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EFL Cup: Quarter-final draw - Charlton handed tough task

The EFL Cup round of 16 reached its conclusion on Thursday and the draw for the competition's quarter-finals quickly followed.

Only eight teams remain in the hunt for the English domestic season's first piece of major silverware and the quarter-finals are scheduled to take place in the week commencing Monday 9th January, with the games provisionally etched in for the Tuesday.

Seven of the remaining eight teams hail from the Premier League with Charlton the only EFL club remaining in the draw.

They will take on Manchester United, while Southampton v Manchester City, Newcastle v Leicester City and Nottingham Forest v Wolves were the other quarter-final contests drawn.

Red Devils should have few issues at Old Trafford

What: Manchester United v Charlton Athletic
Where: Old Trafford
When: Tuesday 10th January 2023
Odds: To win outright - Man Utd 3/1, Charlton 150/1

This was arguably the most eye-catching match to come out of the quarter-final draw, pitting Premier League big guns Manchester United against League One Charlton.

It has been a pretty underwhelming season for the Addicks in League One with the club closer to the relegation zone than the play-off places, but they managed to knock out Premier League opposition in the EFL Cup round of 16.

After holding Brighton to a 0-0 draw, Charlton edged past the Seagulls 4-3 on penalties and will be hoping they can draw confidence from that result before they face United.

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But while Erik ten Haag's first season in charge of the Red Devils has not been without its challenges, he appears to have steadied the ship with the help of Cristiano Ronaldo's departure and the club won their first competitive game after the World Cup 2-0 against Burnley.

At Old Trafford, they can again be expected to show their class and should run out comfortable winners against inconsistent Charlton.

City should be to slick for struggling Southampton

What: Southampton v Manchester City
Where: St Mary's, Southampton
When: Tuesday 10th January 2023
Odds: To win outright - Southampton 20/1, Man City 4/5

Four of the last five EFL Cups have gone the way of Manchester City, who are 4/5 to lift the trophy again this season after knocking out defending champions Liverpool 3-2 in a humdinger on Thursday.

City led three times in the game and were pegged back twice by the Reds, who won the EFL Cup last season but failed to match the pace of the Citizens at the Etihad in the last 16.

Pep Guardiola knows how to dominate this tournament and even if he rings the changes by the time the quarter-finals come around, City should feel confident of dumping out 20/1 outright shots Southampton.

The Saints are adjusting to life under Nathan Jones, who led them to a 2-1 win over Lincoln City in the last 16 but it was not the most convincing of performances as they found themselves 1-0 down after only two minutes.

They are unlikely to lay a glove on tournament powerhouses City, who could win this by at least a couple of goals.

Newcastle could pass Foxes test

What: Newcastle v Leicester City
Where: St James' Park, Newcastle
When: Tuesday 10th January 2023
Odds: To win outright - Newcastle 13/2, Leicester 10/1

This is one of the closer betting heats in the EFL Cup quarter-finals as a rejuvenated Leicester team take on Premier League high-flyers Newcastle.

Leicester won silverware as recently as the 2020/21 season when they lifted the FA Cup and Newcastle know that if they are to mark themselves as a force in English football, they will need to do the same.

Up until now, Eddie Howe has been pretty reliable when it comes to rotation and getting the best out of his squad and with Newcastle having lost only one of their 15 Premier League matches this term, they look like a solid option to come through this test with the Foxes.

Forest fancied to edge Midlands battle

What: Nottingham Forest v Wolves
Where: The City Ground, Nottingham
When: Tuesday 10th January 2023
Odds: To win outright - Nottm Forest 20/1, Wolverhampton 16/1

Neither Nottingham Forest nor Wolves have lit up the Premier League this season with both in the mix for relegation and not many would have expected to see the two squaring up for a place in the EFL Cup semi-finals.

These Midlands rivals are tough to separate but Forest could be the better selection to progress given they have home advantage.

All three of their Premier League wins this season have come at The City Ground where the crowd will be right behind them, whereas Wolves have been winless on their travels in the Premier League this term.

Forest were impressive in each of their last EFL Cup fixtures, firstly overpowering Tottenham on home soil in the third round before taking the handbrake off in their 4-1 triumph over Blackburn in the round of 16.

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