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Liverpool set to benefit from huge Carabao Cup rule change due to Champions League

Liverpool players celebrate after winning the Carabao Cup final at Wembley
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images))


Liverpool is set to benefit from a new ‘seeding mechanism’ in the Carabao Cup in a huge rule change caused by the new Champions League format.

The expanded Champions League will now feature a new ‘league-phase’ replacing the group stages. Teams will be guaranteed at least eight fixtures - four home and four away - with most teams likely to play at least ten times in the competition.

The extra match days will inevitably lead to more fixture congestion, which has already seen replays scrapped in the Carabao Cup in recent years. However, there are now set to be further measures put in place to prevent Champions League teams such as Liverpool from drawing teams in the Europa League, according to The Telegraph.

As a result, Liverpool is set to benefit from being guaranteed a kinder draw in the early stages of the competition it won last season, although the exact details of the new system have not been confirmed. The third-round of fixtures in the Carabao Cup will also be spread over two weeks to try and ease fixture congestion.

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The competition has already been impacted by other competitions in recent years. Liverpool found itself in a tough spot when it’s quarter-final with Aston Villa in 2019 clashed with their Club World Cup semi-final with Monterrey.

Under-23 manager Neil Critchley took charge of the club’s youngest-ever starting lineup against Villa. Outgoing manager Jurgen Klopp has been particularly outspoken about fixture congestion, and when that situation occurred he said: "The Carabao Cup, it always sounds like we don't want to play it but that's not true. What I don't like about the Carabao Cup, to be 100 per cent honest, is two legs in the semi-final. I don't understand that. The rest is a nice competition.

"The Club World Cup, you play only if you win the Champions League and that doesn't happen in your life five million times, so that means we will take the opportunity if they ask you. Is it the best time of the year? No. Are we pretty busy? Yes. But you go there and we try to play all the games we have with all that we have."

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola recently said: “Next season, when we play in the Champions League, hopefully we will qualify, it is the same week as the Carabao Cup,” he said. “How are we going to play? Will we play EDS [development squad] in the Carabao Cup?

“After next season, we go to the Club World Cup. We are incredibly happy, a lot of money, incredibly prestigious. But how many days do I give off to the players? It’s unsustainable.”