Premier League sides could be forced to DITCH next season’s League Cup with Champions League and Europa League games set to clash due to pile-up caused by Covid-19 crisis
- The Premier League’s top seven may be forced to sit out of the League Cup
- Release of dates for European competition in 2020-21 complicates involvement
- A condensed calendar is likely to cause European and League Cup overlaps
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Most of the Premier League‘s biggest clubs could be forced to sit out the League Cup next season due to potential fixture clashes with European competition.
UEFA have announced the dates for the 2020-21 Champions League and Europa League, and due to the late start of the season due to the delay in the current campaign caused by the coronavirus crisis, there is likely to be a significant fixture pile-up.
Both European competitions will have six group-stage matchdays between October and December. With the Premier League running a condensed season and international football breaks also to be squeezed in, that is likely to cause overlapping European and League Cup matchdays.
Manchester City won the Carabao Cup this season but may not be able to defend it next year
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side may well have to choose between Europe or the Carabao Cup
That would leave clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester, Chelsea and Manchester United little option but to play in the far more lucrative European competitions and ditch the League Cup.
An alternative could be the EFL allowing these clubs to play youth teams in their cup competition, which would hit the integrity of the competition.
The League Cup is a vital revenue stream for its smaller clubs so cancelling the competition is thought to be unthinkable.
Should the biggest sides miss the League Cup, the EFL would look to secure compensation as part of a £250million rescue package from the Premier League, according to The Times.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could see overlaps in matchdays next season
CONFIRMED EUROPEAN ROUND DATES FOR THE 2020-21 SEASON
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFYING
08/08/2020–11/08/2020 Preliminary round
18/08/2020–19/08/2020 First qualifying round
25/08/2020–26/08/2020 Second qualifying round
15/09/2020–16/09/2020 Third qualifying round
20/10/2020–21/10/2020 Matchday 1
27/10/2020–28/10/2020 Matchday 2
03/11/2020–04/11/2020 Matchday 3
24/11/2020–25/11/2020 Matchday 4
01/12/2020–02/12/2020 Matchday 5
08/12/2020–09/12/2020 Matchday 6
16/02/2021–17/03/2021 Round of 16
EUROPA LEAGUE QUALIFYING
20/08/2020 Preliminary round
27/08/2020 First qualifying round
17/09/2020 Second qualifying round
24/09/2020 Third qualifying round