Preview: English Football League Cup

“Downward spiral” must change says Ljungberg – but he refuses to give up on top four

Premier League sides Everton, Newcastle United, and Watford will all be competing in the second round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night.

Manager Marco Silva’s charges will host Championship outfit Rotherham United at Goodison Park. The Toffees come into the game having been held to a 2-2 draw by Bournemouth in their last outing, while Rotherham beat Millwall 1-0 on Sunday. The two sides have never clashed in a competitive game.

After throwing away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with the Cherries, Silva told the club’s official website: “The players did a fantastic job in the first 25 minutes of the second half. We kept our organisation but always believed we could score and create problems for Bournemouth.

“In the end, we took one point and I think our players deserved more, but…now is the moment to rest and prepare for Wednesday’s game.

“Now is the moment for me to take the decisions, to prepare well for the Rotherham game. We will rest well tomorrow, see how the players are on Monday and then prepare for the next game.”

Over at The City Ground, Newcastle will be locking horns with hosts Nottingham Forest. Rafa Benitez’s side will be eager to find a victory after failing to win in their opening three games of the Premier League campaign.

The Magpies lost to Tottenham and drew with Cardiff City before losing 2-1 at home against Chelsea on Sunday.

After losing to the Blues, Benitez was criticised for his defensive tactics, but hit back by saying: “You have what you have, so I want to give credit to my players for the effort they make in every game. It depends on the car you have, you have to drive that car in the best way.”

Forest, who compete in the Championship, have drawn their last two games against Wigan and Birmingham.

Meanwhile, Watford will travel to the Madejski Stadium to take on another Championship side, Reading. The Hornets have made a perfect start to their Premier League campaign, winning all three of their games thus far.

Hornets boss Javi Gracia added: “I am very proud to be Watford coach. It’s very difficult to get results in the Premier League and to win three in a row is something special, something amazing.

“We are enjoying the moment knowing that it’s only the beginning all important steps. There are many steps to go, but this is important for good atmosphere in the team. Everybody is happy.”

In contrast, Reading is still in search of their first league win. They lost to Forest and Bolton before draws with Blackburn and Aston Villa.

Elsewhere, Championship team Millwall will be hosting League One side Plymouth Argyle at The Den.

All of Wednesday’s fixtures:

Everton vs. Rotherham United
Millwall vs. Plymouth Argyle
Nottingham Forest vs. Newcastle United
Reading vs. Watford