It is set to be a record-breaking night for the EFL Cup, with attendances expected to exceed 300,000 for the first time in fourth round history.More than 200,000 people attended the five fourth round ties on Tuesday night, and with three eagerly anticipated matches to follow this evening, it’s clear that the competition is capturing fans’ imaginations.
The historical figures date back 57 seasons to the competition’s formation in 1960/61. The highest overall attendance in the EFL Cup fourth round prior to this season came last year when 292,000 spectators made their way through the stadium turnstiles.
That landmark is expected to be surpassed tonight with as many as 150,000 spectators being added to the 200,000 total from Tuesday.
It was a bumper 53,051 crowd at Anfield for their 2-1 win against Spurs, while nearly 60,000 fans witnessed two-time winners Arsenal beat a spirited Reading 2-0 courtesy of a brace from England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
In the North East, Newcastle United set their second highest ever attendance for an EFL Cup match at St James’ Park with 49,042 fans watching the Magpies put six past Preston North End without reply. The highest ever attendance for an EFL Cup match at St James’ Park is 49,902, set in 1976 against Tottenham.
The final two matches from Tuesday saw a combined crowd of 38,371 fans witness Leeds United beat Norwich City at Elland Road on penalties, and Hull City claim a 2-1 win at Bristol City.
Attention now turns to tonight’s events with the final three matches of the round taking place. For the first time since 2010, Manchester United and Manchester City will lock horns in the EFL Cup, with the Red Devils seeking revenge for their loss against their neighbours last month in the Premier League.
Another derby will take place, this time in the capital as Chelsea make their first ever visit to the London Stadium to take on West Ham United. Meanwhile, David Moyes’ Sunderland travel to the South Coast to face Southampton with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs.
The draw for the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup will take place live on Sky Sports following the game between Manchester United and Manchester City with all teams keen to continue in their bid to reach the final at Wembley on the 26th February.
You can follow the draw live on the official EFL Cup Twitter account, via @EFLCup.