English League Cup Review and Fourth Round Preview


The English League Cup, also known as the Capital One Cup is entering its round of 16 following the completion of the third round. One fact is for sure, the Cup can be won by any club with seven of the clubs remaining making their name in a league below the Premier League.

This includes the Sky Bet League Two side Shrewsbury Town who advanced to the fourth round with a first round win over Championship side Blackpool. They then followed it up with second round victory over a talented Leicester City. In this past round the club advanced to the fourth round with a win over Norwich City.

Indeed the dream is alive for The Blues of Shrewsbury who face an almost impossible task when they host the Premier League leaders Chelsea. The match is looking to be a real life “David vs. Goliath”. This and more are what await us as fans in Round four of the League Cup as we wrap up the third round of the 2014-2015 League Cup.

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The Underdogs

With seven of the clubs in the fourth round being in the Championship or lower with 4 of the clubs, Fulham v. Derby County and MK Dons v. Sheffield United, facing off in the fourth round. Aforementioned Shrewsbury Town will host Chelsea, Brighton & Hove Albion will visit White Hart Lane to take on Tottenham and Bournemouth will host West Bromwich Albion to round out the matches for the underdogs.

While a win for Shrewsbury Town over Chelsea would continue the clubs Cinderella run, the clock striking midnight will happen here. The most likely of the three clubs to advance to the Quarter-Finals would be Bournemouth who host West Brom. The match is winnable for The Cherries and a chance at the quarters should have the club chomping at the bit and their confidence running high after they easily thrashed a struggling Cardiff City 3-0 at Cardiff City Stadium. A match against the Premier League bottom feeders should suit them well.

The Big Dogs

"“A win in the next round over Swansea is expected by the supporters and failure to do so could see Brendan Rodgers on the hot-seat and possibly out at Anfield.”"

Whether it be a down year for the top English clubs or just an up year for the underdogs, Premier League clubs have struggled with less than half of them making it to the fourth round. Giants Arsenal lost at home to the in-form Southampton who dominated the match almost from the get go, going as far as embarrassing the home team.

Premier League stalwarts West Ham went out in the second round along with Aston Villa, Burnley, Leicester City, QPR, and the struggling red devils of Manchester United. They were followed out in round three by Arsenal, SunderlandCrystal Palace, Hull City and Everton.

Last year, the fourth round saw thirteen Premier League clubs. At most, only six can advance through to the next round as Stoke City host Southampton, Swansea City visits Anfield to take on Liverpool and Manchester City hosts Newcastle and their under fire manager Alan Pardew.

Of the mentioned clubs, Newcastle is the one in a must win situation as Alan Pardew tries to survive and remain in charge of his club. With the Newcastle supporters becoming more and more restless, this match will serve as the perfect step to calm their fears and assert himself as the best man to manage the club.

Another club who has struggled this year has been Liverpool, who defeated Middlesbrough 14-13 on penalties after having two separate leads over the Championship side. A win in the next round over Swansea is expected by the supporters and failure to do so could see Brendan Rodgers on the hot-seat and possibly out at Anfield. Chelsea should be a shoe in for the quarters, but the club must guard against complacency against and a super confident Shrewsbury Town who look to keep their Cinderella run going.

League Cup Review

Overall the League Cup has proved more of a shocker this year than in previous years as the premier clubs seam to be placing less emphasis on this competition, allowing those below to close the gap and make a run at the silverware. Watch-out for the lower division clubs as they grow in confidence with every win and every win over the premier clubs of England.

Any type of silverware is important to not only the club but also to its supporters, this being even more true for those who do not usually find themselves in these positions and are hungry to add to that trophy cabinet. This is also true for the premier clubs as they field mostly reserves in these matches. Those players can use these opportunities to break into the first team and show their manager the caliber that they are.

What this tournament will come down to is the desire for victory and who wants to win more. The club that answers that will win the League Cup and bring glory to the club and bragging rights to their supporters.