EFL Trophy explained

By 31 May 2019
Portsmouth win EFL Trophy

The EFL Trophy is a knockout competition for clubs playing in League One and League Two and which has featured Academy teams from Premier League Category One clubs since 2016/17.

In 2016/17 there was a one-season trial proved successful. The competition features a total of 64 teams, made up of EFL League One and Two clubs, as well as 16 Category One Premier League academy sides.

The teams are split into 16 regional groups of four teams, of which the top two will progress to the knockout stages, with the final staged at Wembley Stadium.

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 at 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

EFL Trophy history

Bristol City are the most successful side in the competition, winning it three times (1985/86, 2002/03, 2014/15) and losing two finals. 

Coventry City won the 2016/17 competition, having beaten Oxford United 2-1 in front of a competition record crowd of 74,434 fans at Wembley Stadium.

Lincoln City won it in 2017/18 after beating Chelsea on penalties in the semi-finals before claiming a 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town in the final. 

Portsmouth claimed the trophy in 2018/19, having beaten Sunderland in the final.

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