The EFL Cup is an annual football competition in men’s domestic football in England. The tournament is played using a knockout system and is open to all the 92 football clubs who compete in the top four levels of the English football system, namely the Premier League, EFL Championship, League One and League Two.

Known as the League Cup or Carabao Cup for sponsorship reasons, the EFL Cup is one of the three premier football competitions in England along with the Premier League and FA Cup. It was first held in 1961 as the Football League Cup but with the rebranding of the Football League to the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was similarly renamed as EFL Cup.

“Soccer" Tournament Format

The tournament is played over seven rounds, all with singled ties throughout except the semi-finals. Competing teams are seeded in the early rounds with some teams earning byes based on their league level. This means that the higher-ranked teams enter the later rounds and play fewer games than the lower ranked teams.

For Round One, the 22 of 24 teams from the Championship, League One and League Two will enter the competition. In the second round, the two remaining teams from the Championship plus the Premier League Clubs not involved in the Champions League or Europa League will join the tournament.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and the Wolverhampton Wanderers all received byes to the third round due to their participation in various European competitions.

Last season, Manchester City defeated Chelsea 4-3 on penalty kicks to win the 2019 EFL Cup and their sixth Cup overall. The 2019-20 EFL Cup will begin on August 2, 2019, and will end on March 1, 2020. The two-time defending champions are the soccer betting favorites to win their third straight Carabao Cup.

Here are the current odds to win the 2019-20 EFL Cup. Odds were taken from TitanBet as of 7/16/19:

“Soccer" Who Are The Favorites?

Team Odds
Manchester City +400
Liverpool +800
Chelsea +1000
Manchester United +1000
Tottenham +1000
Arsenal +1200
Wolverhampton Wanderers +1400
Everton +1600
Leicester City +2500
Watford +3300
West Ham United +3300
Bournemouth +4000
Crystal Palace +4000
New Castle +4000
Aston Villa +5000
Brighton +5000
Burnley +5000
Norwich City +5000
Sheffield United +5000
Southampton +5000

Manchester City won the League Cup last season, their second straight Carabao Cup trophy and their 6th overall, putting them second all-time behind Liverpool who has won a record eight. Manchester City had a dominant 2019 as they accomplished an unprecedented sweep by winning all four domestic trophies in England: The Community Shield, EFL Cup, Premier League, and FA Cup. Citizens are the first English team in history to accomplish that domestic treble.

Liverpool is the most successful club in EFL Cup history with a total of eight victories and four-second place finishes. However, the Reds have not lifted the EFL Cup trophy since 2011-2012 and the last time they were in the final was in 2016. Liverpool earned a bye to the third round of last year’s EFL Cup but they lost 1-2 to Chelsea on an 85th-minute goal by Eden Hazard.

Chelsea has won the EFL Cup five times, the last of which was in 2014-15 or just before Manchester City’s dominant run. The Blues have also finished as runner-up three times, including last year, where they lost on penalties to Manchester City in the final held last February 24, 2019, at Wembley Stadium.

Manchester United have also won the Carabao Cup five times, the last of which was in 2017 when they were led by Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is now with the L.A. Galaxy of MLS. Manchester United also eliminated the defending champions Manchester City in Round 4 of the 2017 EFL Cup. During the 2018-29 EFL Cup, Manchester United got a bye to the third round but lost on penalties to Derby County.

“Soccer" Who Wins?

Manchester City has won the Carabao Cup in consecutive years and they have won four out of the last six installments of the tournament. But not only did they win the Carabao Cup last season, but they also won all four domestic trophies in England. But remember that they won the Premier League by a mere one point in 2019, one season after winning it by a mile.

Only Liverpool has won the Carabao Cup in three straight years. They won it four consecutive times from 1981 to 1984. But if there’s a team that could match that, it’s Manchester City. Not only do they have the financial muscle to keep up with their rivals, but they also have someone like Pep Guardiola who has improved his players over the years and has established a well-oiled playing style that keeps its head over heels above their rivals. I don’t see the other teams catching up with Manchester City, at least this coming season. Prediction: Manchester City.

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