EFL Cup - Don't Forget About ABBA
With the EFL Cup returning this midweek, some fans might not have yet experienced the new ABBA penalty system.
At the beginning of the year the Football League or EFL if you like new rebrands announced that the ABBA system of penalties would be trialled for 2017/18's League Cup, EFL Trophy and EFL Play Offs.
The ABBA system is believed to be more fair than the current ABAB system of penalties and the trial is backed by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), being their response to a hypothesis that the player taking the second kick is instantly under more pressure mentally to score in the old format.
So from ABAB we get to ABBA in an effort to remove any apparent advantage a team kicking first might have.
The whole thing sounds like a couple of bands have joined the Thunderbirds to be honest.
In basic it means the new system will work on the following basis:
1st kick - Team A
2nd kick - Team B
3rd kick - Team B
4th kick - Team A
5th kick - Team A
6th kick - Team B
7th kick - Team B
8th kick - Team A
9th kick - Team A
10th kick - Team B
11th kick - Team B
12th kick - Team A
and so on...but penalties will continue on the five efforts a piece unless a knock out process is required and then it will run until the first side misses and the other doesn't until we have a winner.
Having already come into play and been tested a few times in the previous rounds of the EFL Cup, the midweek fixtures this week could potentially see a few more grounds introduced to the format.
There is no change however to 30 minutes Extra Time ahead of a penalty shootout.
Just something to be mindful of in case your game goes to penalties and you wonder what's going on.