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EFL Cup: Fixtures, TV schedule and what to expect in the third round

This year's EFL Cup is already well underway and 32 teams still harbour hopes of lifting the trophy.

The last two rounds of the EFL Cup took place in August but, after a short break for league and European action, the competition resumes again at the start of November.

Fulham were the only Premier League side eliminated in the second round of the EFL Cup, and there's plenty of drama still to come over the next few weeks.

History of the EFL Cup

The EFL Cup was first held during the 1960/61 season and is one of the three top-tier domestic football competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup.

Unlike those two events, the EFL Cup comes to a close in February, and it is the first competitive trophy that is up for grabs in the English calendar each season.

The competition was created at a time when matchday attendances were declining and allowed clubs to increase their revenue thanks to the addition of midweek fixtures.

How is the EFL Cup organised?

The EFL Cup is played over seven rounds, with single ties played throughout the competition until the semi-finals.

The final of the EFL Cup takes place at Wembley, which is the only neutral ground used. The first two rounds of the competition are split into North and South sections, and higher-ranked teams are given byes before they enter the later rounds.

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The winners of the competition also qualify for European football, with a place in the UEFA Europa Conference League up for grabs.

What are some of the biggest EFL Cup shocks?

Due to the absence of non-league sides, there are fewer shocks in the EFL Cup than there are in the FA Cup. Premier League managers often field weaker sides in the competition, with their attention often on league matters or European fixtures.

In the past, Manchester United have been defeated by the likes of York City, Southend United, Coventry City and MK Dons. Both Grimsby Town and Northampton Town have got the better of Liverpool, while The Mariners also famously knocked out Tottenham in 2014.

In recent years, Bradford's City's progression to the final is the most impressive achievement. The League Two outfit beat Notts County, Watford, Burton Albion, Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa to reach the final, before losing 5-0 to Swansea in the capital.

Who are the most successful teams in the FA Cup?

Liverpool have won the competition a record nine times, as they moved clear in the record books after winning the 2021/22 title. The Reds have also finished as runners-up on four occasions, while Manchester City have won the EFL Cup eight times.

Aston Villa have a great record in the competition, winning it on five occasions, but they last got their hands on the trophy in 1996.

What EFL Cup games are on TV?

This year's competition has already reached the third-round stage, but that means the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United will all play their first ties.

Manchester City's mouthwatering tie against Chelsea will be televised on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football on Wednesday, 9th November, while Manchester United's clash with Aston Villa can be viewed on the same channels a day later.

Who are the favourites to win the EFL Cup this year?

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are 11/4 to win this year's competition, even though the likes of Phil Foden, Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne are likely to be rested against the Blues.

Despite their slow start to the season, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are second favourites at 8/1, just ahead of Arsenal at 10/1 and Chelsea at 11/1.

Premier League clubs dominate the market, as expected, but the competition offers the likes of Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and West Ham a realistic chance of winning a trophy.

The Magpies, who beat Tottenham in the Premier League last weekend, are 14/1 to win the trophy for the first time, but they face a tricky third-round clash against Crystal Palace in November.

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