2018–19 EFL Cup

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2018–19 EFL Cup
Carabao Cup, League Cup
Country  England
Dates 13 August 2018 – 24 February 2019
Teams 92

The 2018–19 EFL Cup will be the 59th season of the EFL Cup. Known as the Carabao Cup for sponsorship reasons, the competition is open to all 92 English and Welsh clubs participating in the Premier League and the English Football League. The first round will be played on 13 August 2018, nine days after the start of the Football League season.[1] Manchester City are the defending champions.[2] The final will be held at Wembley Stadium in London on 24 February 2019.[2] For some obscure reason, the EFL seemed to want to keep the dates for other rounds a secret.


In June 2018, it was announced that there would be a number of changes to the competition after a vote by all of the English Football League clubs at their annual EFL Summer Conference in Portugal.[3][4] Extra time would be scrapped for all rounds except for the final with the tie progressing straight to a penalty shoot-out in the event of a draw after 90 minutes.[5] This was introduced in order to reduce "additional fatigue issues".[5] The ABBA penalty system trial would also be scrapped and the format for a penalty shoot-out would return to the ABAB format.[5] Seeding was removed for the first two rounds however the first round remained organised on a regional basis.[5] Video assistant referees (VAR) were also authorised for use at matches played at Premier League club grounds.[5]


All 92 clubs in the Premier League and English Football League will enter the 2018–19 EFL Cup. Access is distributed across leagues.[6]

In the first round, the draw is regionalised into northern and southern clubs with 22 Football League Championship clubs, with all Football League One and all Football League Two clubs entering in this round.[6]

The following round, the two remaining Championship clubs Swansea City and Stoke City (who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the 2017–18 Premier League season) will join, alongside the Premier League clubs not involved in either the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League will enter.[6]

Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur all receive byes to the third round owing to their participation in European competition.[7]

The first round draw was held on 15 June 2018 in Vietnam.[6]

Clubs entering in this round Clubs advancing from previous round
First round
(70 clubs)
  • 24 clubs from EFL League Two
  • 24 clubs from EFL League One
  • 22 clubs from EFL Championship
  • N/A
Second round
(50 clubs)
  • 2 clubs from EFL Championship
  • 13 Premier League clubs (not involved in European competition)
  • 35 winners from first round
Third round
(32 clubs)
  • 7 Premier League clubs (involved in European competition)
  • 25 winners from second round
Fourth round
(16 clubs)
  • No other entries
  • 16 winners from third round
Fifth round
(8 clubs)
  • No other entries
  • 8 winners from fourth round
(4 clubs)
  • No other entries
  • 4 winners from fifth round
(2 clubs)
  • No other entries
  • 2 winners from semi-finals

First round


A total of 70 clubs played in the first round: 24 from League Two (tier 4), 24 from League One (tier 3), and 22 from the Championship (tier 2). The draw for this round was split on a geographical basis into 'northern' and 'southern' sections. Teams were drawn against a team from the same section.


The first round draw was made as follows:[8]


  1. ^ "2018/19 Season Fixtures Release Date Confirmed". Coventry City F.C. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Carabao Cup to use VAR at all Premier League grounds next season". Metro. 2018-05-24. Retrieved 2018-06-09. 
  3. ^ "Extra-time to be scrapped in Carabao Cup while seeding in first two rounds is also dropped". Plymouth Herald. 2018-05-24. Retrieved 2018-06-09. 
  4. ^ "2018/19: Carabao Cup rule changes". The Football League. 2018-02-25. Retrieved 2018-06-09. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Carabao Cup: Extra time scrapped & VAR to be used at Premier League grounds". BBC Sport. 2018-06-08. Retrieved 2018-06-09. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Carabao Cup: Vietnam to host 2018–19 first-round draw". BBC Sport. 11 June 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018. 
  7. ^ "Premier League and Football League: Ups & downs and European qualification". BBC Sport. 2018-05-28. Retrieved 2018-06-09. 
  8. ^ "Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Confirmed". EFL.com. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.