United and Wednesday learn Carling Cup fate

Sheffield’s two Football League clubs have discovered who they will play in the first round of this season’s Carling Cup.

Sheffield Wednesday will host Blackpool at Hillsborough, while Sheffield United have been handed a tie away to fellow League One club Hartlepool United. The ties will be played in the week commencing August 8.

The game at Hillsborough will reunite Owls’ boss Gary Megson with his former club. Megson managed the Tangerines in the 1996/97 season but left the club after failing to reach the Division 2 playoffs. Blackpool were relegated from the Premier League on the final day of last season after a 4-2 loss away to Manchester United.

Sheffield United play Hartlepool away from home in the first round of the competition,  exactly as they did last season. They will not hope for a similar outcome though, as they lost  2-0 at Victoria Park that night. In fact the Blades will be looking for their first Carling Cup win since August 2008, a second round victory over Huddersfield Town.

The first round of the competition includes all Football League clubs, except for cup holders Birmingham City, whose European qualification gives them a bye to round three, plus one of Crawley or AFC Wimbledon, who meet in a preliminary round match at the end of July.

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