The League Cup, or the EFL Cup, or the Carabao Cup, is England’s second most important knockout competition after the FA Cup. Here is the schedule for the 2020-21 edition.
The League Cup is a knockout competition for all 92 clubs in the Premier League and Football League — the top four levels of the pyramid of English leagues.
Along with its weird name — EFL stands for English Football League and the Carabao thing is because it’s sponsored by the Thai version of Red Bull — it’s a weird schedule this year. As the entire UK and European schedule has been condensed due to the pandemic, the League Cup has been the primary victim.
This year, the First Round is in late August and early September, and then Rounds Two through Four will be on consecutive mid-weeks in September, just after the league schedules have kicked off. This seems to be a recipe for the bigger clubs to take it even less seriously than ever before.
Also this year, the semifinals will simply be a one-leg affair hosted by the team drawn first, instead of the two-legged tie of years past.
Round One: August 29 to September 6, 2020
This round includes everybody from League One and League Two plus 22 of the 24 teams in the Championship. A total of 35 games.
Round Two: September 15 and 16, 2020
Here we pick up the last two clubs from the Championship plus the 13 Premier League clubs who aren’t playing in Europe this season. That makes 50 teams and 25 matches.
Round Three: September 22 and 23, 2020
The seven European competitors join the 25 winners from Round Two, so this is the Round of 32 with 16 matches.
Round Four: September 29 and 30, 2020
Just the previous winners for the Round of 16.
And then, weirdly, we take three months off!
Quarterfinals: December 22 and 23, 2020
Semifinals: January 5 and 6, 2021
The 2020-21 League Cup Final: February 28, 2021
This year’s final, as always, will be at Wembley Stadium, with each club receiving around 35,000 tickets for their supporters.