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14th Aug 2018

Carabao Cup set for drastic overhaul this season

Wayne Farry

Carabao Cup

It’s the Carabao Cup, but not as you know it

The Carabao Cup. We all know it. We all love it. It’s the competition that others wish they were, but they can’t be. It’s named after swamp-type domestic water buffalo native to the Philippines, something not many other competitions can boast about.

Despite the universal love for this spectacular competition which has revitalised domestic football in England, there were a few areas last season which supporters believed could be improved upon.

With the tournament kicking off on Tuesday evening, the Football League has announced that there will be a roll-out of significant changes to the competition, and the changes are likely to please fans.

The most notable change is that there will no longer be extra-time in Carabao Cup matches, which will now go to penalties if a match ends as a draw after 90 minutes. It is hoped this change will lessen clubs’ worries over fatigue and encourage them to field stronger sides in the competition.

Another positive for clubs is that bookings picked up in the competition will not count towards league suspensions, yet another change which will encourage managers to play their better players.

Despite the mixed reception to VAR during last year’s competition, the system will be rolled out during selected matches at Premier League stadia for the 2018/19 season.

Other changes include a reversion to the ABAB penalty system, which will see teams take it in turns to take penalty kicks, while seeding for the competition is also now abolished.