Middlesbrough will know their Carabao Cup first-round opponents on the same day their league schedule is revealed. The EFL announced on Wednesday that the cup draw will take place next Thursday afternoon, with matches announced that morning.
Release day has become a staple in many football fans’ calendars as the new season officially takes shape and game plans begin to form. While Premier League release day is this Thursday morning, for Boro and other Championship clubs there are seven days to go, with fixtures at 9am on Thursday June 23.
This season will be a bit different due to the Winter World Cup in Qatar, with EFL clubs like Boro facing a four-week break from November 12, and more postponements possible after that if the club still have more than three players in the competition beyond. the group stage and choose to request the matches to be played at a later date. As things stand, Australian Riley McGree is the only Boro player likely to travel to Qatar, although that will be before Chris Wilder sees his side again this summer where he hopes to add more quality to his squad. from Boro.
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The World Cup-enforced break means the season starts a week earlier this year, with the first EFL weekend starting on Friday July 29. Meanwhile, the Carabao Cup first round will take place in the week starting Monday, August 8. which is between the second and the third championship game for Boro.
They will take part in next Thursday’s draw for the first round of the cup competition won by Boro in 2004, with the draw taking place live on Sky Sports just hours after the league fixture list was published, at 2:30 p.m. A total of 35 draws will be drawn, with Burnley, Watford and Premier League clubs sitting out of European competition next season, entering in the second round. Premier League clubs participating in the three continental competitions will then take part in the third round.
Boro left the competition in the very first round last season as a young side lost to Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. But under Wilder Boro he then had a thrilling FA Cup run later in the campaign, with the new Boro boss making it clear that his high standards extended to cup competitions, with a demand for consistency and a winning mentality at the club.