English Football League (EFL) Cup Final Tickets 2017.
What is the EFL Cup?
The EFL cup, or English Football League, is the main football competition in England. Although there are many other cups like the F.A cup, the EFL is what has been recognised for many years as the primary English football league cup, and most English football teams are measured by their success with this particular league.
As of the 2016/2017 season, it has been officially rebranded as the 'EFL cup', to try to get away from previous branding, and to provide a bit more competition to the successful European football leagues. The cup is split into different leagues, including the premiership league (often shortened to Premier League), the championship and league 1 and league 2. Teams have the ability to move up and down these leagues to the more coveted Premiership League by coming top of the table the previous season.
How do teams qualify for the EFL cup?
The EFL does not have any specific qualifying terms, and if teams are members of the premier league or the English football leagues they are entitled to play in the EFL. There are currently in the 2016/2017 season 92 teams that qualify to play in the EFL.
The teams play in 'rounds 'until the finals, when a winner is determined by the final game. In England 'cup final day' is quite a big occasion and is widely celebrated.
What do the teams win?
When we see the winning teams of football competitions holding up their cups proudly at the final, it can be easy to forget that they also win other, very beneficial prizes that are hidden in the background.
Teams win the EFL cup, of which there have been three designs. It can depend on the sponsor what cup is used. Some sponsors in the past, like Littlewoods, have chosen to use their own cup, whereas others have opted for the original.
As well as the silverware, the winning team also qualifies for the UEFA Champions League, which is a competition between all of the UEFA football teams that have qualified in Europe.
When is the final?
The final for the EFL in 2017 will be held on 26th February 2017. This year's cup has no sponsor, due to Capital One pulling out, so this is why it does not have a sponsor name before the title, and is just branded as the 'EFL cup' to match up with the football leagues rebranding of the EFL. The final this year will take place in the iconic Wembley Stadium, a stadium well know for hosting big name clubs and finals in top notch football games.
Wembley Stadium was re-opened to much fanfare in 2007, after the 2002-2003 demolishing of the original. It is a category four stadium, the top category, and meets all of the requirements not only English games but also international ones, and Wembley usually hosts all of the England games.
Who have been the top goal scorers in the EFL so far?
This season has seen a great mix of teams when it comes to the top goal scorers, The top goal scorer plays for Liverpool, and he is called Daniel Sturridge. So far he has scored 4 goals, and a few more could easily help Liverpool get to the finals.
Bristol City, a team that may not be as well known or thought of as glamorously as some of the larger clubs, also lay claim to a top goal scorer: Tammy Abrahams. During the season so far, he has scored 3 goals.
What teams take part in the EFL Cup?
As previously mentioned, there are 92 teams this season that are eligible to take part in the EFL cup. The final four contenders are:
Southampton Football Club
Saints March to EFL Cup Final
The Saints go marching in to their first major final since 2010 on Sunday 26 February and will be hoping to take the silverware back to St. Mary's again.
Manchester United lost the first leg of their semi-final against Hull but won the second, booking their place in their first final since winning last years FA Cup.
The two teams will face each other for the first time in a final since the FA Cup in 1976. On that occasion Southampton won. What chance it might happen again?
After beating Liverpool 2-0 across the 2 legs of their semi-final there was some momentum with Southampton, with some Saints fans celebrating by painting white stripes down Royal Mail post boxes in Southampton to match their famous colours, but then they lost their last game game before the EFL Cup Final 2-1 away to Swindon in the Premier League on Tuesday 31 January. On the plus side Manchester United have 3 more games to play before the final. The Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho has bemoaned the fact stating that it is too much that in the world's leading football championship the top teams have to juggle so many games. They should be used to it having been at the forefront of World football for generations but no doubt the Saints will be fresher and maybe hungrier given that a final for them is a once in a decade event.
Southampton's season has certainly been up and down. Days after securing their place in the EFL Cup Final they went crashing out of the FA Cup with a 5-0 loss to Arsenal. They can hope that their seesaw season will continue and cause an upset against Manchester United that will more than match their victory in the semi-final against Liverpool. Beating Arsenal in the quarter finals will also give them encouragement. They have faired less well in the Premier League currently 12th in the standings but only 2 points behind Burnley in 9th.
Southampton have never won the EFL Cup before but did reach the final in 1979 but lost to Nottingham Forest 3-2, while Manchester United have won 4 times with Liverpool top of the roll of honour with 8.
The Saints manager Claude Puel will no doubt be reminding his team of the FA Cup victory against Manchester United in 1976 and if the team can defend at their best and Puel can convey his tactical prowess they might just do it.
Manchester United Football Club.
Manchester United are the northern counterpart to Arsenals south team. Not only do they sport the same kit colours, red, but they also share a similar level of success. Based in Old Trafford in Manchester, they have won a record of 20 league titles and are arguably one of the most successful English clubs of all time.
Their biggest rivalry is with the Manchester based Manchester city, but they also hold rivalries with Liverpool, Leeds, and more recently, due to the lessening of football rivalries being based on area, with Arsenal.
Manchester united has been home to some of the most famous football players in the history of the game, such as David Beckham and Wayne Rooney. Most notably, in the past, George Best played for Manchester United. A successful England captain as well as English football player, Best is credited with becoming one of the first 'celebrity' football players.
As well as winning trophies, Manchester United uses their brand on a number of different lucrative ventures, and is one of the only football clubs to be floated on both the London and New York stock exchange.
Wayne Rooney is the highest scoring English player in the Champions League, ever, scoring a record 29 goals, while former United midfielder Paul Scholes is the second highest with 24 goals scored.
Facts about the EFL cup
- The EFL was initially introduced as a response to the growing popularity of European football. Not wanting to be left behind, the English Football League wanted produce something that could rival the FA and their popular FA cup - It was first held in the season 1960/1961, although it was called the Football League Cup then. - The EFL was introduced specifically to be a mid-week floodlight tournament. The introduction floodlights helped this along significantly, and at the time this was one of the main selling points of the cup. - The EFL has lived in the past ten years with the ever growing threat of losing it's UEFA space, due to competitions from other cups and leagues. It has so far manage to hold on to this. - The EFL has often been named after the brand that sponsor them, such as the Carling cup or the Capital one cup.
What does 2016/2017 and the future hold for the EFL cup?
The EFL cup has come back strong this year after its rebrand, although it is still hindered by the fact that the games are not shown on the main television channels in the UK .
Despite threats from different cups and leagues the EFL looks set to stay for the future. The 2016/2017 season so far has been a rollercoaster ride of excitement. The lesser known Bristol City managed to score their way into the first round of the finals, being knocked out by Hull. The quarter finals, of which one game went to prediction with Manchester United beating West Ham, gave us all a shock when Arsenal were knocked out by Southampton.
Leicester City winning the league last year has given everyone a shake up and a new thirst for the success of the underdog. Many 'top' teams use the EFL as a chance to use their reserves for a bit of training, or their younger players, but teams like Southampton and Bristol coming out as forces to be reckoned with are completely blowing this method out of the water, and it looks as though the bigger teams are going to need to step up their game next season.
The final this year looks set to be a nail biting game.
Is the EFL cup around to stay?
The EFL cup is set in the future to face stiff competition not only from the English cups and leagues, but also the European ones. European football has gained a reputation of being more 'exciting' in the last few years, but with a year full of surprises like the year we are currently having with the EFL cup, it looks likely that over the next few years, the cup is going to get stronger and more competitive.
The live games for the EFL cup are still incredibly popular, and tickets to anticipated games sell out incredibly quickly, which is an indicator that the UK's insatiable thirst for football is not set to decline any time soon.