The Capital One Cup is never truly going to set the hearts of fans and players aflame, but in recent years it has become less of a burden for many top sides.
That’s because of the need to ensure that every member of their bulging squads gets at least some playing time, with many second-strings including expensive signings yet to really hit their straps in the Premier League.
To demonstrate that point, the three men we reckon need to make a big impression this week cost their clubs a combined total of £59m over the past two years.
The Serbian youngster was perhaps the most exciting of Liverpool’s slew summer of summer signings, but has barely made any impact at all at Anfield, and has been benched throughout their past three league fixtures.
Brendan Rodgers is in dire need of some extra va va voom in his faltering attack, not to mention someone that can be relied on to cover for Raheem Sterling, and Markovic was expected to fit the bill after his £20m move.
The Reds are 8/11 to beat Swansea at home, and if the 20-year-old could grab his first goal for the club it would provide a welcome boost to morale at Anfield.
The Brazilian’s startling fall from grace over the past year has led to him being named in Tottenham Hotspur’s match-day squad for just one of their nine Premier League games.
That’s a ridiculous state of affairs for an international player that cost Spurs £17m last summer, and Paulinho must take the lion’s share of the blame after repeatedly turning in ineffective displays.
The midfielder was poor in the last round against Nottingham Forest, and with chances to resurrect his career in England becoming more sparse, Paulinho needs a massive display against Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Montenegrin’s time appeared to have come at Manchester City when he struck twice in their 3-1 win over Liverpool earlier this season, but since then Jovetic has once again faded into the background.
The 24-year-old picked up another injury, and has failed to impress in cameos against Spurs and West Ham after returning.
Manuel Pellegrini will surely start him against Newcastle at the Etihad, a match City are 3/10 to win, and Jovetic can begin his latest attempt to win Citizens’ fans around.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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