Tuesday will be a busy evening of EFL Cup football with seven ties taking place, and it will involve Premier League teams.
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- Brentford to beat Gillingham
- Bournemouth to beat Everton
- Lincoln City to beat Bristol City
- Stevenage to beat Charlton Athletic
Brentford to beat Gillingham
Despite a run of three draws in their past four Premier League outings, including a frenetic 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest, Brentford will be eager to get back to winning ways after a plateau in form.
77 places separate the Bees and Gillingham in the English football pyramid. More embarrassingly, Gillingham will be forced to contend with an FA Cup replay after they were held away to AFC Flyde in their first round tie last weekend.
Nevertheless, Thomas Frank will not underestimate Gillingham, and he would love to deliver some silverware to west London.
Neil Harris’ men have found life hard going in League Two this term, and while Frank might rotate a few players, his side should overpower the Gills. When you consider the Bees have only conceded once in their past three outings, you wonder where the goals will come for the visitors.
Brentford should cruise into the fourth round with few problems.
Bournemouth to beat Everton
Bournemouth have been dealt some stern lessons over the past couple of weeks, but they will relish a pan-Premier League tie against Everton, whom they have beaten three times in their past five meetings.
Although Everton came out on top 2-0 in a cup clash — the FA Cup six years ago — Gary O’Neil will have demanded an improvement from his side, or rather, reminded them not to blow two-goal leads — a worrying trend that has plagued them of late.
The past three meetings between Bournemouth and Everton have seen 10 goals shared, and this could be a rip-roaring encounter.
However, this is one Bournemouth could well nick.
Lincoln City to beat Bristol City
It has been a bumper-packed schedule for Bristol City, who have played 10 times in 36 days since the last international break.
While Nigel Pearson may make a few tweaks to his side, Lincoln were off the boil as they were bundled out of the FA Cup by Chippenham, which was rather ignominious.
Bristol City have been far from impressive, winning just one of their past five Championship matches, and Lincoln could well spring a mini upset, which may set a cat among the pigeons.
Stevenage to beat Charlton Athletic
Despite squeezing past Gateshead in the FA Cup, Stevenage have acquitted themselves well this term. They will be eager to combine a charge for automatic promotion to League One with a decent run in the EFL Cup.
Before their four-game run on the road, Stevenage had kept back-to-back clean sheets. Charlton, meanwhile, will have defensive gaps that can be exploited as illustrated in their recent 4-4 draw with Ipswich.
This could be a tight game, but one that Stevenage might just edge.
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