Major change proposed to EFL Cup that affects Preston North End, Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool

Preston North End exited the Carabao Cup to Salford City. (photo: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)Preston North End exited the Carabao Cup to Salford City. (photo: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)
Preston North End exited the Carabao Cup to Salford City. (photo: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)
The EFL are planning to tweak the format of the EFL Cup - with Premier League clubs standing to benefit.

Preston North End could compete in a new-look Carabao Cup next season with a seeding system being introduced.

The Telegraph is reporting that a seeding system is being introduced which will stop European clubs from being drawn against each other to help with fixture congestion. UEFA have expanded the Champions League and the Europa League, changing the format of their competitions and that makes for more games.

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Premier League clubs that have not qualified for Europe currently enter in the second round, and then those playing in Europe enter in the third. The proposed changes will make it so that teams in the Champions League and Europa League avoid each other in the competition.

European teams then will be more likely to play the Premier League teams who haven't qualified for Europe as well as those who have progressed from the Championship, League One and League Two. It means that smaller clubs will likely play the bigger teams, which could block their route to the final. Port Vale reached the quarter-finals this season and Middlesbrough played in the semi-finals against Chelsea.

The third round of the competition will be spread over the space of two weeks to help with fixture congestion and will take place on September 18 and 25. It is to avoid any Premier League team in Europe having to play a match on the Tuesday and Thursday.

The move will benefit Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur who are all in the Champions League and the Europa League. Chelsea who are in the Conference League are unaffected and could still play one of the bigger teams.

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Preston North End's best performance in the competition was reaching the fourth round on six occasions in 1962, 1965, 1971, 1980, 2002 and most recently in 2016.

The Lilywhites exited the competition on penalties this season, losing 6-4 to Salford City on spot-kicks after a 2-2 draw at Deepdale. In four of the last five Carabao Cup campaigns North End have been knocked out by Premier League opposition with Liverpool and Manchester City going on to win it.

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