Only two Championship sides left in the competition and remarkably both games were FA Cup ties last season. Unfortunately, neither Derby or Bournemouth have particularly good records against their respective opponents but the Cherries may never have a better opportunity to beat Liverpool.
Derby v Chelsea (7:45pm, Sky Sports 1)
If the Rams progress to the semi finals for the first time since 2008/09 it would be a major surprise. The clubs have met four previous occasions in the competition, although none of those meetings have taken place since October 1972: the away team failed to win any of those games, but it’s fair to say that back in the early seventies Derby and Chelsea were moving in opposite directions. The most recent meeting in the Midlands was in the Third Round of last season’s FA Cup (Chelsea won 2-0) and the Rams have only won two of their last eleven meetings at home against Chelsea in all competitions: their last victory came in the Premier League in October 1999.
Oh and Chelsea have only lost once in the Premier League this season and haven’t lost an away League Cup tie over 90 minutes for over a decade
Bournemouth v Liverpool (7:45pm tomorrow, Sky Sports 1)
Like so many other aspects to their season, this is a trip into the unknown for Bournemouth: their previous best performance in the League Cup was in 1963/64, when they reached the fourth round before being knocked out by Stoke.
The Cherries lost 2-0 at home to Liverpool in January in the FA Cup, but their previous encounters in that competition on the South Coast both ended in draws. Bournemouth went back to the top of the pile last weekend after an eight goal thriller against Cardiff which was only settled by Callum Wilson’s late winner and are currently on an eleven game unbeaten run in the league that goes back to the end of September…when they lost at Derby.
Liverpool have only won two of their last ten games in all competitions; they’ve not won an away match in the League Cup since winning at West Brom in 2012 and they didn’t exactly have it their own way when they played Cardiff in the final almost three years ago.
I’ll update the results as they come in, but I’ll be back for the final post of 2014 on Friday. The usual Christmas preview will appear, but with three clubs failing the FFP rules and yet another sacking (Nigel Adkins at Reading), I think I might return to one of the major subjects I’ve been banging on about for the last four years…
Update: Derby lost 3-1 at home to Chelsea. Craig Bryson made the score 2-1 after 70 minutes but the game was more or less over when Jake Buxton was dismissed; four minutes later Chelsea extended their lead and that was that.