Football in England started back up with a bang last weekend. Eight clubs returned to Carabao cup action on Saturday, with three out of the four ties involving four or more goals.
This weekend, the rest of the games will be played, and there are some cracking ties to look forward to.
Three Carabao Cup Ties to Keep an Eye Out for This Weekend
Barnsley v Nottingham Forest – Saturday 15:00
In an all-Championship affair, Nottingham Forest travel to Oakwell. The home-side will be chomping at the bit to get going after heroically surviving the Championship drop on the last day of the season. Boss Gerhard Struber revitalised Barnsley’s season when he took over in late November. Now, he has a full season in charge and will want to start as he means to go on.
Nottingham Forest, on the other hand, were agonisingly knocked out of the play-offs in the last game of the season. Sabri Lamouchi‘s side were left heartbroken when a six-goal turn-around saw Forest drop to seventh, with Swansea City sneaking into the play-offs. The chances of Forest dropping out of the play-offs prior to kick were one to 1,000, as per online sports betting Illinois, and Forest fans would have believed they had secured a top six finish, many games before that.
Both clubs have been relatively quiet on the transfer front, but will both fancy their chances come Saturday. The two last played in the penultimate game of last season. Barnsley grabbed a 93rd minute winner courtesy of Patrick Schmidt, which continued their fight to survive. A draw that day would have both relegated Barnsley, whilst ensuring a play-off position for Forest.
Nottingham Forest will be out seeking revenge on Saturday in the Carabao Cup, whilst Barnsley will want to build upon a fantastic end to the 2019/20 campaign.
Bolton Wanderers v Bradford City – Saturday 15:00
Also on Saturday, Bradford City make the short trip to Bolton Wanderers. Despite the size of both clubs, they both find themselves in League Two ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
Following relegation to England’s fourth tier, Bolton have been extremely busy in the summer transfer window. As well as bringing in their new manager, Ian Evatt, the club have signed 14 players already. These have not been any old signings – they have brought in some talented individuals with vast experience in the Football League.
Bradford, however, face their second consecutive season in League Two. A season of mediocrity saw the Bantams finish in ninth place when the season was ended early. However, last season was seen as more of a transitional campaign, as Bradford will believe that they can win promotion at the second time of asking.
On Saturday, fans should expect an exciting and passionate encounter, as two of League Two’s promotion candidates comes head-to-head.
Luton Town v Norwich City – Saturday 15:00
A third intriguing tie sees Norwich City travel to Kenilworth Road in another Championship-filled tie. The Canaries finished bottom of the Premier League last season and travel to a Luton side who will still be buzzing after just surviving the Championship drop.
The Hatters have made four new signings this summer and will be focused on building upon last season. Luton leaked goals last year, but the signings of Welsh international Tom Lockyer and Sheffield United‘s Rhys Norrington-Davies directly address that issue.
Norwich, on the other hand, are more focused on keeping the squad together. Todd Cantwell, Ben Godfrey, Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis have all been targeted by Premier League clubs. The Canaries will do well to keep them all put.
The last time the two met was in 2013, when four divisions separated the two clubs. Then-Conference side Luton recorded a historic 1-0 victory over their Premier League opposition.