Checkatrade Trophy: Arsenal Under-21s face Cheltenham, Coventry and Forest Green

Per Mertesacker
Former Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker will manage the club's under-21s side in the Checkatrade Trophy

Arsenal Under-21s will start their first season in the Checkatrade Trophy against Cheltenham, Coventry and Forest Green Rovers in the group stages.

The Gunners are one of 16 Category One academies drawn in the competition with League One and League Two clubs.

Holders Lincoln City will face Mansfield Town, Scunthorpe United and Wolves Under-21s in the group stages.

The 64 teams are split into pools of four clubs, with each group having an invited academy side in it.

Other Premier League clubs involved include Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea - who reached last season's semi-finals.

The first round of fixtures is scheduled to take place in the week starting Monday, 3 September.

Lincoln City made their first trip to Wembley in the club's 133-year history
Lincoln City beat Shrewsbury 1-0 in last year's final - the winners' first trip to Wembley

Checkatrade Trophy draw in full

Northern section
Group AGroup BGroup CGroup D
Carlisle UnitedBuryAccrington StanleyCrewe Alexandra
MorecambeFleetwood TownBlackpoolShrewsbury Town
SunderlandRochdaleMacclesfield TownTranmere Rovers
Stoke City Under-21sLeicester City Under-21sWest Brom Under-21sManchester City Under-21s
Group EGroup FGroup GGroup H
Burton AlbionBarnsleyDoncaster RoversLincoln City
Port ValeBradford CityGrimsby Town Mansfield Town
WalsallOldham AthleticNotts CountyScunthorpe United
Middlesbrough Under-21sEverton Under-21sNewcastle United Under-21sWolves Under-21s
Southern section
Group AGroup BGroup CGroup D
Crawley TownCambridge UnitedNewport CountyBristol Rovers
GillinghamColchester UnitedPlymouth ArgyleExeter City
PortsmouthSouthend UnitedSwindon TownYeovil Town
Tottenham Hotspur Under-21sSouthampton Under-21sChelsea Under-21sWest Ham Under-21s
Group EGroup FGroup GGroup H
Cheltenham TownNorthampton TownAFC WimbledonLuton Town
Coventry CityOxford UnitedCharlton AthleticMilton Keynes Dons
Forest Green RoversWycombe WanderersStevenagePeterborough United
Arsenal Under-21sFulham Under-21sSwansea City Under-21sBrighton & Hove Albion Under-21s

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