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Checkatrade EFL Trophy 2017-18: Draw, fixtures, results, & all you need to know

02:20 GMT+3 07/03/2018
Checkatrade Trophy Coventry 2017
Goal brings you all you need to know about the English Football League tournament as we look forward to the final of the competition

The final of the 2017-18 Checkatrade EFL Trophy is to be played between Lincoln City and Shrewsbury Town at Wembley on April 8.

A total of 64 teams entered the competition, which kicked off at the end of August, with the number now whittled down to just two.

It is not quite as prestigious or well known as tournaments such as the FA Cup or the League Cup, but in recent seasons it has featured some Premier League clubs.

Goal brings you all you need to know about the competition and the current state of play ahead of the final next month.

What is the Checkatrade trophy?

The EFL (English Football League) Trophy - known as the Checkatrade Trophy for sponsorship reasons - is an annual knockout competition involving teams from England's League One and League Two.

It was first established in 1983 and it was initially known as the Associate Members' Cup before rebranding as the Football League Trophy in 1992. 

Traditionally only clubs from League One and League Two were eligible to participate, but non-league teams have occasionally competed and, in recent years, academy teams from Premier League and Championship clubs have also been invited to take part.

Bournemouth won the first edition in 1984, with the likes of Wolves, Swansea City and Wigan Athletic among the clubs to raise the trophy. 

Bristol City are the most successful club in the history of the competition with three titles, while Coventry City are the most recent champions.

Checkatrade EFL Trophy Final

The final will be contested between League Two Lincoln City and League One Shrewsbury Town.

The game will take place at Wembley on April 8.

Date Match
April 8 Lincoln City vs Shrewsbury Town

Checkatrade EFL Trophy Semi Final

With just four teams remaining, it was Lincoln who booked their place at Wembley first. 

Luke Waterfall had headed the home side in front in the second half, before a late Daishawn Redan strike drew the Chelsea youngsters level. The game would end 0-0, though Lincoln went on to win the penalty shootout 4-2, with Ethan Ampadu and Jacob Maddox missing their spot kicks.

League One outfit Shrewsbury Town then booked a trip to Wembley for the first time since 2009 on March 6 with a 1-0 victory over Yeovil. 

Carlton Morris scored the only goal of the game to take the promotion hopefuls into the final.

Date Match
Feb 6 Lincoln City  1-1 Chelsea (4-2P)
March 6 Shrewsbury Town 1-0 Yeovil Town

Checkatrade EFL Trophy Quarter Final

Unlike the other rounds, the quarter-final of the Checkatrade EFL Trophy was an open draw, rather than regional.

The games took place on January 23 and Feb 6, with Chelsea U21, Lincoln City, Yeovil and Shrewsbury progressing into the semi-final stage of the competition.

Date Match
Jan 23 Chelsea U21 3-0 Oxford United
Jan 23 Lincoln City 4-1 Peterborough United
Feb 6 Yeovil Town 3-2 Fleetwood Town
Jan 23 Shrewsbury Town 2-1 Oldham Athletic

Checkatrade EFL Trophy Round 3

The second knock-out round - or the third round - sees eight ties take place and there have been some interesting results.

Three games have gone to penalties, while Chelsea's Under-21 team progressed after beating Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

Leicester City's Under-21s, meanwhile, were beaten by Oldham Athletic in the final game of the round.

Northern section:

Date Match
Jan 9 Rochdale 0-1 Lincoln City
Jan 9 Bury 2-3 Fleetwood Town
Jan 10 Shrewsbury Town 0-0 Blackpool (4-2P)
Jan 17 Oldham Athletic 4-2 Leicester City U21

Southern section:

Date Match
Jan 9 Yeovil Town 2-0 Forest Green Rovers
Jan 9 Portsmouth 1-2 Chelsea U21
Jan 9 Charlton Athletic 1-1 Oxford United (0-3P)
Jan 9 Luton Town 0-0 Peterborough United (6-7P)

Checkatrade EFL Trophy Round 2

The first knock-out round - or Round Two - was also divided regionally along north-south lines and features 32 teams.

A Leicester City team featuring the likes of Leonardo Ulloa and Kelechi Iheanacho progressed with a win over Scunthorpe United, but West Ham and Swansea were knocked out. Chelsea also went through as a team containing Michy Batshuayi, among others, thrashed MK Dons.

Northern section:

Date Match
Nov 28 Rochdale 1-1 (5-4P) Doncaster Rovers
Dec 2 Walsall 1-2 Bury
Dec 5 Bradford City 0-1 Oldham Athletic
Dec 5 Fleetwood Town 2-0 Chesterfield
Dec 5 Lincoln City 3-2 Accrington Stanley
Dec 5 Port Vale 1-2 Shrewsbury Town
Dec 5 Scunthorpe United 1-2 Leicester City U21
Dec 6 Blackpool 1-1 (5-4P) Mansfield Town

Southern section:

Date Match
Dec 2 Portsmouth  2-0 Northampton Town
Dec 5 Gillingham 1-2 Oxford United
Dec 5 Luton Town 4-0 West Ham U21
Dec 5 Swansea City U21 2-3 Charlton Athletic
Dec 5 Swindon Town 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
Dec 5 Yeovil Town 2-0 Wimbledon
Dec 6 MK Dons 0-4 Chelsea U21
Dec 6 Peterborough United 2-0 Southend United

Checkatrade EFL Trophy group stage

In 2017-18, for the first time in history, teams from Manchester City, Newcastle United and Tottenham took part, joining the likes of Chelsea, West Ham and Everton.

Premier League clubs Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United declined their invitations to participate.

The 64 teams - 24 from League One, 24 from League Two and 16 academy teams from the Premier League and Championship  were divided into two sections (Northern and Southern) with each section containing eight four-team groups.

The winners and runners-up of each group can be seen below. Those teams progressed to Round Two.

Northern section:

Group Winner Runner-up
A Fleetwood Town Leicester City U21
B Blackpool Accrington Stanley
C Rochdale Bury
D Port Vale Oldham Athletic
E Walsall Shrewsbury Town
F Bradford City Chesterfield
G Lincoln City Mansfield Town
H Scunthorpe United Doncaster Rovers

Southern section:

Group Winner Runner-up
A Portsmouth Charlton Athletic
B Gillingham Southend United
C Swindon Town West Ham U21
D Yeovil Town Chelsea U21
E Swansea U21 Forest Green Rovers
F Luton Town Wimbledon
G MK Dons Oxford United
H Peterborough United Northampton Town

The Premier League development/academy squads did not fare particularly well, and, of the 12 taking part, only West Ham, Chelsea, Leicester City and Swansea qualified from their groups. 

Teams representing Manchester City, Tottenham, Everton, Stoke City, Newcastle, West Brom, Brighton and Southampton were all eliminated.

Notably, too, reigning champions Coventry City were also knocked out at this stage.

When is the Checkatrade EFL Trophy final?

The 2017-18 Checkatrade Trophy final is set to take place on Sunday, April 8 2018 at Wembley.

Last season's final between Coventry City and Oxford United, which attracted a record-breaking 74,434 spectators, kicked off at 14:30 BST and it is likely that a similar time will apply in 2018.