EFL Trophy Betting Guide

Johnstones-Paint-Trophy1Betting on the EFL Trophy? This is a knockout football tournament in England which is run under the governance of the Football Association (FA) and is open to the lower ranked teams in the English League division system. It was formerly known as the Autoglass Trophy for most of the 90’s and as the LDV Trophy until 2006, then Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and from 2016/17 the Checkatrade Trophy. It is also referred to as the English Football League Trophy.

The English league system is divided up into four divisions in order of merit, with the top league being the Premier League, followed by the Championship, and then League One and Two. The EFL Trophy is contested by the 48 teams which make up League One and League Two, formerly known as the Third and Fourth divisions respectively. While these teams also compete in the better known and more prestigious FA Cup, they realistically stand little chance against high profile teams like Manchester United.

EFL Trophy betting represents an opportunity for you to gamble on League One and Two teams who compete in a knockout competition on a somewhat level playing field against opposition of a similar standard. The fact that the Trophy isn’t a particularly lucrative tournament and that it doesn’t offer the winners a place in a European competition like the FA Cup and League Cup do means that it is a fairly low priority for many entrants, particularly those who are challenging for the league title. For this reason the competition is often used as a testing ground for new players.

Format of the Trophy Competition

Because there are 48 teams eligible to participate in the Trophy up and down the country, it is split into regional sections to minimise travel time and expense in the early rounds. The competition is split into the Northern and Southern sections which are further sub-divided into East and West sections.

In each of the four sections, there are four matches and the victors are drawn against four teams which receive a bye to the second round. After the second round, four teams remain in each section. The sub-division is removed resulting in a draw for the Northern and Southern Section quarter-finals, and after these games there is another draw for the regional semi-finals.

When the regional champions are determined, they play against each other in the Football League Trophy final. The final typically takes place over a single leg at Wembley Stadium, but was moved to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium during the re-building of Wembley from 2001-2007.

All matches up to the area finals are played over a single leg with the home team being decided by a random draw. The area finals are settled over two legs with each team having the opportunity to play at home.

Some changes have been made to the format over the years, such as the inclusion of non-league Conference teams and a switch to a round-robin format in the early stages of the competition. The current format has been in place since the 2007-2008 season. The Trophy is run in parallel with other competitions such as the League and FA Cup, beginning in August with the Final typically taking place in April or May of the following year.

Recent History and Notable Games

Though the EFL Trophy is a relatively small competition that draws little interest from anyone but the fans of the competing teams, the final regularly attracts crowds in excess of 50,000 and recent years have seen some very exciting matches. MK Dons (formerly known as Wimbledon) won the 2008 Trophy signifying the start of a new era for the franchise, while the 2009 Final will be remembered as one of the most exciting cup matches ever seen, when Claude Gnapka sealed a 3-2 extra-time win for Luton Town with a sensational goal. The 2010 Final saw a huge crowd of over 70,000 in attendance to watch Southampton lift the cup, quite an achievement for a ‘small’ competition.

One of the more quirky scenarios ever to arise in knockout play happened in a game between Tranmere Rovers and Accrington Stanley in 2011 where the match was abandoned due to a serious injury to an Accrington player with Tranmere leading 2-1. There was much ado over whether Accrington should give Tranmere an uncontested goal at the start of the replay. In the end, no uncontested goal was given, but Tranmere went on to win the match 1-0.

That’s it for our guide to EFL Trophy Betting, and best of luck if you fancy your chances.