The round of 16 in the EFL Cup takes place this weekend, with the race to Wembley firmly taking shape. But, which could be the smart plays for the games taking place on Wednesday night?

West Ham United vs Manchester City

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The reigning champions of the EFL Cup face a difficult looking away game in the round of 16, as they travel to the London Stadium to take on West Ham United. Manchester City have won this competition more than any other side, as is one of the main competitions that Pep Guardiola targets at the beginning of the season.

They breezed into this round of the competition, as they hammered Wycombe 6-1 in the third round. Riyad Mahrez scored twice in that win, while there were also goals for Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Cole Palmer and Ferran Torres. It’s unlikely that they will have it all their own way again against West Ham.

Winning a piece of silverware will see David Moyes immortalised at the Hammers, and they could be well on their way to achieving that with another big scalp on Wednesday. West Ham knocked Manchester United out of the competition at Old Trafford in the last round, with Manuel Lanzini scoring the winner inside ten minutes.

It will be interesting to see the teams that both managers name for this cup tie. But, we could see City winning in extra time, which means a draw selection for the 90 minutes.

Burnley vs Tottenham

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Nuno Espirito Santo will be looking to ease the pressure on him with a victory in the EFL Cup this week. Spurs were beaten finalists in the competition last season, and are still waiting for a long awaited trophy success.

Spurs needed to ride their luck to reach this stage, as they needed a penalty shootout to see off Wolves in the last round, despite leading 2-0 after 23 minutes. Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane scored in the 2-2 draw after 90 minutes. Spurs named a strong line-up in that fixture, and the same can be expected on Wednesday.

Burnley have seen off two sides to reach this stage of the competition. The Clarets beat Newcastle on penalties in the second round, before beating Rochdale 4-1 at Turf Moor in the third round.

The pressure will rise on Nuno if his side are beaten in this round of 16 tie, but we expect Spurs to get through to the next round.

Preston vs Liverpool


Liverpool are the huge favourites to reach the next round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday, as they travel to Championship side Preston.

Cup competitions are typically overlooked by Jurgen Klopp, but he seems to be looking to land a domestic prize this season. The Reds did make changes in the last round against Norwich, but they still ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Takumi Minamino scored twice, while Divock Origi also scored.

Preston have been in the EFL Cup since the first round, but will come up against Premier League opposition for the first time this season. They saw off Mansfield 3-0 in the first round, before beating Morecambe 4-2 in the second. Their most recent win in the competition was a 4-1 success against Cheltenham.

Preston will have a huge challenge on their hands to get through to the next round, which means that Liverpool are the obvious picks following their huge win over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday