Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham and Crystal Palace have all been invited to enter their Under-21 sides into the Papa John’s Trophy for the 2022/23 season. Each of the London sides have been allocated their number for the draw as they await to see which group they join in the competition.
The draw will take place on Thursday June 23rd as part of the EFL’s fixture release day, live on Sky Sports News at 11:30am. The draw will precede that of the Carabao Cup which will take place at 2:30pm on the same day. The groups for senior sides are already pre-determined to ensure travel time is minimised, and EFL Clubs will play two of their three matches at home in the Group Stages where the opening tie will take place in the week of August 29th.
Last season’s competition saw Spurs, West Ham and Crystal Palace crash out in the group stages of the competition. Chelsea navigated their way into the third round but fell to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners could not make it past the quarter-finals as they narrowly lost to Wigan in the following round when the competition was no longer split into northern and southern sections.
Group A – Charlton Athletic, Colchester United, Gillingham
Group B – AFC Wimbledon, Crawley Town, Portsmouth
Group C – Cheltenham Town, Milton Keynes Dons, Walsall
Group D – Peterborough United, Stevenage, Wycombe Wanderers
Group E – Bristol Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Swindon Town
Group F – Exeter City, Forest Green Rovers, Newport County
Group G – Oxford United, Leyton Orient, Sutton United
Group H – Cambridge United, Ipswich Town, Northampton Town
Numbers for invited teams
1. Arsenal U21
2. Aston Villa U21
3. Brighton & Hove Albion U21
4. Chelsea U21
5. Crystal Palace U21
6. Southampton U21
7. Tottenham Hotspur U21
8. West Ham United U21