Goal brings you all you need to know about this year’s edition of the Carabao Cup, where Man City will be looking to clinch their eighth title
The 2020-21 edition of the Carabao Cup began in August, with Championship, League One and League Two sides entering the competition.
Manchester City lifted their seventh Carabao Cup and third title in a row after beating Aston Villa in last season’s final back in March.
Goal has your complete guide, including participating teams, full draw information, fixture schedules and results.
Carabao Cup format Carabao Cup final Carabao Cup semi-finals Carabao Cup quarter-finals Carabao Cup fourth round Carabao Cup third round Carabao Cup second round Carabao Cup first round Carabao Cup on TV Carabao Cup rules Away goals Why is the League Cup called the Carabao Cup? Past winners Carabao Cup 2020-21 format
All 92 clubs competing in the Premier League and the English Football League enter the 2020-21 Carabao Cup, with participation distributed across the divisions.
The competition will be played over seven rounds, with single-leg ties throughout. The previous two-legged tie for the semi-final was scrapped in favour of one.
In round one, the draw was split into northern and southern clubs with 22 Championship sides and all League One and League Two clubs entering.
Carabao Cup 2020-21 final
The Carabao Cup 2020-21 final will be played at Wembley Stadium on Sunday April 25, 2021. It will kick off at 4pm GMT (11am ET)
It had originally been scheduled for February 28, 2021, but the EFL made the decision to rearrange the date in order to increase the chances of supporters being able to attend.
A statement released in December confirmed the news, saying: “It is the objective of the League to stage the final with as many supporters in attendance as possible and the decision has therefore been taken to move the final from its original date of Sunday February 28, 2021 to later in the year.
“The number of fans permitted will be dependent on government guidance in place at the time and it is hoped that moving the date to later in the year will give clubs and their fans the best opportunity to attend in person.”
Date Fixture Apr 25 Winner of semi-final 1 vs Winner of semi-final 2 Carabao Cup 2020-21 semi-finals
The Carabao Cup 2020-21 semi-finals will be played on January 4 and 5, 2021, with the games being played over one leg rather than two to help with fixture congestion.
Tottenham booked their place in the final after seeing off Championship side Brentford with a 2-0 win in north London.
The second semi-final will see Manchester United host rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford in a huge derby encounter.
Date Fixture Jan 5 Tottenham 2-0 Brentford Jan 6 Manchester United vs Manchester City Carabao Cup 2020-21 quarter-finals
The quarter-final ties were played the week starting December 21.
Manchester City compounded Mikel Arteta’s woes by inflicting a 4-1 defeat on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, closing off a potential avenue for redemption for the Gunners boss.
They were to be joined in the final four by local rivals Manchester United, who scored two late goals to see of Everton.
Championship promotion contenders Brentford sprung a surprise by beating Newcastle United.
Tottenham also faced Championship opposition in the form of Stoke City, beating them 3-1 at the bet365 Stadium.
Date Fixture Dec 22 Brentford 1-0 Newcastle United Dec 22 Arsenal 1-4 Manchester City Dec 23 Stoke City 1-3 Tottenham Dec 23 Everton 0-2 Manchester United Carabao Cup 2020-21 fourth round
The fourth round ties were played the week commencing September 28.
Tottenham advanced to the quarter-finals over Chelsea through penalty shootout, while Liverpool were outdone by Arsenal in the same manner.
Man Utd beat Brighton 3-0 to progress, while Man City registered victory against Burnley by the same scoreline.
Date Fixture Sep 29 Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea (5-4 pens.) Sep 30 Newport County 1-1 Newcastle United (4-5 pens.) Sep 30 Burnley 0-3 Manchester City Sep 30 Everton 4-1 West Ham Sep 30 Brighton 0-3 Manchester United Oct 1 Brentford 3-0 Fulham Oct 1 Aston Villa 0-1 Stoke City Oct 1 Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal (4-5 pens.) Carabao Cup 2020-21 third round
The likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur were automatically registered for the third round due to their participation in European competitions.
