City face early start to new season

PUBLISHED: 12:33 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 12:41 11 August 2020

Norwich City lost to Crawley
 in last season's EFL Cup Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City lost to Crawley in last season's EFL Cup Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City may have to factor in an EFL Cup first round tie prior to beginning their Championship campaign on the weekend of September 12.

The league fixtures are poised to be announced on Friday, August 21, but finishing bottom of the Premier League last season is set to see Norwich enter the EFL Cup at the first round stage, along with the rest of the Football League clubs.

The first round of the EFL Cup is scheduled for the weekend of September 5, but given that clashes with an international window, affected clubs will have the option to move their ties forward to the weekend of August 29.

Norwich could have as many as nine of Daniel Farke’s current squad away over the weekend of September 5.

City could also be drawn against arch rivals Ipswich in the regionalised first round draw. Town’s mid-table finish in a truncated League One campaign, due to the coronavirus pandemic, is likely to mean Paul Lambert’s club will be not be seeded in the southern section of the first round cup draw.

All league and cup fixtures will be confirmed next week for the 2020/21 kick-off, but some League One clubs are already provisionally planning for a cup fixture on August 29 if they land a Championship side.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley has told the Lancashire Post: ‘We were due to play a game this month on August 29 but if you draw a Championship club in the Carabao Cup then they will play it on that date because it’s before the international break. You just have to be ready to adapt all the time, but we’ve got our plans in place and we’ve got our games pencilled in. But we have to be ready for the unexpected and try to prepare as best as we can.’

The Premier League clubs not in European action, and Watford and Bournemouth, who followed City into the Championship, will enter the EFL Cup at the second round stage.

Norwich’s squad is due to return to Colney to begin pre-season training next week.

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