After a strenuous 2015-16 campaign, no Europe for Liverpool means fewer games to worry about in 2016-17. It does, however, mean they enter the League Cup one round earlier, and following tonight’s second round draw, Liverpool know that they will face Championship side Burton Albion on August 23rd or 24th.
The League Cup, which has lost its sponsorship this season and rebranded as the English Football League Cup—or EFL Cup—is set up so that the Premier League clubs competing in Europe join in the third round in September, but for Liverpool and the other 13 teams on the outside it’s round two and an August start.
A further potential complication was Liverpool’s ongoing main stand reconstruction, which meant the EFL had to grant special dispensation to the club, allowing the game to be moved to the away team’s stadium should it be a home draw. That necessity, however, was avoided as Liverpool drew Burton Albion on the road.
Liverpool have won the EFL Cup—or League Cup or Capital One Cup or Carling Cup or Worthington Cup or Milk Cup or Rumbledowns Cup depending on when you first started paying attention to it—a record eight times in their history, three more times than Aston Villa or Chelsea, who both stand on five cup titles.
They’re also the side who has made the most finals appearances in the history of the competition, with four runners-up medals and 12 finals appearances in total. They now know the first side they will have to beat this season if they’re to add another notch to their historic tally. Bring on the Brewers.