EFL Trophy Liverpool Manchester United

ARGYLE may come up against some of Britain’s top emerging talent next season, as sides from Manchester United and Liverpool will play in the EFL Trophy for the first time.

The EFL Trophy, known in recent years as the Checkatrade Trophy due to sponsorship, combines sides from Sky Bet League One and Two with sixteen development squads from the Premier League and Championship.

Last season, Argyle were drawn against a strong Chelsea development side, Newport County and Swindon. We failed to progress past the group stage in a competition where Ryan Lowe’s Bury reached the semi-final stage, losing 3-0 to eventual winners Portsmouth - who beat Sunderland on penalties at Wembley Stadium in March.

Liverpool and Manchester United will also be joined by development sides from Arsenal, Aston Villa, Brighton, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Leicester, Manchester City, Newcastle, Norwich, Southampton, Tottenham, West Ham and Wolves.

The new-look Pilgrims will find out their opponents for next season’s competition in July, when the group stage draw is made. The first round of fixtures are due to be played on the week commencing Monday, September 2.