Aston Villa will face several tweaks to the League Cup as the EFL tries to lessen to footprint of the competition, so hopefully clubs take it more seriously. Ever since Villa under Paul Lambert suffered an embarrassing loss in the competition’s semi-final against Bradford City in 2013, Villa have tended to limp out in the early rounds. Certainly if ever the club needed the tonic of a decent cup run, next season would be a good time.
Here’s the changes that Villa will encounter next season in the competition:
From next season extra-time will disappear from the League Cup (aka Carabao Cup) Matches. The move was voted into play at the recent EFL Summer Conference, along with some other minor refinements to the cup competition.
As well as dropping the additional 30 minutes of play to address fatigue issues (remember when players were men and would play three replays without moaning), a statistical analysis was presented that demonstrated how almost 85% of matches ended in normal time over a three-year period, anyway. As a result, the Clubs supported the change.
If match finishes level after 90-minutes, it’s straight to penalties, however, the format of penalties will revert back to the traditional format after EFL Clubs trialled the ABBA concept throughout the 2017/18 season. This will be applicable in all EFL competitions.
EFL Clubs also decided to drop the seeding that was in place for the first two rounds of the League Cup. Round One though will remain regionalised into North and South sections.
The EFL also confirmed that VAR can be used in next season’s competition at all fixtures played at a Premier League stadium.