Away draw against Championship opposition for Canaries in League Cup
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Norwich City have learned who their first opponent of the 2020-21 season will be, following this morning’s draw for the League Cup first round.
Daniel Farke’s team will travel to Luton Town, who clambered away from trouble to survive in the Championship last season.
It will be the first competitive meeting of the clubs since Luton embarrassed Chris Hughton’s team in the FA Cup fourth round in January 2013, winning 1-0 to become the first non-league team to knock out top-flight opposition in the competition in over 20 years.
The Canaries did travel to Kenilworth Road for pre-season friendlies ahead of the last two campaigns though, winning 5-1 last year - with Josip Drmic scoring a hat-trick - and 3-1 the previous season.
The only previous meeting of the clubs in the League Cup was in October 1985, when City were defending champions and won 2-0 as a Second Division side at top-flight Luton in the third round thanks to goals from Steve Bruce and Peter Mendham - before going out to Oxford in the next round, who were also in the top tier at the time.
The Hatters survived in the Championship last season as Nathan Jones returned as manager during the season’s three-month suspension, following an unsuccessful stint at Stoke.
They were second from bottom and six points from safety but after the man who had led them out of League One had returned they only lost one of their last nine games, taking 16 points from a possible 27 to finish 19th.
Ties are scheduled to be played on Saturday, September 5 but could be played on alternate dates due to that being during an international window.
League matches are due to commence on the weekend of September 11-13, with the EFL fixtures set to be revealed on Friday morning.
City featured in the draw as they finished bottom of the Premier League, with follow relegated sides Watford and Bournemouth to enter the competition alongside the top-flight clubs not in European competition in the second round.
The draw was separated into a northern and southern section in an attempt to reduce travelling times for most teams but Championship clubs weren’t seeded.
That meant a draw against local rivals Ipswich Town was possible but the Tractor Boys were drawn at home to League One rivals Bristol Rovers.
Rounds two, three and four will be played on consecutive midweeks dates starting September 15-16 due to the later start to the campaign, with the fifth round in December, the semi-finals in January not being played over two legs and the final on February 28.
Last season City were knocked out in the second round, losing 1-0 away to League Two side Crawley Town, but reached the fourth round in both of the seasons prior to that - losing to Premier League opposition in Arsenal and Bournemouth as a Championship side.
The Canaries have reached the final of the competition on four occasions, beating Rochdale over two legs in 1962 and Sunderland at Wembley in 1985 but losing to Tottenham and Aston Villa and Wembley in 1972 and 1975 respectively.
City have reached the quarter-finals four times since their 1985 triumph, the last of which was during 2012-13, a 4-1 home defeat to Aston Villa.
The Canaries’ development squad will also learn their group stage opponents in the EFL Trophy this afternoon, when the draw is made on Talk Sport Two at 1.30pm, as one of the 16 category one academies to accept an invite into the competition to take on the first teams of teams from Leagues One and Two.
CARABAO CUP FIRST ROUND DRAW
SOUTHERN SECTION: Bristol City v Exeter City, Plymouth Argyle v QPR, Swindon Town v Charlton Athletic, Forest Green Rovers v Leyton Orient, MK Dons v Coventry City, Crawley Town v Millwall, Stevenage v Portsmouth, Peterborough Utd v Cheltenham Town, Brentford v Wycombe Wan, Northampton Town v Cardiff City, Luton Town v NORWICH CITY, Birmingham City v Cambridge Utd, Newport County v Swansea City, Oxford Utd v AFC Wimbledon, Reading v Colchester United, Gillingham v Southend Utd, Ipswich Town v Bristol Rovers
NORTHERN SECTION: Tranmere v Harrogate Town, Crewe Alexandra v Lincoln City, Walsall v Sheffield Weds, Rochdale v Huddersfield Town, Preston NE v Mansfield Town, Bolton Wan v Bradford City, Blackburn Rovers v Doncaster Rovers, Stoke City v Blackpool, Fleetwood Town v Wigan Athletic, Grimsby Town v Morecambe, Middlesbrough v Shrewsbury Town, Derby County v Barrow, Scunthorpe Utd v Port Vale, Sunderland v Hull City, Burton Albion v Accrington Stanley, Salford City v Rotherham Utd, Barnsley v Nottingham Forest, Oldham Athletic v Carlisle Utd