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CITY DRAWN AGAINST STOKE, MORECAMBE AND BURY IN EFL TROPHY GROUP

27 July 2016

Stuart McCall's Bantams have been drawn against Stoke City, Morecambe and Bury in the group stage of this season's EFL Trophy.


Following this Wednesday's draw, which was conducted by Preston North End manager Simon Grayson, McCall's men will be in Northern Group C of the EFL Trophy alongside Premier League Stoke, League 2 Morecambe and fellow League 1 side Bury.


Due to competition rules, at least six of Stoke's line up in EFL Trophy ties must be under 21 given their Premier League (Category 1) status. 


City will each play Stoke, Morecambe and Bury either home or away once. A full fixture schedule will be confirmed shortly.


The group stage draw was regionalised into northern and southern sections. The draw was also split into four categories – Northern Section 1, Northern Section 2, Southern Section 1 and Southern Section 2.

 

A total of 64 clubs will compete in the competition beginning with 16 groups of four teams, each of which will include at least one club from each of Leagues One and Two, along with one invited team. The top two sides in each group will then go into a knockout stage that will culminate in a showpiece final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 2nd April. 

 

Leicester City, Southampton, West Ham United, Stoke, Chelsea, Everton, Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Norwich City, Middlesbrough, Brighton and Hove Albion, Derby County, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Reading will all take part in the competition along with the other 48 teams from Sky Bet League's One and Two.

 

As part of the commitment to participate, Category 1 sides are required to play their home group game at their first team stadium. Due to the unique nature of their tenancy, West Ham United will be permitted to play all their group games away from home. If they progress to the later stages of the competition, this position will reviewed.

 

The new-look competition also has an enhanced prize fund with an expected £1.95m up for grabs, including £10,000 per win and £5,000 per draw during the Group Stage as well as £100,000 for the eventual winner.


The EFL Trophy (formerly the Johnstone's Paint Trophy) has been revamped for the upcoming season, with 16 Category One academy sides also invited to enter the competition.

 

This year's format is being implemented on a trial basis, with the competition due to be reviewed again at the end of the season.

 

The Format

 

- The Bantams are in one of 16 four-team groups for the competition.

- Each group has an invited Category One academy along with at least one League One and League Two side (group draws have been regionalised).

, either at home or away.once each- Bradford City will play their three group opponents

- The top two teams from each group will progress to the knock-out stage of the competition.

- Each group winner will play at home to a group runner-up in round two (which will also be regional).

 

The Dates

 

City’s three group matches will be during the following weeks, designed to take place during international breaks:

 

- w/c August 29


- w/c October 3 - w/c November 7


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