We’re approaching crunch time in the 2022/23 Carabao Cup. For Southampton, Newcastle, Nottingham Forest, and Manchester United, a Wembley final is just 180 minutes away.
The first of four semi-final encounters (they will be played over two legs) begins on Tuesday night as Southampton play host to Newcastle before Forest take on a deflated United following their defeat at the Emirates on Sunday.
Each contest is well-poised, with the two-legged nature of the ties set to add to the drama and tension.
Here are all the key rules you need to be aware of heading into the semi-finals.
VAR hasn’t been used in the Carabao Cup up until this point, but it’s back in for the semi-finals. In 2019/20, the EFL opted against using VAR before the semi-final stage as the technology was only installed at Premier League grounds.
Andre Marriner is on VAR duty at St. Mary’s on Tuesday night, while Peter Bankes is under the spotlight for the first leg between Forest and United.
Extra-time in rounds one to five of the Carabao Cup was scrapped ahead of the 2018/19 season, but the semi-finals can still include an extra 30 minutes should it be necesssary.
As there are no away goals in this competition, should the aggregate score be tied after 180 minutes, extra-time and, if required, penalties will follow to decide who progresses into the final.
The rules are the same in the Carabao Cup as they are for the Premier League. Thus, managers can make up to five substitutions across three windows, with half-time not counting as a substitute window.
An extra substitution is permitted should the tie go to extra-time, while each side can also utilise two “concussion substitutes” if needed.