EFL Cup draw: Five games to look out for

It was a second round that provided the usual amount of thrills and spills, as smaller sides shocked their bigger counterparts and penalty shoot-outs went on for an eternity.

League Two Accrington were triumphant, dumping Premier League Burnley out of the competition, and League One Gillingham also shocked top-tier oppenents, coming from behind to humiliate Watford.

Northampton also caused an upset, beating West Brom 4-3 on penalties, and although Derby avoided being shocked by Carlisle, they required the joint-longest penalty shoot-out in English football history to make round three.

Here, with the draw made last night, we look ahead to some of the stand out games that could provide further cup magic.

Nottingham Forest vs. Arsenal

Forest have played twice at home so far this season, and have won 4-3 on both occasions, showcasing just how much of an exciting side they are with Britt Assombalonga spearheading their attack.

With Arsenal’s hunt for defensive cover a major story of this summer’s transfer window, Forest could really fancy their chances of at least causing the Gunners problems at one end of the pitch.

At the other end, however, is where their problems could lie. Conceding three goals, twice at home and once away, clearly highlights their defensive frailties and where Arsenal could hurt them.

With world class talent like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to deal with, Forest will struggle, but they will also be well placed to score a few of their own and contribute to a potentially thrilling tie.

britt assombalonga

Assombalonga could cause Arsenal’s defence problems

West Ham vs. Accrington Stanley

Stanley provided arguably the biggest shock of round two, overcoming Burnley in the last minute of extra-time when Matty Pearson drilled home the only goal of the game.

They now face another Premier League side who play in claret and blue, and will travel to the London Stadium to take on West Ham.

It will be the first EFL Cup game at the stadium, but Stanley could provide another shock; with the Hammers’s already partaking in a host of games this season, due to their Europa League campaign, they will make a host of changes.

Stanley will have nothing to lose, and have started this season in the same form they finished the last one, so you never know, it could be another hugely memorable night for the League Two team.

Matty Peason celebrates after his memorable last-gasp winner against Burnley

Matty Peason celebrates after his memorable last-gasp winner against Burnley

Tottenham vs. Gillingham

Just like Stanley, Gillingham highlighted exactly why English cup competitions are just so brilliant.

On the back of a 5-0 hammering at Scunthorpe on Saturday, League One Gills travelled to Premier League side Watford without a chance – and then went on to come from behind and win 2-1!

Their victory was rewarded with a tough looking trip to White Hart Lane, and Spurs will be a step up from Watford, but it will be a game the players relish.

They weren’t given a chance on Tuesday, and won’t be given a chance come September 20th, but you just never know with the magic of the cup.

Gills boss Justin Edinburgh will face former side Spurs in round three

Gills boss Justin Edinburgh will face former side Spurs in round three

Derby vs. Liverpool

Liverpool swept Derby’s Championship counterparts Burton aside 5-0 on Tuesday, but Derby had a much tougher evening.

Their 1-1 draw with League Two Carlisle culminated in the joint-longest penalty shoot-out in the history of English football; 32 spot-kicks were taken before the Rams prevailed 14-13.

Derby could cause Liverpool problems, with Tom Ince sure to be keen to prove a point against his former employers, but goals have been hard to come by for Nigel Pearson’s side.

Two goalless draws in their two home games so far this season highlights where the Rams might struggle, but the Reds do concede chances.

Derby will have to make sure they take them though, otherwise they will follow in the footsteps of close neighbours Burton.

Scott Carson saved three penalties in Derby's epic penalty shoot-out victory

Scott Carson saved three penalties in Derby’s epic penalty shoot-out victory

Northampton vs. Manchester United

It is the tie everyone wants. They may not have been at the level in recent years as they have been in the past, but United remain the club everyone looks out for in the draw.

This time, Northampton were handed the glamour tie after their brilliant win against West Brom. 2-2 after 90 mins, it required penalties and the Cobblers were victorious.

They are now unbeaten since January, in all competitions, so their confidence will be sky-high.

Of course, United have assembled a side stuffed full of superstars this summer, but they certainly will not fancy a tough trip to fortress Sixfields.

Will Northampton's unbeaten run continue against United?

Will Northampton’s unbeaten run continue against United?

EFL Cup round three draw in full:

Nottingham Forest v Arsenal

Leeds United v Blackburn Rovers

QPR v Sunderland

West Ham v Accrington Stanley

Southampton v Crystal Palace

Swansea City v Manchester City

Fulham v Bristol City

Bournemouth v Preston North End

Tottenham v Gillingham

Everton v Norwich City

Derby County v Liverpool

Northampton v Manchester United

Brighton v Reading

Newcastle United v Wolves

Stoke City v Hull City

Leicester City v Chelsea

Games will be played week commencing September 19th.

This article was brought to you by The Football League Paper. On-sale every Sunday, the newspaper provides extensive coverage for all 72 Football League clubs with news, features and gossip plus comprehensive match reports.
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