After a lengthy break while the Champions League and Europa League group stages were decided, the Carabao Cup returns this week at the quarterfinal stage with eight teams remaining in the competition seeking a place at Wembley Stadium early next year to contest the final.

Most, but not all, of the teams that are involved in the games are Premier League sides and it is going to be interesting to see the teams that some of the top teams remaining in the competition put out, coming as the game does at the beginning of an incredibly hectic festive period

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Let’s now take a look at the four quarterfinal ties coming up this week in the Carabao Cup as well as our tips for who will progress in each of the games.

Carabao Cup Quarterfinals Preview & Tips

The quarterfinals are played on Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd December, two games on each night. All games are played over one leg with the winner determined on the night and extra time and penalties used if required to decide the winner.

Tuesday 22nd December

Brentford v Newcastle United (5.30pm)

After missing out in the playoff final last year to Fulham, Brentford now lie 6th in the Championship with 32 points from their 19 games. The Bees have lost just three times this season in the league and have progressed well in the Carabao Cup to face a quarterfinal tie with Newcastle United.

Steve Bruce’s side have picked up 17 points from their 12 games and are currently 14th in the Premier League table.They have had a mixed season in the Premier League, losing as many games as they had won ahead of the weekend’s games but they have proven to be a tough team to beat over that time.

The teams have met just 11 times previously, Newcastle winning eight, Brentford three but Newcastle have won all of the last six between the teams and Brentford’s last victory over the Magpies came back in League Division Two in January 1948.

The Bees have beaten three Premier League sides, Southampton, Fulham and West Brom, plus Wycombe to reach this stage, while Newcastle beat Blackburn and then Morecambe and finally Newport on penalties to reach this stage.

  • Tip – Take the draw here at 5/2 and the game to be decided by penalties with Newcastle prevailing to make it through to the semifinals.

Arsenal v Manchester City (8.00pm)

It is fair to say that the Gunners come into this game desperate for some kind of result to turn around their season. Ahead of the weekend’s game at Everton, which looks a tough task, this may be the match that Mikel Arteta’s men prove themselves once again, or if they lose, it could heap yet more pressure on the Spaniard.

Manchester City have won this trophy the last three years and in five of the last seven years in total. So they are well used to success in it, even if their league form this season has been below the standard you have come to expect of the team. Wins over Bournemouth and Burnley have seen City make it through to this stage.

Arsenal’s hopes will be boosted by the fact that they have knocked out two Premier League top four sides to get this far, beating Leicester 2-0 in the third round and then defeating Liverpool at Anfield on penalties in the Round of 16.

The Gunners also knocked Manchester City out of the FA Cup at the semifinal stage last season and they will be hoping for a similar result here. However, their recent form does seem to suggest against it.

  • Tip – Back Manchester City to win this one at odds of 4/6.

Wednesday 23rd December 2020

Stoke City v Tottenham (5.30pm)

Stoke City’s fortunes have improved significantly since appointing ex-Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill to the post of manager towards the end of last season. Not only did they avoid the drop but this season they lie just outside the playoff places in the Championship with 30 points from their 19 games and they beat Blackpool, Wolves, Gillingham and Aston Villa to reach this stage of the competition in the Carabao Cup.

However, they face a Spurs side that lie 2nd in the Premier League going into the weekend and who received a bye in the Third Round of the tournament before beating Chelsea on penalties in the Round of 16 to get this far.

It is likely Jose Mourinho will rest some key players for this game with a number of games coming up over the next couple of weeks, but even so Spurs can call on the likes of Lucas Moura and Gareth Bale to come into the side and that is still an extremely strong team.

Stoke have not conceded any goals in this competition so far but they have only scored a couple too and I can’t see that being good enough here against the Premier League’s second-placed side.

  • Tip – Tottenham are a solid bet here to win this game at 1/2

Everton v Manchester United (8.00pm)

Heading into the weekend, Everton were 5th and United 6th in the Premier League, albeit the Red Devils had a game in hand on the teams above them on the table. Both teams have amassed 23 points so far, with Everton having a slightly better goal difference keeping them above United in the table.

Both sides are in good form too, Everton winning both their last two games against Leicester and Chelsea, while Man Utd have won four of their last five and their away record is the best in the Premier League.

The Red Devils have also already won at Goodison Park this season, when they defeated the Toffees 3-1 in the Premier League a few weeks back and that defeat will certainly be fresh on the minds of both managers as they seek to claim a spot in the semifinals.

I don’t expect either side to name unduly weakened sides here as both need silverware and I think this will be the best game of the quarterfinals, but I also feel that once again, it will be the visiting side that emerges victorious.

  • Tip – This will be a close one but I am backing Manchester United to claim a narrow win at 11/10.

*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 10.30am on Saturday 19th December 2020.