Rude awakening for Burton after drawing United away in League Cup

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Manchester United will begins the defense of its League Cup title with a home game against second-tier Burton Albion in the week commencing on September 18.
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Reuters

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Donovan Wilson scores their second goal against Southampton during their English League Cup, or Carabao Cup, second-round match at St Mary's in Southampton on August 23, 2017. Wanderers won 2-0.

English League Cup holder Manchester United was handed a plum home tie against Burton Albion and Liverpool travels to Leicester City after the much-criticized third-round draw in Beijing on Thursday.

United will be expected to begin the defense of its trophy with victory over a Burton side which has lost three of its first four games in the Championship.

But Liverpool faces a stiff task in traveling to Leicester, one of four all-English Premier League ties.

The others see Manchester City visit West Bromwich Albion, a south coast derby between Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove Albion, and Crystal Palace home to EPL newcomer Huddersfield Town.

Town stunned Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park on the opening day of the season.

United and the other teams in European competition only enter the draw for the League Cup, dubbed the Carabao Cup this season after its new sponsors, at the third-round stage.

Former European champion Nottingham Forest, which won the League Cup four times in the Brian Clough era, was rewarded for its 3-2 second-round upset of the EPL's Newcastle United with a trip to Chelsea.

Twice winners Wolverhampton Wanderers also dispatched EPL opposition in round two, beating Southampton 2-0, and were drawn at home to third-tier Bristol Rovers.

Burnley striker Chris Wood, who joined the EPL club this week and made his debut in the second-round win over Blackburn Rovers, will be heading back to his former club Leeds United in the third round.

In other ties, Arsenal hosts Doncaster Rovers while north London rival Tottenham Hotspur faces a wait for its opponent after being drawn against Derby County or Barnsley, who play their second-round match on September 19.

The remainder of the third-round ties will be played over the week commencing on September 18.

The decision to stage the draw in Beijing infuriated fans and media in England.

Organizers said it was to help win new supporters and expand the popularity of the domestic cup in Asia.

But the draw was scheduled for 11:15am China time — 4:15am in Britain — meaning an before-dawn wake-up call for supporters eager to know who their team was playing.

In the event, the draw began 20 minutes late, dragged on for 40 minutes and was not on television, further riling fans attempting to follow it on Twitter.

Previous draws of the League, or Carabao, Cup were dogged by mishaps.

The English Football League apologized after the first-round draw in Bangkok, which saw Charlton Athletic supposedly drawn to play Exeter away and Cheltenham at home.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said that staging the third-round draw in the Chinese capital was "indicative of the total disrespect shown to football fans".

The League Cup was rebranded the Carabao Cup after a Thai energy drinks maker secured a three-year sponsorship deal with the English Football League in April.

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