Scottish League Cup: New seeded group stage draw on Friday

Ross County are the League Cup holders
Ross County will be defending the trophy they won at Hampden in March

The seedings have been announced ahead of the first-round draw for the Betfred Cup, which will take place on Friday.

The 38 SPFL teams not involved in Europe are included, as well as Cove Rangers from the Highland League and Lowland League side East Stirlingshire.

Teams will be drawn into eight groups of five, split into north and south.

The revamped League Cup competition, which starts on 16 July, will see the group winners and four best runners-up progress to the second round.

European representatives Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibernian will also join at that stage.

The final will be played at Hampden Park on 27 November.

The first-round groups will consist of one top seed, one from the second pot and three unseeded clubs.

Each team will play each other once, with games taking place on 16, 20, 23, 27 and 30 July, subject to live TV matches.

Any game ending in a draw will go straight to a penalties, with the winner of the penalty shoot-out awarded a bonus point.

The draw will take place at 19:30 BST on Friday.

North section

Top seeds: St Johnstone, Ross County, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Dundee

Second seeds: Dundee United, Falkirk, Raith Rovers, Dumbarton

Unseeded clubs: Dunfermline Athletic, Alloa Athletic, Peterhead, Brechin City, East Fife, Cowdenbeath, Forfar Athletic, Elgin City, Stirling Albion, Montrose, Arbroath, Cove Rangers

South section

Top seeds: Motherwell, Partick Thistle, Hamilton Academical, Kilmarnock

Second seeds: Rangers, Morton, St Mirren, Queen of the South

Unseeded clubs: Ayr United, Livingston, Stranraer, Airdrieonians, Albion Rovers, Stenhousemuir, Queen's Park, Clyde, Annan Athletic, Berwick Rangers, Edinburgh City, East Stirlingshire

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