Premier League champions Leicester City and Chelsea face off in a mouthwatering League Cup clash on Tuesday, while Arsenal and Liverpool are both on the road.
It has been a contrasting week or so for champions Leicester and the team they dethroned as the Foxes have finally ignited their season following an indifferent run of early-season form, while Chelsea have struggled to maintain their fast start to the league.
Having outclassed Club Brugge 3-0 in their debut Champions League tie last week, the Foxes followed up that win with another 3-0 thumping of Burnley as they finally begin to resemble the side that stunned the world by claiming the Premier League title last season.
Claudio Ranieri’s side will miss the likes of Kasper Schmeichel in goal following a concussion sustained in training, while midfielders Matty James and Nampalys Mendy have both been sidelined by ankle injuries.
The optimism surrounding Chelsea has tailed off somewhat after a 2-2 draw away to Swansea City followed by a 2-1 home loss to Liverpool on Friday. Antonio Conte will be hopeful his side can bounce back for the EFL Cup tie but may have to make do without centre back John Terry, who faces a late fitness test and with Kurt Zouma still facing a long spell on the sidelines through injury, the Blues are likely to call upon newly re-signed centre back David Luiz.
Leicester will approach the tie with a slight psychological edge over the Blues having bettered taken four points off the London club as they dethroned them in the Premier League last term. Chelsea, however, will take confidence from historically having the better of the Foxes, as they have won 30 of the sides’ 51 ties.
Big guns Liverpool and Arsenal will also take to the field on Tuesday as red-hot Liverpool travel to Derby County while a resurgent Gunners side face a trip to Nottingham Forest.
Both sides are expected to make short work of their lower tier opposition, while in-form Everton and fellow Premier League side Bournemouth both have home ties as they look to advance to the next round of the competition.
Tuesday’s EFL Cup fixtures:
Derby County vs Liverpool
Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal
Bournemouth vs Preston North End
Leicester City vs Chelsea
Everton vs Norwich City
Brighton vs Reading
Newcastle vs Wolves
Leeds United vs Blackburn Rovers
All matches kick-off at 20:45.