EFL make decision that could affect Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham

The English Football League (EFL) has confirmed that the Carabao Cup semi-final stage will return to its usual two-legged format for the 2021/22 season.

The last four of the competition was played as a one-off tie last season because of the coronavirus pandemic that delayed football and made the fixture list very congested.

The semi-finals had always been played over two legs since the League Cup originated in 1960 and a return to the regular format has now been confirmed.

The semi-final ties are set to take place in weeks beginning January 3 and 10 in 2022, with the first and second legs only a week apart.

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The likes of London clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham will be aiming to really compete for the League Cup crown next season, with Manchester City dominating the tournament over recent years.

The Citizens, led by Pep Guardiola, have been crowned champions of the Carabao Cup in the last four campaigns – most recently, beating Tottenham thanks to a late Aymeric Laporte header at Wembley.

The last time a London side did get its hands on the trophy was in 2014/15 when Chelsea beat Spurs 2-0 in the capital.

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But over the last six seasons, the Carabao Cup has stayed in Manchester, with City winning it an incredible five times and Manchester United just the once.

If City can win the tournament again, then they will overtake Liverpool for the most League Cup triumphs, with both Premier League sides currently on eight wins.

Chelsea, with five, lead the way in terms of London clubs to be crowned champions in the first domestic trophy of the season.

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