Carabao Cup semi-finals: Why are semi-finals only one leg instead of two?

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The semi-finals of the Carabao Cup are here as the remaining four teams battle it out for a place in the final. Tuesday night sees Tottenham take on Championship outfit Brentford, while Manchester United face neighbours and defending champions Manchester City on Wednesday night.

By then, the two finalists for this year’s Carabao Cup will be known.

However, they will have to wait a while before playing the showpiece.

In the hope that some fans might be able to attend, the competition has pushed the final back.

The final will now be played on April 25 instead of the original date of February 28.

In a statement, the EFL said: “This season’s Carabao Cup Final has been rescheduled and will now take place on Sunday 25 April 2021, with a 4pm kick-off.

“It is the objective of the League to stage the Final with as many supporters in attendance as possible and the decision has therefore been taken to move the Final from its original date of Sunday 28 February 2021 to later in the year.

“The number of fans permitted will be dependent on Government guidance in place at the time and it is hoped that moving the date to later in the year will give Clubs and their fans the best opportunity to attend in person.”

Before that, Spurs, Brentford and the Manchester duo will have to compete in their semi-finals.

In previous seasons, the semi-finals were played over two legs.

However, this time around they will be staged as one-off matches.

Why are the Carabao Cup semi-finals only one leg?

The rules were changed in order to ease fixture congestion, with last season’s Covid-enforced hiatus having a knock-on effect this term.

Section 3.2 of the Carabao Cup regulations reads: “In all Rounds Competition matches shall be played on a one-leg basis.”

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The semi-finals are being played at the ground of the team drawn that was drawn out first.

This means Brentford travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while Manchester City head to Old Trafford.

The Carabao Cup final, though, will still be played at Wembley.

Section 3.3 of the regulations reads: “In all Rounds (excluding the Final), Competition Matches shall unless otherwise agreed by the Board after consultation with both Clubs involved, be played on the ground of the first Club drawn.

“In the event of any match being played on a neutral ground, the Board shall be responsible for the negotiation of ground and other expenses and shall determine how such expenses are distributed between the Clubs.”

Carabao Cup semi-final ties

Tuesday, January 5: Tottenham Hotspur vs Brentford (7.45pm)

Referee: Michael Dean

Assistant referees: Ian Hussin and Daniel Robathan

Fourth Official: Lee Mason

VAR: Peter Bankes

AVAR: Neil Davies

Wednesday, January 6: Manchester United vs Manchester City (7.45pm)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Assistant referees: Harry Lennard and Nick Hopton

Fourth Official: David Coote

VAR: Jonathan Moss

AVAR: Lee Betts

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