While much of the attention in the 2022/23 English domestic season will be focused on the Premier League, the Carabao Cup will be the first chance to hoist silverware for the four teams left standing.
Manchester United breezed past Nottingham Forest in one of the semifinals, played out over two legs, and they will face a final against Newcastle United, who overcame Southampton.
Last term, Liverpool secured their first title in the competition since 2012, as Jurgen Klopp’s side edged out Chelsea at Wembley in a penalty shootout, to end Manchester City’s four-year successive dominance of the trophy.
The renewed interest from City, Liverpool and others has brought the competition back from the brink and the 2022/23 version could provide another thriller.
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When are the 2022/23 Carabao Cup dates?
As a shorter-format competition compared to the FA Cup, the Carabao/EFL Cup is more flexible in terms of fixture scheduling.
With the absence of preliminary and qualifying rounds due to only 92 participating teams — every team from the Premier League to League Two — the tournament began in earnest with the first round proper.
In that first round, 70 teams entered the draw, including all 24 entrants from League One and Two, plus 22 of the 24 second-tier Championship teams.
The second round brought in the Championship teams who finished 18th and 19th in the Premier League in 2021/22 (Burnley and Watford), plus the 13 Premier League clubs not competing in European competition. The remaining seven Premier League sides entered the fray in the third round.
|Round||Date (week of)|
|First Round||Aug. 9, 2022|
|Second Round||Aug. 23, 2022|
|Third Round||Nov. 7, 2022|
|Fourth Round||Dec. 19, 2022|
|Quarter Finals||Jan. 10-11, 2023|
|Semi Finals||Jan. 24-25 (1st Leg)
Jan. 31/Feb. 1 (2nd Leg)
|Final||Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023|
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When is the Carabao Cup final?
The Carabao/EFL Cup final is traditionally held much earlier than the FA Cup and European finals, with a late February date a usual fixture in the calendar.
The two-legged semifinals are both played home and away at the respective clubs, unlike the FA Cup last-four ties, with the final showdown saved for Wembley.
The 2022/23 final will be held at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, February 26. The 2021/22 final kicked off at 16:30 (UK time), but the 2023 final start time is yet to be confirmed.
Will the Premier League fixture list collide with the Carabao Cup final?
The demands of the Premier League fixture list, particularly with the extra pressure due to the postponement for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, mean that the league schedule will carry on through the weekend of the Carabao Cup final.
The Carabao/EFL Cup final does not have the same level of protection as the FA Cup, with Premier League games expected to take place on the weekend of the final.
Due to the face that two Premier League sides will compete in the final, the Premier League slate will have two fewer matches. Here are the scheduled Premier League matches on the weekend of Feb. 24-26 for the teams still in the Carabao Cup, which will now need amending.
- Sat, Feb. 25: Newcastle vs. Brighton
- Sun, Feb. 26: Manchester United vs. Brentford
Has the 2022 FIFA World Cup affected the Carabao Cup final?
The inclusion of a November/December World Cup has significantly impacted the English football calendar, with disruption expected throughout the European winter period.
The Premier League season kicked off on its earliest ever date in order to accommodate the break in games for the World Cup, and the FA Cup final has been moved into June for the first time in its history.
A mid-season break, effective from Matchday 16, saw players join up with national team squads from November 14 onwards, with the season restarting on December 26.
The World Cup had an impact on the earlier rounds of the Carabao Cup, if not the final itself, with the third round taking place the week of November 8 and the fourth round December 20.
Premier League star players involved in the latter stages of the World Cup were mostly rested and spared from playing these games.