The big focus for English football fans right now is the return of the Premier League, Championship and subsequent lower leagues below that – with most things getting underway this weekend. Alas, while that is certainly viewed as the most important thing of all, there’s also the Carabao Cup to worry about.
The secondary competition is so often pushed to one side and given a bad reputation, and it’s only ever really taken seriously when teams are able to do well in it. This year we can’t picture Mikel Arteta putting too much focus on prioritising the League Cup, but if he does, he’ll be taking note of the fact that the Gunners’ first game will be Leicester City in the third round.
The second round draw was also made and will obviously be coming up first, but Arsenal’s participation in this season’s UEFA Europa League means that they will enter at the third round instead of the second – and the same applies for the Foxes.
The tie will be played at the King Power Stadium during the week commencing September 21st and that gives you an idea of how hectic the schedule is set to be. Even though they want to try and ‘limit’ the impact of this bizarre situation we find ourselves in, they’re still insisting on cramming in Carabao Cup games – despite most feeling as if the competition could probably be skipped for just one season.
In terms of the draw, it’s not ideal for Arsenal but we don’t think an early exit is going to bother people all too much. The Gunners should be viewed as the favourites but if they use this as an opportunity to rest first team players, a negative result is obviously far more likely to occur.
The wider conversation about what value the Carabao Cup holds in the next 5-10 years is something that obviously needs to be discussed at great length, but it seems like they’re putting that to one side for now.
There appears to be a tentative date of Tuesday, 22nd September with a 7.45pm kickoff for this game, which will take place around a month before the two clubs meet in the Premier League. It may give Susan indication as to what we can expect from that second meeting, but it’ll more likely be viewed as a chance for the youngsters to shine.
Are you happy with the draw?