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EFL Cup: Bournemouth and Everton stage all-Premier League clash

Bournemouth and Everton have the chance to make amends for their respective weekend defeats as they headline the EFL Cup’s Tuesday night programme.

The Dorset outfit were beaten by the odd goal in seven at Leeds while Everton went down 2-0 against Leicester and both teams must now balance the need for winning momentum going into the Premier League weekend with the importance of fresh legs for key players.

In the other six ties, the Foxes host League Two strugglers Newport County - a side that embarrassed them in the FA Cup three years ago - while Brentford look to avoid an upset against another lowly fourth-tier opponent, Gillingham.

Toffees and Cherries in sticky spot

WhatBournemouth v Everton
WhereVitality Stadium, Bournemouth
When19:45 Tuesday 8th November 2022
How to watchN/A
OddsBournemouth 9/5, Draw 23/10, Everton 31/20

A League Cup triumph remains the major omission from the Goodison Park trophy cabinet and Everton, 28/1 shots to win this year’s competition, must navigate their way past a Bournemouth side with a similar league record to their own - before meeting them on the same ground four days later.

Just a point separates the pair in the Premier League, with Bournemouth teetering precariously above the drop zone by a point following four successive losses. The situation on Merseyside is similar, with Frank Lampard’s side picking up just 14 points from as many matches this term.

And with penalties needed for the hosts to see off Championship promotion hopefuls Norwich in the second round, the Cherries are likely to face a similar test in a clash made all the more enticing by the upcoming league encounter on Saturday, to close out the pre-World Cup fixtures.

Two doses of home advantage have to suit Bournemouth, who have conceded just eight goals at the Vitality Stadium in the Premier League compared to 24 away from the same number of matches.

Everton have netted only five goals on their travels in seven outings and, what’s more, both sides may field diluted teams with league survival certainly the priority at this stage; a match with fewer than 1.5 goals is priced at 5/2.

Newport keen to outfox Leicester again

WhatLeicester v Newport County
WhereKing Power Stadium, Leicester
When19:45 Tuesday 8th November 2022
How to watchN/A
OddsLeicester 1/8, Draw 15/2, Newport 20/1

Leicester’s victory over Everton continued Brendan Rodgers’ turnaround in recent weeks, with Christmas set to look much less gloomy at the King Power Stadium following three wins in four matches - startling figures for a side that had won just once in the league all season going into that run.

Locking horns with West Ham at the weekend - the side situated just below them in the table, in 15th and level on 14 points - means that the Premier League will surely remain the primary focus for Rodgers as the opportunity to open up a seven-point gap on the relegation places at Christmas presents itself.

With that in mind, a visit from Newport County could hardly seem more ideal; the Foxes successfully dodged top-flight opposition and landed one of the lowest-ranked sides in the third round.

But the Welsh outfit have built themselves a reputation for giant-killings, having beaten Leeds United in the FA Cup at Rodney Parade as recently as January 2018 before coming within eight minutes of a famous win over Tottenham.

And Foxes fans will remember all too well the events of the following January, when an 85th-minute Padraig Amond penalty sealed a memorable upset for County, dumping the Premier League heavyweights out at the third-round stage.

Newport’s current league position reveals a team struggling at the wrong end of the table, languishing in 18th with just four wins from their opening 17 games.

But a three-game unbeaten run, including a draw against promotion contenders Northampton last time out, suggests the Exiles are beginning to build once again under new boss Graham Coughlan, who took over late last month following the sacking of head coach James Rowberry.

A repeat of the League Two team’s 2019 FA Cup antics - progression to the next round at the expense of Leicester - can be backed at 20/1.

Bees vying to avoid Cup sting

WhatBrentford v Gillingham
WhereGtech Community Staidum, Brentford
When19:45 Tuesday 8th November 2022
How to watchN/A
OddsBrentford 1/8, Draw 15/2, Gillingham 20/1

Down in 20th in the fourth tier, Gillingham are the lowest-ranked side left in this season’s EFL Cup and they face a stern test at mid-table Premier League boys Brentford.

The Bees may have won only one of their last eight games, but Thomas Frank’s men did pick up an impressive point at home to Chelsea on October 19th and with Saturday’s lunchtime trip to Manchester City representing as much of a free hit as the Premier League offers, their midweek cup duty is a fine chance to entertain home fans one last time before the winter break.

Draws against the league’s bottom pair, Wolves and Nottingham Forest, will have left Bees supporters baying for blood and a Gillingham side in freefall might just answer those calls. The Kent side are without a victory in five matches in the league and have fared little better in the other two domestic cups, held 1-1 by sixth-tier AFC Fylde on Saturday in the FA Cup and needing penalties to overcome the league's bottom side Colchester in the EFL Trophy a month ago - their last win.

The clash with Brentford is a tough test for Neil Harris’ men and they will be pulling no punches as they go in search of a famous victory. But a first win in seven meetings will be hard to come by for a side that have scored just six times in the league this term.

A Bees win to nil is available at 4/6.

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