Changes to the Carabao Cup explained ahead of Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday

Sunderland are set to kick-off their Carabao Cup campaign this week - and some important rule changes have been made this season.

Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 12:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 12:23 pm
Sunderland fans pictured at Luton Town.

Jack Ross’ men face a first round tie against Sheffield Wednesday as they take the first steps on the long road to Wembley.

And ahead of the cup campaign kicking-off, clubs have voted to introduce a number of key rules changes to this season’s competition.

LIVE: Jack Ross transfer update as Cats target striker, Ndong and Djilobodji interestAt the EFL Summer Conference, held back in June, clubs were in favour of removing extra time from the competition.

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That means that, should the Black Cats' first round tie be level after 90 minutes, the game will go straight to penalties.

This change was introduced to try and improve player welfare, with a statement from the EFL stating: “The rationale put forward by the EFL is that withdrawing the additional 30 minutes of

play would directly address any additional fatigue issues that are occasionally caused when the midweek ties go beyond the traditional 90-minute period.”

MORE: Max Power on Jack Ross, Lee Cattermole and why Sunderland remind him of title-winning Wigan AthleticFurthermore, the format of penalties has also changed - with the ABBA trial utilised last season scrapped with a return to the traditional ABAB taking format now in place.

Clubs also voted to remove the seeding element from the first two rounds of the competition, meaning that Sunderland could face a side from any of the top four divisions should they progress.

While it won’t be an issue in the first round, VAR can also be used in Carabao Cup ties played in Premier League stadiums this season.

The draw for the second round of the Carabao Cup will take place live from the Stadium of Light on Thursday ahead of the game against Sheff Wed (KO 7.45pm).

Former Black Cats manager Mick McCarthy and ex-SAFC and Sheffield Wednesday star Chris Waddle will conduct the draw live from 7pm.

The second round sees the 13 Premier League clubs who are not competing in European competitions included alongside Championship sides Stoke City and Swansea City.

The draw is unseeded but regionalised into north and south sections, with Sunderland hoping to be in the hat.