The third round of the English Football League Cup is here, the first round when all the heavy hitters of the Premier League show up and bring the last parts of the English football pyramid into the competition. Other EPL sides joined in the second round, but now the top-placed teams from last season are wading in, bringing some serious weight to the EFL Cup. There's going to be a lot of action to follow, so we'll help you keep track of it all, and we've picked out the best matches for you to watch.
Tuesday Match to Watch: Leicester City vs. Chelsea
The defending EPL champions square off against the team they dethroned, and this should be an interesting match between a pair of teams who have had some wild swings in their trajectory over the last 18 months. Chelsea went from title winners to staving off relegation in a matter of months, and Leicester went from just avoiding the drop to lifting the EPL trophy in one year. Now they meet with Chelsea surging to a hot start under new manager Antonio Conte and Leicester just finding their footing after a slow start under the pressure of a title defense. Seeing how these teams handle this match under the circumstances will be interesting, and who wins could be quite telling as to how their seasons go.
Wednesday Match to Watch: Southampton vs. Crystal Palace
While a match between two mid-table clubs may not seem terribly compelling, this might actually prove to be the most interesting match of the round in terms of telling the story of a season. Palace did extremely well in the domestic cups last season but struggled down the stretch of their EPL campaign in part because of being over-stretched thanks to their lack of depth. No one is quite sure how seriously they're going to take the cups this year. Southampton, meanwhile, have struggled to start the season after a tumultuous summer that saw them lose their manager and multiple key players. They've looked better of late, though, and a strong performance here could see them re-establish their footing and start a strong run of form.
Non-EPL Match to Watch: Newcastle United vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
Of course, not every match involves teams from the Premier League. The joy of these domestic cups is that it gives a chance to highlight teams from outside the top division, such as this duel between two clubs in the Championship. Newcastle just got relegated from the EPL last season, but the side led by Rafa Benitez have been making no bones about their intent to go right back up, standing in third place after eight matches in the second division. Their season hasn't been perfect, though, and was marred last weekend by a loss to the same Wolverhampton side they face on Tuesday. They'll be eager for revenge, but Wolves haven't exactly been a pushover this season. They beat Newcastle once, and they'll be hoping to make it two in a row.
All matches start at 2:45 p.m. ET unless noted otherwise.
For a list of viewing options, check out LiveSoccerTV.
Nottingham Forest 0-4 Arsenal
Leeds United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers
AFC Bournemouth 2-3 (e.t.) Preston North End
Everton 0-2 Norwich City
Derby County 0-3 Liverpool
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Reading
Newcastle United 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Leicester City 2-4 (e.t.) Chelsea
Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Sunderland
West Ham United 1-0 Accrington Stanley
Southampton 2-0 Crystal Palace
Swansea City 1-2 Manchester City
Fulham 1-2 Bristol City
Northampton Town 1-3 Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Gillingham (3 p.m. ET)
Stoke City 1-2 Hull City (3 p.m. ET)