EFL admit Carabao Cup draw blunder that saw Newcastle and Norwich mixed up… with Magpies handed brutal fixture in the next round against Manchester City!

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EFL admit Carabao Cup draw blunder that saw Newcastle and Norwich mixed up… with Magpies handed brutal fixture in the next round against Manchester City!

  • The EFL said numbers do not necessarily have to be given in alphabetical order 
  • A spokesperson stated the mix-up had no impact on the Carabao Cup’s integrity
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The EFL have acknowledged the brutal blunder made in Wednesday nights Carabao Cup third round draw which resulted in Newcastle drawing Manchester City at home rather than Fulham away.

The draw for the third round took place after the final second round clashes came to an end on Wednesday night, with both Newcastle and Man City entering the draw at this stage after impressive campaigns in 2022-23. 

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The Magpies in fact reached the final of the competition last time out, only to fall to a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United at Wembley, while City completed a historic Treble, winning the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League.

However, with Newcastle fans hoping for a strong Carabao Cup run, Eddie Howe’s side were handed arguably the toughest possible draw, named as the opponents for Pep Guardiola’s City when their No 20 was picked out.

Yet, with the ball numbers usually handed out in alphabetical order, Newcastle should have been handed the No 19, rather than No 20, with Norwich inexplicably taking No 19 despite coming after the Magpies in the alphabet. 

Newcastle were given No 20 despite coming before Norwich in the alphabet with the Canaries taking No 19

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Newcastle were given No 20 despite coming before Norwich in the alphabet with the Canaries taking No 19

Newcastle's No 20 ball was drawn first of the two, meaning they will play the game at St. James' Park

Newcastle’s No 20 ball was drawn first of the two, meaning they will play the game at St. James’ Park

Man City were then removed from the ball as the away side, having been given the No 15 ball

Man City were then removed from the ball as the away side, having been given the No 15 ball

The Canaries were handed a more favourable trip to Fulham, although the Championship outfit will still be hard-pressed to progress against top-flight opposition. 

With the draw broadcast on Sky Sports, the blunder did not escape attention, and the EFL have since acknowledged the mistake, although a spokesperson stated that guidelines do not state that numbers must be given on the basis of alphabetical order, and as such the competition’s integrity has not been hampered. 

‘The numbers for the Round Three draw of the Carabao Cup were allocated and communicated in advance of the draw taking place on Wednesday evening and were drawn in-line with the usual strict protocols and conditions,’ they said via Express Sport:

‘The League accepts that the list published was not in alphabetical order, however, under Cup rules, the draw does not require for numbers to be allocated on that basis as is demonstrated by those teams who progressed on Wednesday night.

‘As a result, the EFL views the draw as completely valid with no impact to competition integrity.’

Neutrals will arguably be thrilled to see two of the top sides in the country drawn against one another at an early stage, with a mouth-watering clash now on offer. 

Third round matches in the competition will take place in the week commencing September 25. 

The mouth-watering tie gives neutrals a brilliant game for the Carabao Cup third round in September

The mouth-watering tie gives neutrals a brilliant game for the Carabao Cup third round in September

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