With the Capital One Cup, there’s less hype and therefore lowered expectations. As a result, the Capital One Cup manages to exceed expectations year after year.
4. The format of the Capital One Cup is streamlined.
One of the best features of the Capital One Cup is that it’s single elimination with no replays. You can guarantee that there’ll be a winner in each game without the need of having a replay. The only exception is the semi-final stage of the League Cup, which features a home and away leg (more about that later).
Knowing that there are no replays, it means that every round of the Capital One Cup (up until the semi-final) is a win-or-get-knocked-out contest. You’re less likely to have teams playing for a draw in the hopes of getting a replay where a club can generate more revenue from gate receipts.
With the FA Cup, the tournament can feel like a chore at times especially when your team has to squeeze a replay into an already busy schedule.
5. Semi-finals not at Wembley.
Having the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup played at the respective club’s stadiums makes for a more exciting atmosphere instead of the FA Cup semi-finals that are played at Wembley. Don’t get me wrong, Wembley Stadium is a magnificent building, but it should be reserved for the final only.
Having the semi-finals staged as home and away legs in the Capital One Cup allows fans to connect with the competition in a more personal way. There’s more suspense, too, both on and off the pitch.
6. The scheduling is critical.
Another benefit of the Capital One Cup is that its schedule doesn’t disrupt the season. Except for the final, matches are played midweek. And most of them are played in the first half of the season.
With FA Cup games scheduled on weekends instead of midweek, a deep FA Cup run can create fixture congestion. Weekend Premier League matches have to be rescheduled for midweek. And god forbid your team gets forced into a replay.
With the FA Cup, it’s almost as if the scheduling of games is a punishment, not a benefit.
7. Timing is everything.
Last but not least, the Capital One Cup can be a huge plus for managers who want to get an early lifeline by winning the first piece of silverware of the season. With the final played in February, it gives managers a chance to have something to play for even if the club’s league form is disappointing.