The 2018/19 Carabao Cup kicked off this week and ahead of the first-round fixtures several new rules were unveiled. The overhaul has taken place to try and boost the profile of the competition, whilst not having a knock-on effect with the clubs’ league performances.
Perhaps the most notable addition to this seasons competition is the full introduction of VAR. The technology was used in the semi-finals and final last season, but the 18/19 competition will see VAR rolled out at each game at every Premier League ground.
After the technology’s success at the World Cup it will be a welcomed addition to the tournament. With a lot of fans disappointed that VAR isn’t being used during league matches.
Until this season, teams have been seeded for the first two rounds. However, this seeding has now been scrapped and teams from all divisions are able to play each other. For example, Championship side Aston Villa took on League 2’s Yeovil Town on Tuesday night. The first two rounds will remain regionalised on a north/south basis.
ABBA Penalties Abolished
Last season saw the introduction of the ABBA penalty system, which saw the team shooting second taking consecutive penalties before their opponents doing likewise. This system has now been scrapped and penalties will revert to the traditional ABAB method after fears that supporters were confused last season.
Yellow Card Crossover
Yellow cards picked up in the Carabao Cup have ordinarily contributed to suspensions in the league. Five bookings in all domestic competitions would lead to a one-game ban. However, bookings picked up in the tournament this term will only be relevant to the League Cup.
No Extra Time
The final rule change sees the removal of extra-time. Matches ending in a draw after 90-minutes will now go straight to penalties. The EFL hope that removing extra-time minimises concerns over player fatigue and will lead to more competitive matches being played to avoid penalty shootouts.