Leyton Orient’s match against Tottenham was called off due to the home side announcing positive Covid-19 cases , with Spurs handed a bye for the fourth round.
The draw was conducted on September 6, and was played the week commencing September 21.
Date Fixture Sep 22 Leyon Orient A-A Tottenham (Spurs handed bye) Sep 22 Newport County 3-1 Watford Sep 22 West Brom 2-2 Brentford (4-5 pens.) Sep 22 West Ham 5-1 Hull City Sep 22 Luton Town 0-3 Man Utd Sep 23 Preston North End 0-2 Brighton Sep 23 Chelsea 6-0 Barnlsey Sep 23 Fleetwood Town 2-5 Everton Sep 23 Fulham 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday Sep 23 Leicester City 0-2 Arsenal Sep 23 Millwall 0-2 Burnley Sep 23 Morecambe 0-7 Newcastle United Sep 23 Stoke City 1-0 Gillingham Sep 24 Bristol City 0-3 Aston Villa Sep 24 Lincoln City 2-7 Liverpool Sep 24 Manchester City 2-1 Bournemouth Carabao Cup 2020-21 second round
Fifty teams were involved in round two of the Carabao Cup, including Premier League clubs that are not participating in European competition.
Like previous years, the draw was again split into ‘northern’ and ‘southern’ sections. The draw for the second round was made on September 6.
Date Fixture Sep 15 Bournemouth 0-0 Crystal Palace (pens. 11-10) Sep 15 Bradford City 0-5 Lincoln City Sep 15 Burton Albion 1-3 Aston Villa Sep 15 Derby County 1-2 Preston North End Sep 15 Fleetwood Town 2-1 Port Vale Sep 15 Gillingham 1-1 Coventry City (5-4 pens.) Sep 15 Leyton Orient 3-2 Plymouth Argyle Sep 15 Middlesbrough 0-2 Barnsley Sep 15 Millwall 3-1 Cheltenham Town Sep 15 Morecambe 1-0 Oldham Athletic Sep 15 Newcastle United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers Sep 15 Newport County 1-0 Cambridge United Sep 15 Oxford United 1-1 Watford (0-3 pens.) Sep 15 Reading 0-1 Luton Town Sep 15 Rochdale 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday Sep 15 West Ham United 3-0 Charlton Athletic Sep 16 Bristol City 4-0 Northampton Town Sep 16 Everton 3-0 Salford City Sep 16 Ipswich Town 0-1 Fulham Sep 16 Leeds United 1-1 Hull City (8-9 pens.) Sep 16 Southampton 0-2 Brentford Sep 16 West Brom 3-0 Harrogate Town Sep 17 Brighton 4-0 Portsmouth Sep 17 Burnley 1-1 Sheffield United (5-4 pens.) Sep 17 Wolves 0-1 Stoke Carabao Cup 2020-21 first round
Seventy clubs participated in the first round, with 24 teams from League Two (tier four), 24 from League One (tier three), and 22 from the Championship (tier two).
The draw was divided between ‘northern’ and ‘southern’ sections. Teams were drawn against a team from the same section.
