Ho Chi Minh City (AFP) – Frank Lampard’s Derby County will take on Oldham Athletic away in the first round of the English League Cup, organisers said in Vietnam Friday, in a key first knockout competition for the former England midfielder.
Lampard took over Derby in May in his first foray into management, with all eyes on the 39-year-old who has won the EFL Cup twice as a player with Chelsea in 2005 and 2007.
The Derby-Oldham tie was announced in Ho Chi Minh City at the first round draw for the English Football League Cup — sponsored by Thailand’s second largest energy drinks firm Carabao — that will feature 35 matches from the week of August 13.
Former Liverpool and Real Madrid star Steve McManaman, ex-Manchester United striker Louis Saha and former Chelsea captain Dennis Wise hosted Friday’s draw.
Other key ties include Leeds versus Bolton Wanderers and Reading against Birmingham while Sunderland face Sheffield Wednesday.
Wise said he was eager to see what Chelsea legend Lampard would achieve as manager of Derby.
“It’s his first job and his first opportunity in management, I’m looking forward to it in anticipation what he’s going to do as a manager,” Wise told reporters.
“I think he’s got the right materials to do the right things and produce a team that is capable of pushing in the Championship and getting into the playoffs, or even getting up to the Premier League.”
Friday’s event was the second consecutive season that a Carabao Cup draw has been held overseas after the first round draw in Bangkok last year and the third round in Beijing.
The draw in Thailand grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons after a series of technical glitches saw some teams given the wrong opponents.
The EFL said this year’s first round draw was hosted in football-obsessed Vietnam as the league looks to boost its brand outside Britain.
The Carabao Cup, won by Manchester City in February, is sponsored by a Thai energy drink company co-founded by Yuenyong Opakul — better known as Aed Carabao — a 63-year-old millionaire who is Thailand’s most famous rock star.
The 2018/19 Carabao Cup final will take place on February 24, 2019 at Wembley Stadium.
Organisers said extra time would be scrapped for all matches except the final this year to avoid “fatigue issues” and that Video Assistant Referee technology will be used in matches played in Premier League stadiums.
They also said seeding would be removed for the first two rounds of the competition, though round one would still be divided between Northern and Southern sections.
Premier League teams will be introduced in the second and third rounds.