We head to knockout action with our Goals Galore treble as the League Cup reaches the 3rd Round stage. These fixtures are tough to predict as no one is quite sure what sort of teams will be put out by the big clubs.
What we can say is that there were plenty of goals in the previous round and we are going to take advantage of that by bashing the bookies yet again. Lets take a look at our three gems.
West Ham v Cardiff City – 7.45pm Tuesday – Betfred – 4/6
Last time these two met it was the first league game of the season and West Ham came off comfortable 2-0 winners. As lot has changed in that short time, Cardiff have improved and West Ham have not and I expect it to be closer when the pair meet again on Tuesday night.
The Hammers missed out on a home result at the weekend when they lost 3-2 against Everton, to two incredible Leighton Baines free kicks. They also scraped through in the previous round after beating League Two side Cheltenham 2-1. Since their 2-0 result at Upton Park in day one, they have conceded at least a goal in each of their three games at their home ground.
Cardiff will also be frustrated after losing out to a 92nd minute winner at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Cardiff are known for being tough to beat and have built a strong foundation at the back but have yet to add goals to turn enough draws into victories. On Tuesday night though i expect manager Malky Mackay to let the reigns go a little and play more expansively, using the League Cup as more of an experiment.
Both sides are expected to make a number of changes, which will make this game far more open as players struggle to familiarise themselves with colleagues. These two are unlikely to feature in too many of our Goals Galore treble’s this season but I feel this game is quite an exception.
Watford v Norwich City – 7.45pm Tuesday – Betfred– 8/15
An intriguing tie at Vicarage Road as Premier League Norwich City visit a strong Watford side, who many think will be up with the elite next season after just missing out in the previous campaign.
Currently in fifth spot and coming off the back of a 5-1 win away to Barnsley they will know beating Norwich wont be due to a lack of goals. At home they have fired in 12 from 5 matches. What will play into our hands at Goals Galore however is despite an envious goal scoring record they have vulnerabilities at the back and have conceded in their last four games.
Many will be surprised to see a fixture in our treble which involves Norwich due to their abysmal record in finding the net, they have only scored once in three games courtesy of a Nathan Redmond strike to beat Southampton but I can see them taking full advantage of this cup tie to get in some shooting practice. In the last round they took apart a Bury side 6-3 and new signing Elmander took his opportunity by scoring twice. Norwich have a number of dangerous players who have a point to prove including Elmander as well as Gary Hooper and Ricky van Wolfswinkel, and I can see at least one of them finding the net on Tuesday night.
Sunderland v Peterborough – 7.45pm Tuesday – Betfred– – 8/15
Struggling Sunderland, have just sacked Paulo di Canio which to some players may deliver a sigh of relief. The “Black Cats” need to build up some confidence and will use this Cup game to find a much needed victory which may be the spark to kick start their season. A Caretaker will usually put out the best side available and I see this opportunity as no different for Sunderland.
Opposition is League One side Peterborough who as we know love to score goals, they may not have the quality to make Round 4 but they will give it a good go. Peterborough had a game at the weekend that will last long in the memory, Knight-Percival got sent off after just 9 minutes at home to the decent MK Dons, the Post went on to take a 2-0 lead only to go down to 9 men with 10 minutes left on the clock. they held on to claim a 2-1 victory. They are a team with plenty of confidence and I cannot see them changing their style for their visit to the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland are obvious favourites to emerge victors, but The Posh should score at least one goal against the club in chaos. Both teams to score here seems a cert!