West Ham face Arsenal in the Quarter Final of the League Cup tonight; here are 10 facts about the competition. Equally, if you are bored of the League Cup and fancy a flutter on an entirely different sport, head over to Unibet Horse Racing Bets and take advantage of some of their great Christmas offers.
1. The League Cup was first held in the 1960-61 season, it was created to combat the growing popularity of European football and to capitalise on the use of floodlights which allowed games to be played midweek.
2. The League Cup was not universally popular initially with average attendances around the 10,500 mark, which was about the average of a Third Division game at the time.
3. Aston Villa won the first competition in its first season beating Rotherham 3-2 in the final over two legs.
4. Two third tier clubs have won the competition; QPR beating West Brom 3-2 in the first League Cup Final to be played at Wembley and Swindon Town who beat Arsenal 3-1 two years later in 1969. The last team to win the trophy from outside the top division was Sheffield Wednesday in 1991.
5. Liverpool are the most successful side in the competition’s history, reaching the final 12 times and winning it 8 times, including beating West Ham in the final in 1981.
6. West Ham Legend Geoff Hurst is the competition’s joint all-time leading goal scorer with 49, a record he shares with Ian Rush.
7. Arsenal have reached the final 7 times, winning it twice, the last time being in 1993. West Ham have never won the competition but have been beaten finalists on two occasions in 1966 and 1981.
8. West Ham hold two League Cup records; Record victory: a 10-0 win over Bury in 1983, a record they share with Liverpool who beat Fulham by the same score in 1986, and the record semi-final defeat over two legs, 9-0 versus Manchester City in 2014.
9. West Ham have played Arsenal twice in the League Cup previously, a 3-1 win at Highbury in the 3rd round in 1966 featuring a brace from Geoff Hurst and a 2-1 defeat at Upton Park in the 5th round in 1998.
10. West Ham last played in the Quarter Finals of the League Cup in 2013, giving all Hammers fans an early Christmas present by beating Tottenham 2-1 at White Hart Lane, the much-maligned Modibo Maiga netting the winner with 5 minutes left.