Can Newcastle avenge last season’s Carabao Cup final defeat against Manchester United? Plus: Aaron Ramsdale is set to be handed a chance to stake a claim for the Arsenal No 1 spot against West Ham, Mauricio Pochettino’s best hope of silverware in his first season at Chelsea
Could Newcastle’s need for rotation spare Man Utd?
“It hurts bad, and the motivation now is to get back here and win them the trophy they deserve.” Eddie Howe struck a determined tone after Newcastle’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester United at Wembley in March.
It will be interesting to see if that enthusiasm for the competition still remains this week – because if it does, Newcastle could take a measure of revenge and pile more pressure on Erik ten Hag’s now struggling side.
Man Utd are reeling after their Manchester derby loss on Sunday. Their hopes of building on the progress of last year have been dented by a worrying start to this campaign. Another humbling at Old Trafford would have alarm bells well and truly ringing. Newcastle have had some setbacks themselves this season but 18 goals in their last five Premier League games is an example of their threat.
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But the question is whether the priorities for Newcastle and Howe have moved on since that painful afternoon in rain-soaked north London. Newcastle host Arsenal on Saturday in the Premier League, with another top-five finish an ambition, and then go to Borussia Dortmund for a pivotal Champions League game next Wednesday.
With Alexander Isak, Sven Botman, Jacob Murphy, Elliot Anderson and Harvey Barnes injured, and Sandro Tonali suspended, there is a selection balance to be struck. Could Callum Wilson – after scoring twice at the weekend draw with Wolves – start all three of those games? His minutes will surely need to be managed. Similarly this may be the chance to give the likes of Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn a breather.
That need for rotation from the visitors could just spare Man Utd further punishment.
Chelsea must make most of favourable draw
“My target is to win,” said Mauricio Pochettino as he faced the press for the first time since moving to Stamford Bridge.
“If you’re in a club like Chelsea, you can’t talk about doing a nice job or playing well.”
Ten games into the Premier League season, wins continue to be hard to come by for the Blues. Lingering in the bottom half – and with no European football – the domestic cup competitions represent Pochettino’s only option if he is to lift a trophy in his first campaign.
England U19 international Chambers, in particular, is sure to start as Klopp looks to protect Kostas Tsimikas, the club’s only other fit left back at present, with first-choice Andy Robertson sidelined until the start of 2024.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s fourth-round tie also allows Klopp the chance to run his eye over fringe players such as Wataru Endo, who will get 90 minutes against the Cherries as the Japan holding midfielder looks to make a case to start at Luton in the Premier League on Super Sunday.
Ramsdale given another chance to impress as he remains Arsenal No 2
“I’ve never believed it could [work], and I believe we’re seeing in front of our eyes the challenges that exists because now, there is going to be pressure.”
Those were the words of Gary Neville in relation to Arsenal’s goalkeeper conundrum, but he is not alone there. Even Arsene Wenger has weighed in to the great David Raya-Aaron Ramsdale debate.
Sky Sports’ Ron Walker is joined by Oliver Yew to discuss whether it is time for Mikel Arteta to bring Aaron Ramsdale back into the Arsenal side for David Raya
“I don’t believe in rotation with goalkeepers,” said the legendary former Gunners boss. “I don’t believe in a lack of clarity of the hierarchy with goalkeepers. That doesn’t work.”
Arteta insisted when Raya arrived that he had no clear No 1 option. His team selections since have proven that to be somewhat misleading, and even a shaky Raya performance or two hasn’t led to him dropping the new man for Ramsdale, or even backing up his wild claim he may make a tactical in-game substitution between the sticks.
Sue Smith and Steven Warnock weigh-in on the debate about whether David Raya should be Arsenal’s first choice as goalkeeper over Aaron Ramsdale after some shaky recent performances
Ramsdale will now make just his second appearance since being dropped, but his clean sheet at Brentford in the last round of the Carabao Cup didn’t do anything to improve his chances of seeing action in the Premier League or Champions League. All he can do is try and put in a good performance at West Ham, and see if it moves Arteta into reconsidering his current stance.
Will Everton field strong side with draw opening up?
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News surfaced this week about a potential violation of the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability regulations during the period leading up to the 2021/22 season but there was little to suggest Sean Dyche and his Everton players had been distracted by events happening around them at the London Stadium on Sunday.
Dyche has become accustomed to working under pressure since his arrival on Merseyside, but a run of four wins in six games has got fans dreaming of higher peaks. The Everton boss always thought his side were playing well without getting the results they deserve but has recently seen his side convert performances into points.
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Dominic Calvert-Lewin looks to be finally getting back to his best. His 50th Premier League goal through the driving rain at West Ham was exquisite while in Jarrad Branthwaite, Everton have a hugely promising centre-back Dyche is determined not to “over-coach”.
The signs of improvement have been there this autumn, and Wednesday’s Carabao Cup visitors Burnley offer the chance to build on that momentum in addition to the potential of silverware edging closer.
Everton boss Sean Dyche speaks on the development of Jarrad Branthwaite into the first team
Given that Arsenal face West Ham while Newcastle visit holders Manchester United, the draw could well open up for a side such as Everton, who have never won the League Cup in their decorated history.
Victory over the Hammers had all the hallmarks of a Dyche side during his Burnley heyday, and his handling of the injury-prone Calvert-Lewin has added the quality to a resoluteness that means Everton should view a cup run as far from an unwanted distraction.
In what will be the first game at Goodison Park since chairman Bill Kenwright passed away last week, there will be more than just an emotional nod to the past.
As Dyche prepares to take on his former employers, a strong team selection and another victory against Burnley would be a fitting tribute to the lifelong Everton fan.