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Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup games offer a great chance to players with something to prove, either due to lack of game time or indifferent form.
With managers often using the competition to make changes, it could be a big night in particular for these following players...
ANTONY (Manchester United v Newcastle)
The £85million winger hasn’t been the game-changer Erik ten Hag dreamed of and received criticism for his petulance as a late substitute against Manchester City on Sunday, more interested in kicking the opposition than creating for his team.
Antony has struggled both on the pitch and off it in a turbulent start to Man United's campaign
The winger was most recently involved in a reckless scrap with Man City's Jeremy Doku after coming on as a substitute in the Manchester derby
The Brazilian has had off-field difficulties this season but United really need him to show his best form now given their own difficulties.
At least the arrival of Newcastle might bring back good memories. One of his best moments in a red shirt was beating the Toon at Wembley in last season’s EFL Cup final.
BETO (Everton v Burnley)
The 25-year-old striker was hailed as Everton’s great hope when he arrived shortly before the transfer window closed but has so far been overshadowed by Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Beto’s only goal so far for the club came in the Carabao Cup at Doncaster but with Calvert-Lewin needed to stay fresh for Premier League duty, the powerful Portuguese centre-forward has a chance to step up and show Goodison Park what he can do.
Beto's arrival (centre) on Merseyside has been overshadowed by the resurgence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin
CODY GAKPO (Bournemouth v Liverpool)
The battle between Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Gakpo for two starting places up front alongside Mo Salah is fascinating.
Gakpo had a goal disallowed after he came on as a substitute in Liverpool’s last Premier League game against Nottingham Forest but with Diaz currently unavailable while he deals with the awful kidnap of his father in Colombia, the Dutchman should get a chance to start on the south coast.
The Dutchman has had a mixed first year at Anfield, scoring 10 goals but also taking time to settle in Jurgen Klopp’s system and being asked to play in different positions.
Cody Gakpo has had a mixed first year in red but is impressing when he gets his time to shine
Kai Havertz has failed to convert his Arsenal appearances into goals and is losing his grasp on first-team football
KAI HAVERTZ (West Ham v Arsenal)
Havertz’s only goal so far this season was a penalty at Bournemouth given to him out of sympathy by team-mates. It is time the £65million German began to justify his price tag and this tie with Mikel Arteta bound to make changes looks a perfect fit.
Havertz has lost the regular starting berth given to him by Arteta at the start of the season and needs to show end product to win his place back.
West Ham might be the right opposition to wheel him out. David Moyes’ side is traditionally strong in the air and that is one area where the 24-year-old is effective in both penalty areas.
NICOLAS JACKSON (Chelsea v Blackburn)
Three goals in 11 appearances is a poor return for a striker who cost Chelsea £35million from Villarreal in the summer. He was criticised by England great Alan Shearer at the weekend for a lack of movement during a poor defeat against Brentford.
A fit and firing Jackson might be expected to have the night off given Chelsea’s other injuries up front but Mauricio Pochettino might see this competition against Championship opposition as an ideal way to boost