Last season’s finalists, Aston Villa face a tricky third round tie as they visit Bristol City at Ashton Gate as both teams vie for a place in the fourth round.
The winner of this tie will face Stoke City in the Fourth Round next week at home.
Tomas Kalas could feature for Bristol City if he can overcome a shoulder injury suffered in their second round victory over Northampton Town last week.
Jay Dasilva (shin), Joe Morrell (calf), Callum O’Dowda (groin), Liam Walsh and Joe Williams (both thigh) however remain ruled out.
Villa could have Bertrand Traore his club debut as manager Dean Smith prepares to rotate his squad after Monday’s win over Sheffield United.
Bjorn Engels (quad), Tom Heaton and Wesley (both knee) remain ruled out for the Villains.
- This is the first-ever League Cup meeting between Bristol City and Aston Villa.
- Bristol City have won four of their last six League Cup meetings against Premier League opposition (W4, L2), although those six matchups all came in 2017-18 season in which the Robins reached the semi-finals where they lost to Manchester City across two legs.
- Villa have won five of their last six League Cup matches against lower league opposition. (W5, L1).
Both teams have enjoyed unbeaten starts to this season and just 13 positions currently separates them across the football pyramid despite being in two different divisions, which offers hope of a tasty clash if both teams play at their best.
In fact, I am struggling to see where both teams could lose this except in attack where Villa boasts powerful threats in Jack Grealish, Ollie Watkins and Traore who will be difficult for Bristol City to silence defensively if all three start this match.
Penalties therefore is my gut feeling but even shootouts this season in this competition has proven unpredictable with both home and away teams having already won eight Carabao Cup shootouts apiece already this season at time of writing, although I am going for a Robins win simply because they look more confident scoring than Villa at minute.
Prediction: Bristol City 1-1 Aston Villa (Bristol City win on penalties)
Result: Bristol City 0-3 Aston Villa