It may seem a while ago now that we were working our way through the early rounds of the Carabao Cup, but the competition has been on a hiatus while teams competed in the Champions League and Europa League Group Stages. Now that these games have finished ahead of the knockout phase in the New Year, the Carabao Cup is set to resume with a pre-Christmas set of quarterfinal ties.

Six Premier League teams, plus two from the upper reaches of the Championship will battle it out for a place in the last four, with extra time and penalties used to decide the winner if required on the night. Games take place at 5.30pm and 8.00pm on Tuesday and Wednesday night this week and all games are being shown live by Sky Sports in the UK.

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There’s no doubt that the eight managers involved in the Carabao Cup action this week will be keeping their cards close to their chest in terms of team selection and tactics, so let’s take a look at all four games this week and give you our tips as to how we think each game will turn out.

Carabao Cup Quarterfinals

Tuesday 22nd December

Brentford v Newcastle United (5.30pm)

Brentford defeated Wycombe 4-2 in penalties in the First Round (after a 1-1 draw), then followed that up with three wins against Premier League sides. Southampton were beaten 2-0 in the second round before a 2-2 draw with West Brom saw Brentford win 5-4 on penalties. The Bees then despatched Fulham 3-0 in the Round of 16 to reach the quarterfinal stage.

Newcastle’s progress began in the second round with a 1-0 win over Blackburn, and in the third round they smashed seven past Morecambe on the road to win 7-0 and record their biggest win of the season. It was tither in the round of 16 where the Toon Army needed a late equaliser and penalties to get past Newport 5-4 after a 1-1 draw.

There’s no doubting that Brentford have the potential to cause an upset here given their wins over three Premier League outfits already, and Newcastle’s form against lower league opponents has been patchy at best. Winning some games easily, but struggling in others and I think Brentford are probably a better side than any of the teams Newcastle have faced so far in the competition this season.

As such, I think a draw is the likely outcome here and I would back this game to finish 1-1 in normal time (11/2 with bet365) and once it goes to penalties it is a lottery, although I think Brentford’s positive experience with penalties could stand them in good stead here.

Arsenal v Manchester City (8.00pm)

Arsenal and Manchester City joined the Carabao Cup in the Third Round as they were involved in European competition and the Gunners started with an impressive 2-0 win away to Leicester in their first game in the tournament and then followed that with a 5-4 win on penalties over Liverpool after a 0-0 draw over 90 minutes.

Manchester City made slightly easier progress than the Gunners as they defeated Bournemouth 2-1 at the Etihad in the third round and then were comfortable 3-0 winners away from home against Burnley in the Round of 16.

Arsenal have beaten City in the FA Cup Semifinals last season at Wembley but at that stage, they were in a decent run of form for Mikel Arteta. At the moment, their form is dreadful for want of a better word and while City’s is hardly the stellar form we have come to expect from them in recent seasons, they are still in a much better positon than Arsenal.

With everything up for grabs, I can see Arsenal going for it here and trying to use the same tactics they did so at Wembley against City, but I think City will have learned from that and I’d back City to win 2-1 at 15/2 with bet365.

Wednesday 23rd December

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspurs (5.30pm)

Stoke City’s progress in the Carabao Cup has been consistent buy hardly spectacular. They drew 0-0 with Blackpool at home before winning 5-4 on penalties in the first round but then produced a fine display to beat Wolves 1-0 at Molineux in Round 2. Another 1-0 win followed in Round 3, this time at home to Gillingham before they landed yet another 1-0 win in the Round of 16, this time an impressive away victory over Aston Villa.

Spurs had been scheduled to play Leyton Orient in Round 3 of the tournament but received a bye for that game after Orient were unable to fulfil the fixture. That put them into the Round of 16 against Chelsea where Jose Mourinho’s side drew 1-1 but then emerged winners 5-4 on penalties to reach the quarterfinals.

It’s fair to say Stoke’s progress through this competition has been steady rather than spectacular and it should be noted that they have not conceded a goal in this competition so far. That is impressive when you consider they have played two Premier League sides away from home in the tournament.

However, Spurs, even with a number of key players rested, should have more than enough quality to go to Stoke and get the job done and I think they will. Back Tottenham to win the game 2-0 at 8/1 with bet365.

Everton v Manchester United (8.00pm)

As the Toffees are not in Europe, Everton have played one more game in the Carabao Cup than Manchester United this season, that being a Second Round win over Salford City, which the Blues won 3-0 at Goodison Park. They followed that up with another impressive win against lower league opponents, this time beating Fleetwood Town 5-2 at Highbury. West Ham were their opponents in the Round of 16 but once again Everton found their scoring form recording a thumping 4-1 win over the Hammers to reach the quarterfinals.

Manchester United entered the Carabao Cup at the Third Round stage and have progressed thanks to two 3-0 away wins. The first coming away to Championship Luton Town and the second against fellow Premier League side Brighton.

It is worth remembering that Manchester United have played Everton at Goodison Park just a few weeks back and emerged with a creditable 3-1 win in what was a very good performance by the Red Devils. However, I think Everton are in much better form now and they should be more confident of getting something here.

That said, United’s away form is exceptional in domestic games and I think they will eventually progress into the semifinals, although I think they may need extra time to do so. Back the 1-1 draw at 90 minutes which is a 6/1 shot with bet365 Sport but I think United will progress either in extra time or via penalties.