Date Fixture Aug 29 Preston North End 4-0 Mansfield Town Aug 29 Blackburn Rovers 3-2 Doncaster Rovers Aug 29 Stoke City 0-0 Blackpool (5-4 pens.) Aug 29 Stevenage 3-3 Portsmouth (1-3 pens.) Sep 4 Burton Albion 1-1 Accrington Stanley (4-2 pens.) Sep 4 Middlesbrough 4-3 Shrewsbury Town Sep 5 Derby County 0-0 Barrow (3-2 pens.) Sep 5 Plymouth Argyle 3-2 Queens Park Rangers Sep 5 Crawley Town 1-3 Millwall Sep 5 Gillingham 1-0 Southend United Sep 5 Bristol City 2-0 Exeter City Sep 5 Walsall 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday (2-4 pens.) Sep 5 Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Harrogate Town (7-8 pens.) Sep 5 Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Lincoln City Sep 5 Huddersfield Town 0-1 Rochdale Sep 5 Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Bradford City Sep 5 Fleetwood Town 3-2 Wigan Athletic Sep 5 Grimsby Town 1-1 Morecambe (3-4 pens.) Sep 5 Scunthorpe United 1-2 Port Vale Sep 5 Sunderland 0-0 Hull City (4-5 pens.) Sep 5 Salford City 1-1 Rotherham United (4-2 pens.) Sep 5 Barnsley 1-0 Nottingham Forest Sep 5 Oldham Athletic 3-0 Carlisle United Sep 5 Swindon Town 1-3 Charlton Athletic Sep 5 Forest Green Rovers 1-2 Leyton Orient Sep 5 Milton Keynes Dons 0-1 Coventry City Sep 5 Peterborough United 0-1 Cheltenham Town Sep 5 Northampton Town 3-0 Cardiff City Sep 5 Luton Town 3-1 Norwich City Sep 5 Birmingham City 0-1 Cambridge United Sep 5 Newport County 2-0 Swansea City Sep 5 Oxford United 1-1 Wimbledon (4-3 pens.) Sep 5 Reading 3-1 Colchester United Sep 5 Ipswich Town 3-0 Bristol Rovers Sep 6 Brentford 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers (4-2 pens.) Carabao Cup 2020-21 on TV
In the United Kingdom, the Carabao Cup will be broadcast and live-streamed on Sky Sports.
In the United States, the competition will be shown on ESPN channels.
Carabao Cup 2020-21 rules
As was the case in 2019-20, extra-time will be abandoned for all rounds except for the final, with ties advancing straight to penalties in the event that the score is a draw at the end of regular time .
This was introduced in order to limit issues of “additional fatigue”, as Carabao Cup fixtures typically take place in the middle of the week.
The ABBA penalty system trial was also eliminated, with the format for penalty shoot-outs now reverting to the standard ABAB penalty-taker order.
Seeding has also been removed from the first two rounds.
Video assistant refereeing (VAR) will continue to be in use in fixtures played at Premier League grounds.
Additionally, this will mark the first instance in which the winner will also qualify for the play-offs of the brand-new Europa Conference League, instead of the second qualifying round of the Europa League.
All ties will be played as single legs.
Will away goals count in the Carabao Cup semi-finals?
If both teams are level after the end of full-time during the second leg of either of the semi-final ties, the game will go directly to a penalty shoot-out with a no away goals rule implemented – a rule which began in 2018-19.
Previously, the away-goal rule was used in the semi-final stage in the same manner as it is in the Champions League knockout rounds. If, for instance, the away team scored a goal in the first leg that ended in a 1-1 draw, with the second leg ending 0-0, then that team would have progressed to the final courtesy of the away-goals rule.
Now, no such rule will be considered and second-leg stalemates will be decided ultimately by a penalty shoot-out.
Why is the League Cup called the Carabao Cup?
Until 2016, the tournament was named the English Football League Cup (EFL Cup) instead of the League Cup, following the rebranding of the Football League to the English Football League.
Officially, the EFL Cup is known as the Carabao Cup due to the energy drink being the tournament’s official sponsors.
Prior to Carabao’s sponsorship of the tournament starting from 2017, the competition was called the EFL Cup (2016-17), the Capital One Cup (2012-13 to 2015-16), the Carling Cup (sponsored by Molson Coors from 2003-04 to 2011-12), the Worthington Cup (sponsored by Worthington’s from 1998-99 to 2002-03), and the Coca-Cola Cup (from 1992-93 to 1997-98).
Carabao & League Cup past winners
Liverpool have won the Carabao Cup the most times, winning their eighth in 2012 when they defeated Cardiff City on penalties.
Behind them are Man City, who lifted their seventh Carabao Cup in 2020 when they beat Aston Villa through penalty shootout. Manchester United, Aston Villa and Chelsea have all won the Carabao Cup five times each.
Tottenham and Nottingham Forest have both won the competition four times apiece.
Only lists teams who have won the competition the most times.
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