Newcastle United will find out who they will face on the first step on the road to Wembley this week when the Carabao Cup second round draw takes place.
The Magpies have an abysmal recent record in the competition after being knocked out at this stage in five of the last eight seasons.
The high points of the last decade came in 2017 and 2020 when United reached the quarter-final before seeing their hopes of a visit to Wembley dashed by a penalty shoot-out loss against Hull City and an abysmal defeat at Brentford.
Eddie Howe and his side will hope to improve on that record this season and move closer to delivering the first silverware since the PIF-led takeover at St James Park last year.
With the competition getting underway this week, NewcastleWorld takes a look at the details of the Carabao Cup second round draw and assesses what could lie in wait for the Magpies.
When will the draw take place?
The second round draw will take place on Wednesday 10th August following Sheffield Wednesday’s first round home tie against Sunderland.
That will be broadcast on Sky Sports and gets underway at 7.45pm.
The tie could go to extra-time and a penalty shoot-out if the two sides are level after 90 minutes, meaning the draw could take place at anytime between 10pm and 11pm.
Who is conducting the draw?
Presenter Mark Chapman will host Sky Sports’ live coverage of the competition for the first time this season and he will conduct proceedings for the second round draw.
Former Sunderland and England left-back Michael Gray and former Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison will be selecting the ties.
Are there any restrictions in the draw?
The draw will not be seeded, meaning Newcastle could be handed a tie against a club from the Premier League, Championship, League One or League Two.
However, the early rounds of the competition are regionalised, meaning Eddie Howe’s mean will face a side from the North.
Which clubs enter the draw in the second round?
Championship duo Burnley and Watford and thirteen current Premier League clubs enter the competition for the first time this season in the second round.
They are the top tier clubs that did not qualify for European competition last season.
That means Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester United and West Ham United all enter the Carabao Cup in the third round.
Who are among the list of potential opponents for Newcastle?
One name will stand out for Magpies supporters and that is Sunderland.
The Black Cats travel to former League One play-off semi-final opponents Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday night looking to progress into the second round and that would set up the first Tyne-Wear derby meeting since a 1-1 draw at St James Park in March 2016.
Middlesbrough will also have to come through a first round tie on Wednesday night as they host Championship rivals Barnsley.
The Magpies have not met Boro in a competitive fixture since Peter Lovenkrands and Andy Carroll netted in a 2-2 draw at the Riverside Stadium in March 2010.
There are a number of managers with Newcastle connections that could take their place in the draw including former Magpies boss Steve Bruce and one-time United striker Jon Dahl Tomasson.
Tomasson’s Blackburn Rovers host Hartlepool United on Wednesday night and Bruce’s West Bromwich Albion host another of his former clubs when Sheffield United visit the Hawthorns in the final tie of the first round on Thursday.