It hardly feels like we’ve had a break from football this summer! No longer has Euro 2016 finished that we’re back with the newly named EFL [English Football League] Cup and there’s some cracking ties in the first round.
Freshly relegated and five-times League Cup winners Aston Villa will travel to Luton Town, 1988 winners, with new boss Roberto Di Matteo looking to get Villa’s season off to a fast start.
The Villains haven’t much to shout about in recent times and apart from the appointment of Di Matteo, who is somewhere lacking in credentials himself, it hasn’t really been a summer to get the fans shouting, meaning this game could be crucial to the reception and reaction of the Villa fans going forward for the rest of the year.
Championship side Queens Park Rangers will host League One side Swindon Town at Loftus Road and the Robins boss Luke Williams is full of optimism ahead of the tie.
Speaking to BBC Wiltshire, Williams said, “A game like that can turn your fortunes for you and give people that extra bit of belief and confidence.
“It is a good situation to be in. You’re not really expected to win, but you can certainly give everything.”
Elsewhere, Grimsby Town will travel to Nigel Pearson’s Derby County in their first cup tie since returning to the Football League, whilst it’ll be a short trip across the North West for Wigan Athletic as they take on Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park.
It’s an exciting tie for Cambridge United who will welcome last season’s Championship play-off finalists Sheffield Wednesday to Abbey Stadium. Also in the East of England, Ipswich will take on Stevenage at Portman Road for the second successive season.
Cardiff City will head to the Memorial Stadium to face newly promoted League One side Bristol Rovers, who will be hoping a positive result here can get their exciting season off to a positive start.
Having finished higher than Villa last season, fellow Championship outfits Newcastle United and Norwich City will enter the EFL Cup in the second round.
Round One Fixture List:
Carlisle United vs Port Vale
Rotherham United vs Morecambe
Accrington Stanley vs Bradford City
Rochdale vs Chesterfield
Mansfield Town vs Blackburn Rovers
Barnsley vs Northampton Town
Cambridge United vs Sheffield Wednesday
Derby County vs Grimsby Town
Oldham Athletic vs Wigan Athletic
Scunthorpe United vs Notts County
Doncaster Rovers vs Nottingham Forest
Burton Albion vs Bury
Fleetwood Town vs Leeds United
Sheffield United vs Crewe Alexandra
Shrewsbury Town vs Huddersfield Town
Preston North End vs Hartlepool United
Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers
Peterborough United vs AFC Wimbledon
Bristol Rovers vs Cardiff City
Coventry City vs Portsmouth
Luton Town vs Aston Villa
Brighton vs Colchester United
Cheltenham Town vs Charlton Athletic
Birmingham City vs Oxford United
Southend United vs Gillingham
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Crawley Town
Leyton Orient vs Fulham
Ipswich Town vs Stevenage
Wycombe Wanderers vs Bristol City
Walsall vs Yeovil Town
Exeter City vs Brentford
Queens Park Rangers vs Swindon Town
Barnet vs Millwall
Reading vs Plymouth Argyle
Newport County vs Milton Keynes Dons