All eyes will be on White Hart Lane where the battle for North London supremacy continues as last season’s runners-up, Tottenham Hotspur, face Arsenal once again.
Pressure is mounting on Gunners boss Arsene Wenger after consecutive defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Chelsea. A win away at their local rivals in their back garden will be the best way to silence the critics and prove his doubters wrong.
West Midland rivals Aston Villa and Birmingham City will also meet in what promises to be a fiery affair.
The Second City derby has only yielded four goals in the last four meetings between the sides. But with the Premier League side struggling domestically and the Blues going along nicely in the Championship, an upset and a first win at Villa Park since 2004 could be on the cards for Gary Rowett’s men.
In another derby, Crystal Palace host Charlton Athletic at Selhurst Park in the first meeting between the two sides since February 2013.
Eagles boss Alan Pardew, who has played and managed both clubs, will be hoping to see his side get back tyo winning ways after losing their last two fixtures and to pile more misery on the Addicks who have collected just one point from their last four league games.
Holders Chelsea and boss Jose Mourinho are never too far from the media spotlight. Therefore the West London outfit will be hoping for a straightforward evening when they enter the competition away at League one side Walsall.
The Saddlers are exceeding expectations this season, finding themselves in second place in the table. With news that John Terry could be in the Blues team though, they will have to be on top of their game again if they are to achieve a giant killing.
Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United are at home to Ipswich Town in another potentially tricky tie, whilst the lowest ranked side left in the tournament, Carlisle United, visit an under fire Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool, who have won the competition a record eight times, at Anfield.
Another under-fire manager, Steve McClaren, who won this competition with Middlesbrough in 2004 but has yet to win a league game in charge of Newcastle, will be hoping to do better when he welcomes Sheffield Wednesday to St James’ Park. The Owls won their first match since the opening day at the weekend with a 3-2 victory over Fulham.
Elsewhere, there will be a repeat of the 2014 final when Sunderland host Manchester City. Manuel Pellegrini’s men lost to West Ham at the weekend but will hope to bounce back against the hosts who have yet to record a victory in the league this season.
Other all Premier league ties include Norwich City at home to West Brom, while the comeback kings, Leicester, will be hoping for a less stressful night when they face West Ham United, who themselves will be full of confidence following a 2-1 league success at Manchester City.
In-form Reading will eye an upset as they host another in-form side Everton, Stoke travel down south to Fulham, Hull welcome Swansea in what was a Premier League fixture last term, Bournemouth visit Championship strugglers Preston North End, 2004 winners Middlesbrough hist fellow second-tier side Wolves and MK Dons welcome a Southampton side that has won just once this term after their 3-2 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
The ties will be played on the Tuesday and Wednesday of the week commencing on the 21st September.
Capital One Third Round
Aston Villa vs Birmingham
Fulham vs Stoke
Hull vs Swansea
Leicester vs West Ham
Middlesbrough vs Wolves
Preston vs Bournemouth
Sunderland vs Manchester City
Reading vs Everton
Crystal Palace vs Charlton Athletic
MK Dons vs Southampton
Newcastle vs Sheffield Wednesday
Norwich City vs West Brom
Tottenham vs Arsenal
Walsall vs Chelsea
Liverpool vs Carlisle
Manchester United vs Ipswich