The Manchester derby headlines fourth round action of the EFL Cup this week as Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho go head to head again. The likes of Arsenal and Chelsea will also want to move into the quarterfinals without too many headaches, while one of Liverpool or Tottenham will see their cup hopes come to an end on Tuesday night.
With both Manchester clubs struggling for form at the moment, this derby could be the game that gets them going, so taking that into consideration, it will be an important match for both managers.
Guardiola's side have gone five matches now without a win, with the latest winless game coming in the shape of a 1-1 Premier League draw against Southampton. Manchester City needed a second half equaliser from Kelechi Iheanacho to eke out a point against the Saints on Sunday, with the manager having to deal with another defensive mistake from his team.
Defensive mistakes were the name of the game for Manchester United as well as Mourinho suffered a nightmare return to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea running out 4-0 winners. If the Portuguese can cut out his team's inclination for defensive mistakes before the Manchester City match or not remains to be seen.
The other big game of this round is Liverpool vs Tottenham, two teams who have impressed so far this season. Both sides like to play in a similar manner – high-energy, pressing game while making fast moves forward – so there is a chance that both could cancel each other out.
Hopefully, an early goal, so important in these big games, leads to a much more watchable encounter even if it will be disappointing to see one of these two exciting young teams getting knocked out.
Arsenal will also play on Tuesday, at home against Reading and Arsene Wenger will hope his team put on a much better performance in front of goal. Against Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Saturday, the Gunners struggled to find their attacking rhythm, with the team clearly missing the deep-lying playmaking abilities of Santi Cazorla and Granit Xhaka. And with both of those players again set to miss out, Wenger will need to plot a way to breach Reading's defence.
On Wednesday, Chelsea will want to carry their form from the thumping of Manchester United into the game against West Ham, who have begun their recovery from a poor start to the season. The London Stadium might not feel quite like home yet for the Hammers, but Slaven Bilic will hope his team can stop the Antonio Conte's Chelsea juggernaut in this London derby of the EFL Cup.
EFL Cup fourth round schedule (All matches begin at 7.45pm BST, 2.45pm ET, 12.15am IST next day unless stated):
Tuesday, October 25: Bristol City vs Hull City at Ashton Gate Stadium.
Arsenal vs Reading at the Emirates Stadium.
Liverpool vs Tottenham at Anfield.
Leeds United vs Norwich City at Elland Road.
Newcastle United vs Preston North End at St. James' Park.
Wednesday, October 26: Southampton vs Sunderland at St. Mary's.
West Ham vs Chelsea at London Stadium.
Manchester United vs Manchester City (8pm BST, 3pm ET, 12.30am IST next day) at Old Trafford.
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