Nikola Zigic of Birmingham City celebrates with the trophy after the Carling Cup Final between Arsenal and Birmingham City at Wembley Stadium in London, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Manchester United and Arsenal lead Tuesday's action, while Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City headline Wednesday's slate of games. It's round three of the Carling Cup, and fun will be had by
all many some.
It's round three of the Carling Cup and this time the big boys are playing. The teams that are playing in Europe get added to the mixer this time around, meaning we have Arsenals, Manchesters and... Stoke City! What fun that will be. Anyway, there's a full slate of games scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, and even if many teams don't take this tournament particularly seriously, it's still a fun chance to see the youth sides playing some good football.
The big match on Tuesday is undoubtedly Manchester United's trip to Elland Road to face old rivals Leeds. Although United will be fielding a reserve team, their seniors having only just played on Sunday during the reigning Champions' 3-1 victory over Chelsea, they'll still probably be too much for their hosts. That said, Leeds always seem to save their best for United, so there could be a giant-killing in the works here.
There are a pair of Premier League only matches to enjoy as well. Aston Villas and Bolton fight it out (a game which will mark Stuart Holden's comeback from a broken leg) while Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur do likewise. The rest of the Premier League teams in action on Tuesday don't look like they'll have too many problems, although Nottingham Forest might prove a tricky nut for Newcastle to crack at the City Ground.
Aldershot v Rochdale, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Arsenal v Shrewsbury, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Aston Villa v Bolton Wanderers, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Burnley v Milton Keynes Dons, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Leeds v Manchester United, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Millwall, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Blackburn Rovers v Leyton Orient, 8:00 PM BST (3:00 PM EST)
Crystal Palace v Middlesbrough, 8:00 PM BST (3:00 PM EST)
A Premier League derby highlights the day, with Fulham going to Stamford Bridge to take on what many imagine will be a youth-heavy Chelsea. This is a great opportunity for the Cottagers to get one over their more illustrious rivals, although with both side's senior teams in action on Sunday this will be more like a reserve game than anything else.
Liverpool face what's going to be an interesting trip to Brighton in the most compelling of the rest of the fixtures (although Cardiff City vs. Leicester should be fun too), and there's a another all-Premier League match on the cards: One of Everton and West Bromwich Albion will find themselves out of the tournament this round.
Brighton v Liverpool, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Cardiff v Leicester, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Chelsea v Fulham, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Manchester City v Birmingham, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Southampton v Preston, 7:45 PM BST (2:45 PM EST)
Everton v West Bromwich Albion, 8:00 PM BST (3:00 PM EST)
We'll probably see at least one giant-killing in the midweek games, although it's impossible to guess where that might be (otherwise it wouldn't be very exciting, would it). SB Nation will be keeping a close eye on all the games, so stick with us in your Carling Cup adventures!