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With Wembley Stadium subject to coronavirus restrictions and London under lockdown, the EFL Cup final has been pushed back two months.

The 2020-21 EFL Cup final has been moved from February to April in order to have “as many supporters in attendance as possible,” the EFL has announced.

The first major domestic showpiece of the English season was previously scheduled for February 28, 2021.

However, restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom have limited the attendance of fans this term.

Some stadiums are still allowed to house spectators, but their return in London was brief as the capital was placed under lockdown.

The EFL hopes a new Wembley Stadium date of April 25, 2021 will enable supporters to make the trip.

“The number of fans permitted will be dependent on government guidance in place at the time and it is hoped that moving the date to later in the year will give clubs and their fans the best opportunity to attend in person.” a statement read.

The competition is at the quarter-final stage, with last-eight ties to be played this week.

Holders Manchester City face struggling Arsenal on Tuesday after Brentford host Newcastle United, with Tottenham at Stoke City and Manchester United travelling to Everton on Wednesday.

Magpies boss Steve Bruce has had a tough time of things in recent weeks, following an outbreak of coronavirus at the club, and he is hoping the game with Brentford will provide some cheer.

“Once you get to a quarter-final, there’s a semi-final at stake. We haven’t been there for years,” Bruce said on the club’s official website . “I hope we’re looking forward to it – certainly I am.

“The games are coming thick and fast, but what an opportunity we’ve got. We’ve got a wonderful opportunity to get to the semi-final of a cup, so let’s look forward to it, enjoy the challenge of it and see where we can go.”

Newcastle head into the game on the back of a 5-2 mauling by Leeds and 1-1 draw with Fulham.

Bruce feels the game with Brentford is the chance to get back into form.

“I’m disappointed – after the platform we gave ourselves against Crystal Palace and West Brom we’ve certainly had a difficult week, so let’s get on with it and see what we can do,” he said.

 

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December 21, 2020
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