EFL Trophy: Competition format confirmed to include Premier League academies
The format of the 2016-17 EFL Trophy, which will include 15 Premier League academy sides, has been confirmed.
League One and League Two clubs will play alongside invited Category One academies. Championship Newcastle's academy team has also been invited.
The 16 groups of four teams will each comprise an academy side with the top two from each qualifying for the first knockout round of 32 teams.
The group stage draw will be announced by the EFL in due course.
Known last season as the Football League Trophy and sponsored by Johnstone's Paint, the competition has been rebranded for this season along with the Football League as a whole.
Barnsley beat League Two Oxford United 3-2 at Wembley in front of a crowd of more than 59,000 in last season's final.
The 16 Category One Academies invited to take part in the EFL Trophy in 2016-17:
- Leicester City
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- Newcastle United
- Stoke City
- Swansea City
- Tottenham Hotspur
- West Bromwich Albion
- West Ham United