Manchester rivals City and United handed kind EFL Cup quarter-final ties

By Sports Desk October 31, 2019

Manchester United have been granted a golden chance to advance to the EFL Cup's semi-finals after being drawn against fourth-tier Colchester United in the last eight.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side won 2-1 against Chelsea on Wednesday and will now host the lowest-ranked team left in the competition.

Manchester City, comfortable 3-1 winners against Southampton in the last round, have a similarly promising path into the final four as Pep Guardiola's men seek to secure the trophy for the third successive season.

The holders are set to visit Oxford United, who sit fifth in League One, at Kassam Stadium.

The other two ties are both all-Premier League clashes.

Liverpool were drawn away to Aston Villa following a see-sawing shoot-out triumph over Arsenal, while Everton and the under-pressure Marco Silva will welcome high-flying Leicester City to Goodison Park.

Each of the four quarter-final ties are scheduled to take place in the week beginning December 16.

European champions Liverpool are simultaneously due to be in Qatar for the Club World Cup, further complicating an already congested fixture list.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp threatened to boycott the next stage of the EFL Cup if an appropriate solution to the logjam cannot be found.

"If they don't find an appropriate place for us, not 03:00am on Christmas Day, then we don't play it," Klopp said after the Arsenal encounter, which ended level at 5-5 after 90 minutes.

"They have to make that decision. You have to think about these things."

EFL Cup quarter-final draw in full: 

Oxford United v Manchester City
Manchester United v Colchester United
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Everton v Leicester City

Related items

  • We'd need a 400-day year! - Guardiola wants fixtures reduced, not Champions League expansion We'd need a 400-day year! - Guardiola wants fixtures reduced, not Champions League expansion

    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes a 400 or 500-day year would be required for Champions League expansion because Premier League clubs already play too many games.

    The European Club Association (ECA) and UEFA are said to be in talks about adding another four matchdays to the Champions League schedule, which would result in finalists playing 17 games.

    However, with City's trip to Sheffield United on Tuesday their eighth game in the past three and a half weeks, Guardiola is an advocate of taking a scythe to the gruelling schedule in England.

    "I think the solution is you have to make a year of 400 days, that is a solution, 400 or 500, more or less. After that we can book another competition. Maybe UEFA or FIFA can talk about it. We have few days a year, that's the problem," said Guardiola.

    Champions League expansion would likely have negative ramifications for the EFL Cup.

    After stating the EFL Cup "wouldn't be interesting" if Premier League sides withdrew in order to lighten their loads, the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona offered a more ruthless alternative.

    "Eliminate competitions. Take them out completely - so less games," he said.

    "Less games, less competitions, less teams, more quality, less quantity. The people are going enjoy it. The people are going to go to the theatre, to the cinema, restaurants, to watch the fireworks. That is what they would do."

    At the crux of Guardiola's argument is a desire to reduce the physical workload on players.

    He said: "There are less games [in Germany in Spain], much less than here. In the Bundesliga there are 18 teams not 20, one cup not two. They have a break, in Spain they have a break.Tthe cup is run with one game, not two. So it's a big difference.

    "It's just to protect the players … For them they'd enjoy it more, the people too. People say they can't live without football, they can live without football for a while. It's too much, honestly."

    The City boss suggested serious injuries sustained by Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford since the turn of the year were a result of the excessive demands.

    Kane's hamstring problem and Rashford's back issue were a blow to Gareth Southgate ahead of Euro 2020, but Guardiola feels those in charge of the game in England cannot be surprised.

    "It's a big blow for Gareth, for the national team. Kane and Rashford are incredibly important players for them. Hopefully there isn't another one who does that and they can recover," he said.

    "It's an incredible amount of games. Now we're talking about it because they are [injured], but looking back at the injuries Newcastle have had, we have had, all the teams. That is normal. With that number of games, sooner or later the players break down.

    "I'm not really surprised. I’m so sorry for them, but with this amount of games it happens. The big administration people cannot complain because it's normal this happens.

    "Of course it is [too much to expect]. They arrive in the Euros, playing with the national teams trying their best, then [back here] after no more than 20 days because the business, the show, must go on. It's unsustainable.

    "Sooner or later the players fall down. It's too much. I'm so sorry for Kane and Rashford because they are incredible and good for the league, but we demand a lot from the players, it's too much.

    "They should reflect [on] it but all the managers complained about it and they don't care. Now Boxing Day is over, another season, and prepare for the next one. A distance of two or three days again and again.

    "The players in the end suffer. They want to do well and the clubs have a lot of pressure to win titles or qualify for the Champions League, the players want to do well. We push them and we are being pushed.

    "At some moment the body says stop, it's enough."

  • West Brom 0-1 Stoke City: Championship leaders' slump stretches to sixth winless game West Brom 0-1 Stoke City: Championship leaders' slump stretches to sixth winless game

    West Brom's slump continued with a shock 1-0 defeat at home to struggling Stoke City, with the Championship leaders now without a win in six league games.

    The Baggies were boosted by being able to give Grady Diangana his first start in over a month, but he lasted only four minutes and the hosts failed to make the most of their chances as Tyrese Campbell's early goal proved decisive.

    West Brom gave the ball away in midfield and Stoke pounced in the ninth minute, as Nick Powell released Tom Ince and he squared to Campbell, who beat Sam Johnstone from 12 yards.

    Campbell was then forced off injured a 14 minutes later and Stoke unsurprisingly struggled in attack without him, though West Brom failed to get past Jack Butland at the other end, with Matheus Pereira guilty of a couple of suspect misses.

    Victory lifts Stoke four points above the bottom three, while the Baggies remain only a point clear of Leeds United at the summit and five above third-place Fulham, with their game in hand now gone.

  • Aston Villa sign Samatta to help fill striker void Aston Villa sign Samatta to help fill striker void

    Aston Villa have signed striker Mbwana Samatta on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

    Samatta arrives at Villa Park from Belgian side Genk, giving the relegation-threatened Premier League club a much-needed extra option up front.

    Former Club Brugge striker Wesley, who joined Villa in a reported £22million move in June, suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in the win over Burnley on New Year's Day.

    Samatta will hope to help fill the void, having scored 10 goals in 28 appearances in all competitions for Genk this season.

    The Tanzania international has cost Villa a reported £10m.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.