EFL Trophy group stage fixtures announced

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Liverpool Under-21s will face trips to Fleetwood, Oldham and Accrington Stanley in the group stages of the EFL Trophy. Manchester United Under-21s are also the latest Category One Academy club to enter the tournament for the 2019/2020 campaign. Following Friday’s draw, United will play Doncaster, Rotherham and Lincoln in Group H. The Premier League top six from last season are now set to be fully represented in the competition for the first time. Some 16 teams have been invited to join the 48 EFL clubs in Sky Bet League One and League Two. The groups are divided into northern and southern sections, which had been arranged to minimise travel both for the teams and supporters. Manchester City were put into Northern Section Group F with Bradford, Bolton and Rochdale. Leicester are in Group A alongside Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Sunderland, last season’s runners-up. Aston Villa Under-21s, whose first team won the Championship play-off final, face Group C fixtures against Bury, Tranmere and Salford, promoted from the National League last season. Newcastle will be in Group D alongside Shrewsbury, Macclesfield and Port Vale, while Everton Under-21s are in Group E with Crewe, Burton and Mansfield. In Group G, Wolves will be up against Blackpool, Carlisle and Morecambe. In the Southern Section, Tottenham Under-21s are in Group A along with Ipswich, Colchester and Gillingham. Chelsea will be in Group F to play with Swindon, Bristol and Plymouth, while Arsenal are in Group H against Peterborough, Cambridge and Northampton. Norwich, whose first team won the Championship last season, are in Group B with Crawley, Oxford and EFL Trophy holders Portsmouth. Brighton Under-21s face AFC Wimbledon, Southend and Leyton Orient in Group C, while Southampton are in Group D with Coventry, Forest Green and Walsall. In Group E, West Ham will play Exeter, Cheltenham and Newport, with Fulham in Group G against MK Dons, Wycombe and Stevenage. Academy sides will play each of the other three teams in their group away from home, with the top two teams qualifying for the knockout stages, which remain on a regional basis until the quarter-finals. The first ties will be played week commencing September 2. Topics EFL Trophy, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd Manchester United and Liverpool Under-21 sides to compete in EFL Trophy Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits United are not at City and Liverpool’s level yet Manchester City and Liverpool dominate PFA Team of the Year Frank versus Guardiola, Klopp, Pochettino, Emery and Solskjaer No club has made offer for Manchester United target yet – but that could be about to change Aribo keen to emulate Toure and Vieira after comparisons to midfield duo VAR used to check 10 incidents per game at Women’s World Cup, FIFA reveals Bolton administrators taking legal action against would-be owner Bassini Benfica defender scouted by Manchester United as negotiations begin Ranked! The 10 best centre-backs in the world Forbes have revealed the world’s most valuable football clubs – and Premier League dominates Juan Mata rejected insane offer to stay at Manchester United – report Highest-paid footballers revealed by Forbes as Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar feature Wolves’ ambitious owners understand they can’t match the Big Six – and that’s why they might actually break it

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