Carling Cup Third-Round Draw Announced: Arsenal to Face Spurs


The draw for the third round of the 2010-11 Carling Cup has been announced, and the plum tie will definitely be the north London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. The third round games will be played the week of September 20, which means that the Spurs against Arsenal match will be just one week after Tottenham’s first-ever game in the group stage of the Champions League (when they play Werder Bremen).

The good news for soccer purists is that twelve Premier League teams have been drawn against each other in the third round. That means that the chances of non-Premier League clubs making it into the fourth round is greater than usual. Out of 16 games that will be played in the fourth round, we already know that there’ll be a guaranteed three from outside the Premier League. And in the seven games in the third round that feature a Premier League side against a lower league team, the hope is that there’ll be an upset or two.

While Arsenal against Tottenham will get most of the attention in the third round, the other tasty tie is Scunthorpe United at home against Manchester United. The club’s home ground of Glanford Park only holds 9,000. And United may find themselves having a tricky game against The Iron, a Championship side.

Here is the draw for the third-round of the Carling Cup (Premier League teams shown in bold):

Brentford v Everton
Portsmouth v Leicester City
Stoke City v Fulham
v Newcastle United
Aston Villa
v Blackburn Rovers
Tottenham Hotspur
v Arsenal
Millwall v Ipswich Town
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Notts County
Burnley v Bolton Wanderers
Birmingham City v Milton Keynes Dons
Liverpool v Northampton Town
Scunthorpe United v Manchester United
West Bromwich Albion
v Manchester City
Sunderland v West Ham United
Peterborough United v Swansea City
Wigan Athletic v Preston North End

13 thoughts on “Carling Cup Third-Round Draw Announced: Arsenal to Face Spurs”

  1. Is it bad that I’m hoping we crash out of the Carling so we can focus on Europe? I mean if a team of youngsters and benchers can beat the hell out of the Gunners I’ll be ecstatic, but this is one time where beating Arsenal just isn’t important in the grand scheme, in the sense of using our A Team.

  2. With the squad Manchester City has they will have a quality line up for every game. I am sure that they expect to win every competition they are in this year: EPL, Europa, League Cup, FA Cup. They can field a squad for the EPL and an entirely different team for the Cup compeition games.

  3. Expect both Arsenal and Man Utd to play their “reserve teams” in the League Cup.

    In the case of Man Utd, the “big guns” don’t start League Cup matches until the semifinal round.

    Wenger’s League Cup policy for Arsenal is to play reserves all the way through to the final. Wenger doesn’t care about winning the League Cup. He saves his big guns for the EPL and the UEFA CL.

    1. I disagree. As a supporter of Swansea City, I definitely care. If we beat Peterborough, we’ll have a chance of playing a Premier League club. And if we’re able to win that, we’ll be in the quarter-finals.

      The Gaffer

      1. Gaffer, you’ve got to explain the need for a second cup competition to me.

        I’m new to English football, as you well know, but what reading I’ve done on the League Cup indicates that it was launched in the ’50s as an (adverse?) reaction to the launch of the European Cup (the thought being that a night cup competition between European clubs was frivolous because the English, of course, had all the best clubs, so why not just have a night cup competition in England?) Correct me if I’m wrong – I’m by no means claiming expertise.

        Second, there are complaints from all quarters about the FA Cup losing its luster. I know part of that stems from United withdrawing from the FA Cup in 2000 to meet its club World Cup obligations, but the presence of the Carling cup waters down the significance of both competitions.

        IMHO, the best way to restore the luster of the FA Cup is as follows:

        1. Abolish the League Cup.
        2. Give Champions League spots to the League champion and runner-up and the FA Cup champion. Now only the top two will lack incentive to field a full strength squad, and only (a) later in the year and (b) if their positions are secure.
        3. If the FA Cup champion finishes top 4 in the league, the top 4 all get Champions League spots.
        4. If the FA Cup champion is outside the top 4, 3 plays 4 in a two-legged playoff for the final Champions League spot. Away goals rule applies; by virtue of better league finish, 3 gets the second match at home.

        I’d love your thoughts on all of the above.

        1. The League Cup was created in the 1950’s, yes, but more of a way to play midweek evening games with the advent of floodlights. For most Premier League clubs, the tournament is a chance to either (a) try to win some silverware, (b) play reserve players, (c) generate more revenue for the club or (d) give their players some playing time experience in an unnecessary competition. Depending on which clubs you speak with, some supporters like the competition, others couldn’t care less.

          Getting rid of the Carling Cup or changing it won’t help the FA Cup that much, I believe. Even if it was removed, it wouldn’t guarantee that Premier League clubs would take the FA Cup more seriously. At the end of the day, it all comes down to money and a chance to play in Europe. The higher the stakes, the more likely clubs will care. Your ideas are sound ones, but the Football Association are slow to make changes. But those ideas mentioned would definitely make clubs care more.

          In the case of the FA Cup and Carling Cup it means more to supporters of clubs from the lower leagues, or from smaller Premier League clubs who never get a chance to win anything.

          The Gaffer

          1. The Carling Cup also gives teams from the lower divisions a chance to play against the big teams, something I think they and their fans would appreciate much more than the big clubs would.

            I almost wish the Premier League teams would reserve this competition for their bench players and reserves just to see how they would stack up against a Rochdale, a Notts County, a Tranmere, and so on. I’ve enjoyed some of the games where a Derby can nearly upset a Manchester United, regardless of whether or not the top teams win out in the end. Also cool to see a big team have to slum it at a stadium that seats less than 9,000 people.

          2. But that’s also true of the FA Cup. Moreso, since it’s open to non-league sides, raising the possibility of matchups like Liverpool v. Havant and Waterlooville in, I believe, 2007.

            It just seems duplicative to me, at the expense of the FA Cup. I hope Liverpool play the kids in the Carling Cup (likely) and Europa League (less likely) and focus first and foremost on fourth in the league and then, if top 4 is looking good in January, the FA Cup. If there’s a four to six way battle for the final three Champions League spots between Man U., Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool, City, and perhaps Everton, I hope Liverpool play the kids in the FA Cup as well.

  4. I don’t understand designating as “good news” the fact that 12 Premier League teams have been drawn against each other. With 19 Premiership teams out of 32 remaining in the competition, the probability was that 35 percent of the matches would involve only Premiership teams (I’ll spare you the computations involved).

    35 percent of 16 games is 5.6 matches, which, rounding off to the nearest whole number, means 6 matches involving 12 teams, which is exactly the way it’s worked out.

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