The Cobblers will discover their first round opponents in next season’s Carabao Cup on Friday morning - with the draw being made in Vietnam.
Former players Steve McManaman, Louis Saha and Dennis Wise are travelling to Vietnam’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh City, to make the draw this Fruday, with it all happening at 10.45am UK time.
Last season, Carabao Cup draws were made in Bangkok and Beijing, and this time it will be made in Vietnam, with the move apparently being ‘part of the EFL’s continued efforts to build the value of the competition outside the UK’.
The Cobblers are in the southern section of the first round draw, and there has been a change to the rules this season, with no seeding for higher-ranked teams, as has been the case in the past.
There will also be no extra-time in Carabao Cup matches, with matches instead going straight to penalties if they end all square - although there will still be an extra-time option for the Wembley final.
The format of penalties will revert to the traditional format, as opposed to the recently trialled ABBA formula, which will no longer feature in EFL competitions, and VAR will again be utilised in the competition and can be incorporated for all games that are played at Premier League stadiums.
A total of 70 clubs will feature in the first round draw, and matches are scheduled to take place on the week commencing August 13.
West Bromwich Albion are included in the draw after their relegation from the Premier League and are in the Cobblers’ half, but fellow relegated sides Stoke City and Swansea City will join the competition in the second round alongside the Premier League clubs that are not competing in Europe.
EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “The first round draw is always significant, mapping out the opening stages of a competition that continues to attract a large audience at home and abroad, with almost 1.5million people attending Carabao Cup matches last season and games shown across the world in over 150 regions.
“At the EFL’s recent 2018 Summer Conference, clubs voted to a number of rule changes in the Carabao Cup including the removal of extra-time which should help address team selection and additional fatigue issues that can sometimes be caused when midweek ties go beyond 90 minutes.
“Seeding arrangements have also been removed from the first two rounds which should make for some interesting early round draws.”
Last season, the Cobblers were beaten in the first round of the Carabao Cup, going down 1-0 at Championship side Queens Park Rangers. Town are ball number 21 in the south section.
Sections and ball numbers for the draw are as follows:
North Section: 1 Accrington Stanley, 2 Barnsley, 3 Blackburn Rovers, 4 Blackpool, 5 Bolton Wanderers, 6 Bradford City, 7 Burton Albion, 8 Bury, 9 Carlisle United, 10 Crewe Alexandra, 11 Derby County, 12 Doncaster Rovers, 13 Fleetwood Town, 14 Grimsby Town, 15 Hull City, 16 Leeds United, 17 Lincoln City, 18 Macclesfield Town, 19 Mansfield Town, 20 Middlesbrough, 21 Morecambe, 22 Nottingham Forest, 23 Notts County, 24 Oldham Athletic, 25 Port Vale, 26 Preston North End, 27 Rochdale, 28 Rotherham United, 29 Scunthorpe United, 30 Sheffield United, 31 Sheffield Wednesday, 32 Shrewsbury Town, 33 Sunderland, 34 Tranmere Rovers, 35 Walsall, 36 Wigan Athletic
South Section: 1 AFC Wimbledon, 2 Aston Villa, 3 Birmingham City, 4 Brentford, 5 Bristol City, 6 Bristol Rovers, 7 Cambridge United, 8 Charlton Athletic, 9 Cheltenham Town, 10 Colchester United, 11 Coventry City, 12 Crawley Town, 13 Exeter City, 14 Forest Green Rovers, 15 Gillingham, 16 Ipswich Town, 17 Luton Town, 18 Millwall, 19 Milton Keynes Dons, 20 Newport County, 21 Northampton Town, 22 Norwich City, 23 Oxford United, 24 Peterborough United, 25 Plymouth Argyle, 26 Portsmouth, 27 Queens Park Rangers, 28 Reading, 29 Southend United, 30 Stevenage, 31 Swindon Town, 32 West Bromwich Albion, 33 Wycombe Wanderers, 34 Yeovil Town