What is the Carabao Cup? Why is it called the Carabao Cup?

The Carabao Cup
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Chelsea face Liverpool in the 2022 Carabao Cup final at Wembley. Manchester City were the dominant defending champions going into this season, but were knocked out in the fourth round on penalties by West Ham - meaning there will be a new holder come Sunday evening.

The Carabao Cup is what was known as the League Cup upon its foundation in 1960. It has had many sponsors in the last four decades. 

Known as the Milk Cup, the Littlewoods Cup, the Rumbelows Cup, the Coca-Cola Cup, the Worthington Cup, the Carling Cup and the Capital One Cup from 1981 through to 2016, Carabao is now the competition's title sponsor.

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What is the Carabao Cup?

The Carabao Cup is a knockout tournament for all EFL and Premier League clubs. It is played over seven rounds, all single leg, with the exception of the semi-finals, which operate as home and away ties.

Matches before the final are normally scheduled for midweek. The final is now usually in late February, far before the FA Cup final and the end of the domestic season. 

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Why is it called the Carabao Cup? What is Carabao?

Carabao is an energy drink company based in Thailand. Carabao is the current title sponsor of the League Cup, as it has been since 2017, and will remain so until 2024.

When the existing sponsorship deal was extended in 2021 by two years, it was estimated to be worth around $57 million.

Manchester City, Carabao Cup

Who are the Carabao Cup champions?

Manchester City won the final in 2021, beating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Wembley thanks to a late goal from Aymeric Laporte in front of a pandemic-reduced crowd of 7,773.

City have won the last four editions, and five out of the last six - with rivals Manchester United spoiling their record by lifting the trophy in 2017.

On Sunday, Liverpool will be looking for their ninth win in the competition, having enjoyed success in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995, 2001, 2003, and 2012. If they do win, they will have the outright most wins; they currently share the record of eight with Manchester City.

Chelsea seek the trophy for the sixth time, with previous victories in 1965, 1998, 2005, 2007, and 2015.