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Liverpool and Man United to play in the EFL Trophy: But what is this competition?

2022 World Cup
Wembley Stadium EFL Trophy

Up until now, Liverpool and Manchester United have always shied away from competing in the EFL Trophy.

But this week, both the clubs have announced that they will field their Under-21 sides in the competition for the first time next season.

This means that there will be a full representation of the Premier League’s top six this time around. And here’s all you need to know about the competition.

What is the format of the EFL Trophy?

The EFL Trophy is a knock-out tournament for English football clubs in League One and League Two of the English football system, and also including 16 Premier League and Championship “Academy teams” with Category One status.

The draw for the tournament’s group stage will take place in July and the opening round of fixtures are scheduled to be played in the week commencing September 2.

Man United’s comments

Nicky Butt, head of Manchester United’s academy, said(as reported by the BBC): “We are looking forward to being involved in the EFL Trophy next season.

“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.”

Liverpool’s comments

Liverpool released a statement saying: “Liverpool will play in the EFL Trophy for the first time in 2019-20.

“It has been confirmed that the Reds will enter an U21 team in the competition this season after accepting an invitation from the EFL.”

Who are the reigning champions?

Portsmouth won this year’s EFL trophy thanks to a 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory over Sunderland after the game ended 2-2 after extra-time.

EFL Trophy invited Under-21 sides 2019-20(as reported)

  • Arsenal
  • Aston Villa
  • Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Chelsea
  • Everton
  • Fulham
  • Leicester City
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester City
  • Manchester United
  • Newcastle United
  • Norwich City
  • Southampton
  • Tottenham Hotspur
  • West Ham United
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers

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