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Man Utd and Liverpool to play in EFL Trophy

14 Jun 2019
Man Utd v Liverpool at Under-18 level in 2018/19

Clubs to make debut in 2019/20 and will join 14 other Under-21 teams from Category One Academies

Manchester United and Liverpool will make their debuts in the EFL Trophy after entering the competition for the 2019/20 season. 

They will field Under-21 teams alongside 14 other Category One Academies, including 2017/18 semi-finalists Chelsea and last season's quarter-finalists Manchester City

Thirteen of the 14 Academy sides are from current Premier League clubs and will compete alongside the 48 sides from League One and League Two, providing valuable experience of first-team football against senior professionals for many of the country's best young players.

'Ideal platform'

"We are looking forward to being involved in the EFL Trophy next season," said Nicky Butt, head of Man Utd's Academy, to the club's official website. "The competition provides a range of experiences that will act as the ideal platform for the development of our homegrown talent.

"We are always looking to be innovative in order to find the best development path for our young players; the opportunity to face senior opponents will benefit them greatly."

Debbie Jevans, the EFL Executive Chair, said: "The EFL Trophy continues to grow and we are delighted to welcome Liverpool and Manchester United U21s to the competition.

"The recent feedback received from clubs and coaches has been very positive with the current format continuing to offer greater revenue for our clubs and competitive first team football for young talent."

Academy teams in 2019/20 EFL Trophy
Arsenal Manchester City
Aston Villa Manchester United
Brighton & Hove Albion Newcastle United
Chelsea Norwich City
Everton Southampton
Fulham Tottenham Hotspur
Leicester City West Ham United
Liverpool Wolverhampton Wanderers
How competition works

- Academy teams must start at least six players aged 21 or under as on 30 June 2019

- Those teams can only include two players over the age of 21 who have made 40 or more senior appearances prior to 2019/20

- The 16 Academy teams and 48 League One and League Two clubs taking part will be split into 16 groups of four

- Eight of the groups will be from the northern region, and eight will be from the southern region

- Academy sides will play all group matches away from home

- Clubs will be awarded three points for a win and one point for a draw, but in the event of a draw after 90 minutes, a penalty shootout will be played for an additional point

- The top two teams qualify for the knockout rounds, which are regionalised until the quarter-finals

- All knockout rounds up to the final are one-off matches decided by penalties if they are level after 90 minutes

- The final will go to extra-time and possibly penalties if level after 90 minutes

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