrate out of respect for the Burnley supporters if he scores.
Brian Laws could name an unchanged side after his side’s weekend victory against Crystal Palace and this one will surely be as tasty as a traditional Lancashire hotpot.
Brentford v Everton: David Moyes will be happy for a break from league action as his side face a potentially tricky trip to take on Brentford. They have managed just two points from their opening five league games and are yet to score on the road.
Their only taste of victory in this campaign came in this competition when Huddersfield were thrashed 5-1 at Goodison Park in Round Two.
Moyes is likely to field a strong line-up to avoid an upset with Ayegbeni Yakubu expected to make his first start of the season, with Tim Cahill (knee) and Phil Neville (foot) hoping to return from injury.
Bees manager Andy Scott will hope to welcome back on-loan striker Robbie Simpson from injury as his side prepare for their fourth home tie in succession. The sides have never met in the Carling Cup previously but have played each other 16 times, each with seven wins and two draws.
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