AFC Wimbledon’s opponents for the Carabao Cup first round will be revealed on Friday.
The draw for the opening round of the competition will take place in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, at 10.45 am UK time on Friday 15 June.
Steve McManaman, Louis Saha and Dennis Wise will join representatives from the EFL and competition partner Carabao Energy Drink to unveil the 35 Round One ties, with live text coverage available on the Carabao Cup twitter feed and EFL.com.
It is the second successive season that Carabao Cup draws have taken place overseas, with events being staged in Bangkok and Beijing last season as part of the EFL’s continued efforts to build the value of the competition outside the UK.
AFC Wimbledon will be ball number one in the southern section of the draw on Friday.
The 2017/18 Final in February saw Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City comfortably overcome Arsenal, in what proved to be Arsene Wenger’s last Final in charge of the Gunners. Over 85,000 supporters were in attendance at Wembley Stadium, while the match was watched in more than 150 territories worldwide.
EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey will be present in Vietnam, alongside Carabao Energy Drink CEO Sathien Setthasit, in a country where football is immensely popular amongst its population of 95 million people and is also a key market for Carabao Energy Drink.
Seventy EFL clubs will feature in the new-look draw, which will see teams drawn into Northern and Southern sections, but with no seeding for higher ranked sides as in previous seasons. Matches are scheduled to take place on the week commencing 13 August, with West Bromwich Albion included, while Championship newcomers Stoke City and Swansea City will join the competition in Round Two alongside the Premier League clubs that are not competing in Europe.
EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “A principle aim of our partnership with Carabao has always been to promote the competition internationally, taking high-profile activities such as the competition draws overseas to support the EFL’s international growth strategy and raise awareness of the competition in Carabao’s key territories.
“There is no requirement for us to take draws overseas, but there is an absolute commitment to building the value of our competition outside the UK and the market in Vietnam should help the EFL and Carabao meet our shared ambitions.
“The Round One draw is always significant, mapping out the opening stages of a competition that continues to attract a large audience at home and abroad, with almost 1.5million people attending Carabao Cup matches last season and games shown across the world in over 150 regions.
“At the EFL’s recent 2018 Summer Conference, clubs voted to a number of rule changes in the Carabao Cup including the removal of extra-time, which should help address team selection and additional fatigue issues that can sometimes be caused when midweek ties go beyond 90 minutes. Seeding arrangements have also been removed from the first two rounds which should make for some interesting early round draws.
“We’ve had some great finals in recent years, with the country’s biggest clubs showing their appetite for success in the competition and I look forward to seeing how the 2018/19 edition unfolds from here on in.”
Carabao Energy Drink CEO Sathien Setthasit, said: “In the last 12 months, Carabao Energy Drink has truly established itself as a global soft drinks brand, and the success of our partnership to date with the EFL has played a big part in helping us develop our international footprint.
“The 2018/19 Carabao Cup promises to bring football fans around the world plenty of drama and excitement, which is why we’re looking forward to kicking off this season’s competition in style by staging the first round draw in Vietnam.”
EFL Clubs have voted to remove extra-time from every round, apart from the Final, from the start of the 2018/19 season, with matches tied at 90 minutes going straight to a penalty shoot-out. The 2019 Final will feature extra time and penalties if required.
The format of penalties will revert to the traditional format, as opposed to the recently trialled ABBA formula, which will no longer feature in EFL competitions.
VAR will again be utilised in the competition and can be incorporated for all games that are played at Premier League stadiums, while this season’s Final will take place on Sunday 24 February 2019 with the winners guaranteed a place in the Europa League in the following campaign.