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EFL Cup Final: Date, kick-off time & history

The first trophy of the English football season is awarded in the EFL Cup final, which is traditionally played at Wembley Stadium in early spring.

All 92 clubs from the English football pyramid take part - encompassing the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two – with the last pair standing battling it out at the national stadium for one of just three pieces of major domestic silverware on offer.


EFL Cup Final kick-off time

The EFL Cup final has found a home on the last Sunday in February in recent years, though depending on how the calendar falls, it can sometimes be played on the first Sunday in March. Kick-off time can vary, usually either 15:00 or 16:30.

EFL Cup Final stadium

The EFL Cup final will be held at Wembley Stadium in London. 

The final took place at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium from 2001 to 2007 before returning to Wembley in 2008.

In the past, when they were permitted, replays of the final have been played at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, Old Trafford and Maine Road in Manchester and Villa Park in Birmingham. Now, the game is decided by a penalty shoot-out if the sides are level after extra time.

EFL Cup Final how to watch

The EFL Cup final will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Football.

Sky Sports also broadcasts selected matches from the first, second, third and fourth rounds as well as every quarter-final and semi-final tie.

ITV held the rights to terrestrial highlights for the 2023/24 competition in Britain.

EFL Cup Final history

The EFL Cup, also known as the League Cup, was introduced in the 1960/61 English football season and Aston Villa beat Rotherham 3-2 on aggregate to become the inaugural winners.

The 2024/25 EFL Cup final will be the 65th time the trophy has been awarded.

The first six finals were played over two legs at the finalists' home grounds before it was switched to a one-off game in 1967, when QPR beat West Brom 3-2 at Wembley.

In the 1977 final, Aston Villa beat Everton 3-2 after extra-time in the second replay and Liverpool became the first club to win the EFL Cup final in a penalty shootout when they saw off Birmingham after a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes in 2001.

EFL Cup Final previous winners

Liverpool have won the EFL Cup final on ten occasions, most recently beating Chelsea after extra time in 2024, and that tally means the Reds are the most successful club in League Cup history.

In recent years, Manchester City have been the dominant force in the EFL Cup final, triumphing six times in eight years between 2014 and 2021, and the Citizens have claimed the trophy on eight occasions in all.

Manchester United won their first EFL Cup final in 1992 but, somewhat surprisingly given their success in the 1990s and 2000s under Sir Alex Ferguson, they had to wait until 2006 for a second crown.

It's worth remembering though, that the Scottish boss was renowned at times for playing weakened teams and giving young players a chance to impress in the early rounds.

The Red Devils are now six-time League Cup winners, having defeated Newcastle 2-0 in the 2023 final at Wembley.

Aston Villa and Chelsea have each won five EFL Cup finals, while Tottenham and Nottingham Forest have four titles and Leicester have claimed the trophy on three occasions.

Arsenal have reached the final eight times but their only successes came in 1987 and 1993, while League Two Bradford made it to Wembley in the 2013 EFL Cup final, losing 5-0 to then top-flight Swansea.

EFL Cup Final Man of the Match Award

Since 1989/90 season, the Man of the Match in the League Cup final has been presented with the Alan Hardaker Trophy, named after the former secretary of the Football League who devised the Football League Cup.

Des Walker was the first player to receive the award after Nottingham Forest beat Oldham Athletic 1-0 in 1990.

Early winners included Brian McClair (Manchester United, 1992), Paul Merson (Arsenal, 1993), Steve McManaman (Liverpool, 1995) and Dennis Wise (Chelsea, 1998).

John Terry, Ben Foster, Vincent Kompany and the most recent winner, Virgil van Dijk, are the only players to win the award more than once, while Brad Friedel and Jerzy Dudek join Foster as the only goalkeepers to take the honour.

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