It’s the fourth round of the Carabao Cup this week and with Manchester City expected to dominate the competition again, it could fall upon Thomas Tuchel and his Chelsea side to give Pep Guardiola food for thought this season.

We take a look at the key fixtures from the fourth round this week.  

Chelsea v Southampton

Chelsea welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge in their search of more silverware under Thomas Tuchel. It was only a few months into the German’s tenure with the Blues that they lifted the Champions League trophy and while they will have one eye on retaining that title and another on their campaign for Premier League success, this competition will not be thrown at the wayside.

They were beaten finalists in 2019 and their league rivals Manchester City have dominated this competition in recent years, with Chelsea’s most recent success coming six years ago when beating Spurs in the final. They will, however, come into this fixture against Southampton on Tuesday as the heavy favourites at 2/5 to progress through to the next round, whereas a surprise Saints victory can be backed at 13/2.

Chelsea will remain without their star forwards in Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner after both were forced off injured during last week’s Champions League win over Malmo, which means chances could be taken on for Kai Havertz and Mason Mount to score at anytime where they can be backed at 23/20 and 11/8 respectively. Mount, for one, will be looking to build upon his hat-trick at the weekend against Norwich.

This fixture looks the perfect opportunity for Tuchel to show off his frightening squad depth after watching his side put seven goals past Norwich despite being without a recognised striker. If they can repeat that performance, Southampton will have a busy time of it picking the ball out of the net.

West Ham v Man City

West Ham welcome fierce opposition to east London in Wednesday night’s fixture, as they look to reach the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup. Manchester City is the reward earned by David Moyes’ side for downing Manchester United at Old Trafford in the third round, but Pep Guardiola will be as ruthless as ever in his quest for a fifth consecutive Carabao Cup trophy.

West Ham arrive at this fixture in fine form having taken Spurs down on Sunday, following other victories against Genk in the Europa League and Everton back in the Premier League. However, City can also boast of a three-game winning run, and paired with the fact that they are now unbeaten in 21 ties in this competition, West Ham will certainly be up against it.

It’s likely that this tie will see both managers look to their benches after recent action in the league and Europe, so goalscorer markets may be difficult to predict but Raheem Sterling at 8/5 could be a standout bet if he is fit and available after sitting out City’s fixture against Brighton.

The Hammers have been in great form of late across all competitions, including the Carabao Cup, but this will still be a tough task even if Pep utilises his squad’s youngsters, which is why the London Stadium residents are the outsiders at 11/2 to progress further. Meanwhile, City are expected to make routine work of it at 4/9. However, this fixture could be a lot closer than those prices suggest.

Leicester v Brighton

The Seagulls make the trip to the King Power Stadium on Wednesday eager to get back on track having lost the momentum they’d built at the start of the season after suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of Manchester City at the weekend. Meanwhile, Leicester had a different start to their season having won just twice in nine games, however, three successive victories in all competitions for Brendan Rodgers’ side looks to have put them firmly back on track.

The Foxes are far from the finished article but they have shown a great deal more promise than they started the season with and having put Manchester United, Spartak Moscow and Brentford away during their three match winning streak they are the worthy favourites here at 19/20.

Brighton boss Graham Potter will be looking to see some strong performances from his fringe players in this fixture as his side are now winless in four matches in the Premier League. Despite this though, the south coast side still sit in fifth place in the league and are enjoying the best start they’ve had in the top-flight since coming up in 2017.

The last time these two sides met in a cup competition was February of this year where Leicester prevailed with a scoreline of 1-0. However, Brighton can make amends for that here and book their place in the quarter finals at 5/2.

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