Five Potential African League Cup giant killers

Andy Yiadom of Barnsley Pete Norton/Getty Images

This week's League Cup fixtures provide an opportunity for some of Africa's stars in the lower leagues of the English game to test their mettle against some of their more illustrious opponents from the top flight.

Expect one or two of the Premier League big boys to get unsettled by the underdogs, and here we profile five of Africa's stars in the lower leagues could be eyeing a giant killing in the midweek fixtures.

Andy Yiadom: Tottenham Hotspur's struggles at Wembley - at least against domestic opponents - are well documented, with Spurs failing to build on their Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund as they were held by Swansea City at the weekend.

Barnsley, currently 20th in the Championship, might fancy their chances of nabbing a shock result at the national stadium - particularly considering Mauricio Pochettino's proclivity for mixing it up in cup competitions.

Ghana right-back Yiadom hasn't featured for the Tykes since the opening day of the season after refusing a new contract offer from the club amidst interest from Swansea City and Huddersfield Town.

He remains the South Yorkshire side's outstanding individual, however, and coach Paul Heckingbottom may see this prestige fixture as the ideal opportunity to throw the wideman back into the mix.

Didier Ibrahim N'Dong: Now may well be a pretty ideal time to play Everton. The Toffees are on a four-game losing streak and after defeats by Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Atalanta, were routed by Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Sunderland's form isn't much better, although they at least ended their losing streak with a draw at Hull City at the weekend.

There were encouraging signs in this match from the midfield pairing of N'Dong and Lee Cattermole, with the former an intelligent destructive presence and an astute user of the ball.

It will be intriguing to see how N'Dong and Cattermole fare up against Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin in midweek.

Rodney Kongolo: Admittedly, League One Doncaster Rovers may be an unlikely pick for a midweek giant killing away at Arsenal. However, stranger things have happened, and Arsene Wenger's track record of blooding youngsters in the cup may well offer hope for Donny.

They'll also be boosted by the presence of Kongolo - currently on loan from Manchester City.

The midfielder - brother of AS Monaco defender and Netherlands international Terence - is eligible for the Democratic Republic of Congo, and has already impressed in the cup this term, being part of the team that dumped out Hull City last month.

Kongolo is a box-to-box midfielder who can offer technical class in the final third, but also loves a biting tackle - Wenger may well feel himself to be watching a younger version of Patrick Vieira when the two sides meet on Wednesday.

Mustapha Carayol was unfortunate to have been on the losing side this weekend when Nottingham Forest were defeated at home by Wolves.

The Gambian frontman scored a magical goal - slamming a 30-yard strike from a wide angle past Wolves stopper John Ruddy - to break his Championship duck for Forest and equal his tally from the entirety of that term.

With Chelsea currently competing on three fronts this term, Carayol may fancy his chances of making another headline impact in front of the bright lights at Stamford Bridge.

Hope Akpan hasn't featured for Burton Albion since being sent off in the defeat by Middlesbrough back in mid-August, with injury slowing his progress after his return from suspension.

The Nigeria international didn't make his return to the side in the victory over Fulham at the weekend, but Nigel Clough may be tempted to throw the powerful midfielder back into the mix against Manchester United this week.

Clough told the Burton Mail that he's impressed with what he's seen from the former Everton man in training, and is tipping him to make a big impact for the Brewers this term. Could Akpan prove that he was worth the wait at Old Trafford on Wednesday.