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EFL Trophy

EFL Trophy: Man Utd, Liverpool & Premier League teams in the competition

13:56 WAT 20/06/2019
Tahith Chong Manchester United 2019
Some of tomorrow's stars will have the opportunity to play against senior opposition when they compete in the English Football League Trophy

Liverpool and Manchester United have become the latest Premier League clubs to enter the EFL Trophy, having each confirmed their participation in the 2019-20 tournament.

The two behemoths of English football join a host of other teams from the top division in sanctioning participation from their academy teams.

“We are looking forward to being involved in the EFL Trophy next season,” the Red Devils' Head of Academy Nicky Butt told the official Man Utd website following the announcement.

“The competition provides a range of experiences that will act as the ideal platform for the development of our homegrown talent."

Ahead of the latest edition, Goal takes a look at which clubs are involved and how the competition works.


Which Premier League teams are in the EFL Trophy?


As well as Manchester United and Liverpool, there are a number of other Premier League teams competing in the 2019-20 EFL Trophy.

Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are all involved, too, meaning the traditional 'top six' are represented for the first time.

Newcastle United, West Ham, Everton and Leicester City will take part, as will Wolves, Southampton and Brighton. Recently promoted sides Aston Villa and Norwich City will also play in this coming season's edition.

These teams are considered Category One Academies.

Category One academies in the 2019-20 EFL Trophy

Team Team
Arsenal Aston Villa
Brighton Chelsea
Everton Leicester City
Liverpool Manchester City
Manchester United Newcastle United
Norwich City Southampton
Tottenham West Ham
Wolves Fulham*

*Fulham were relegated to the Championship for the 2019-20 season

In total, 15 Premier League clubs will be represented in the 2019-20 EFL Trophy. Fulham, who were relegated from the Premier League in 2018-19, are the final Category One Academy team.

Since the 2016-17 season, when Premier League and Championship academy teams first entered, they have failed to produce a winner.

Chelsea's Under-21s reached the semi-finals in 2017-18, losing out to eventual champions Lincoln City on penalties, while Swansea City's academy team lost in the quarter-final to eventual champions Coventry City in 2016-17.


Which other teams are in the EFL Trophy?


The 16 Category One academy teams are joined by 48 teams from League One and League Two, bringing the total number of participants in the EFL Trophy to 64.

Portsmouth, who are reigning champions, Ipswich Town and last season's beaten finalists Sunderland are just some of the teams from League One that will take part.

Others from League One include Bolton Wanderers, Peterborough United and Coventry City.

League Two representatives include the likes of Bradford City, Carlisle United and the Class of '92-owned Salford City.


How does the EFL Trophy work?


The current format of the EFL Trophy sees the 64 entrants divided into 16 regional groups of four.

Those 16 groups are divided into two categories - eight groups in the northern category and eight groups in the southern category.

The top two teams from each group progress to the knockout stage, which remains regionalised for round one and round two before an open draw format for the quarter-final stage on.

Wembley is the venue for the final, which usually takes place in March or April.

Interestingly, during the group stage, while normal points allocations apply for a win (three points) and a draw (one point), an extra point is available in the event of a draw, which is played for via a penalty shootout.

Academy team restrictions

Restrictions are imposed on the 16 academy teams that take part in the tournament.

  • They must start at least six players aged 21 or younger at the cut-off date of June 30, 2019.
  • The academy teams can only include two players over the age of 21 who have made 40 or more senior appearances prior to the 2019-20 season.
  • Academy teams also have to play all of their three group matches away from home.