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Premier League Cup: Format explained

1 Jan 2021
Everton celebrate winning the Premier League Cup

The Under-23 cup competition adopts the UEFA Champions League format to bring extra competitiveness to the Games Programme

From 2016/17 the Premier League Cup replaced the Under-21 Premier League Cup, which was introduced in 2013/14 to enhance the competitiveness of the Professional Development Phase calendar with knockout football alongside the regular league campaign.

The new competition is in the UEFA Champions League style with 32 clubs in the main group stage, replacing the straight knockout in the U21 Premier League Cup. Like Premier League 2, it will be contested between Under-23 teams, with each side allowed three over-age outfield players and a goalkeeper born before 1 January 1996 in the 2019/20 season.

Competition format
  • Qualifying stage If more than 32 clubs enter the competition, a qualifying knock-out stage takes place between Category 3 and 4 clubs to determine who joins Category 1 and 2 sides in the Group stage
  • Group stage The tournament will be split into eight groups of four clubs, with each team playing their opposing clubs home and away. The top two teams advance to the knockout stage.
  • Knockout stage The last 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will all be one-off knockout ties. If the ties are level after 90 minutes, they go to extra-time and then penalties if the teams still can't be separated. 
Premier League Cup winners

2019/20 N/A*
2018/19
Everton
2017/18
Aston Villa
2016/17
Swansea City
2015/16
West Ham United
2014/15 Southampton
2013/14 Reading
*Competition did not finish due to curtailment of season

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