Will we see any Capital One Cup upsets this week?

Sam Allardyce

Leicester, Sunderland, Stoke and West Ham all have the chance to be giant killers in the League Cup this week.

The draw for the Capital One Cup quarter finals threw up some interesting ties.

Of the eight sides left, four can be seen as favourites for the trophy and the other four rather clear underdogs.

That contrast was extended when Lady Luck left the "big four" separated in the last eight, each drawing a smaller side of their own.

As we approach the semi finals, then, we could see Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham all make the final four.

But the beauty of the cup means that upsets are always possible. So could we see any this week?

Leicester City v Manchester City

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson will not fancy facing Manchester City or current form.

Manuel Pellegrini's side have scored an astonishing 47 Premier League goals so far this season, having also won all eight of their home league games.

But City's away form has been far from impressive - and Leicester, third in the Championship, are not doing too badly themselves.

The Foxes will be buoyed by being the only non-Premier League side left in the competition, while any cup side containing David Nugent is always going to be in with a chance.

Sunderland v Chelsea

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet is a passionate man.

As a player, the Uruguayan was a cup hero for Chelsea.

As a manager, then, Poyet will be keen to instill the same kind of spirit in his players.

And what better motivation than the fact that the Black Cats pushed Chelsea all the way during their 4-3 defeat a couple of weeks ago? Sunderland will most definitely be up for the rematch.

Stoke v Manchester United

Manchester United may be buoyed by their 3-0 win at Aston Villa on Sunday but Stoke have already shown they can be giant killers this season.

Mark Hughes' side beat Chelsea 3-2 just over a week ago and the dramatic manner in which they did so suggests the Potters can produce a fight or two on their day.

When Hughes took his team to Old Trafford, meanwhile, David Moyes' side could only beat them 3-2 themselves. Stoke will be motivated - and goals virtually guaranteed.

Tottenham v West Ham

West Ham's poor form means anything other than a Tottenham win - even considering their current plight - would have to be considered a big upset on Wednesday.

But Spurs are, after all, without a manager and hurting from a 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool.

If Sam Allardyce is to make a significant statement about his desire to stay at Upton Park, he may never get a better chance than this week. And they did win 3-0 at White Hart Lane already this season...

image: © Ben Sutherland

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