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U23s to compete in Premier League Cup

6 September 2016

United's U23s will compete in the Premier League Cup, a newly formatted competition for the 2016/17 campaign.

The Premier League Cup replaces the U21 Premier League Cup, which was introduced in 2013/14 to enhance the competitiveness of the Professional Development Phase calendar with knockout football alongside the regular league campaign.

The new competition is a UEFA Champions League style with 32 clubs in the main group stage, replacing the straight knockout in the U21 Premier League Cup.

Like Premier League 2, it will be contested between Under-23 teams; with each side allowed three over-age outfield players and a goalkeeper born before 1 January 1993. The format is as follows:

Group stage - The tournament will be split into eight groups of four clubs, with each team playing their opposing clubs home and away. The top two teams advance to the knockout stage.

Knockout stage - The last 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will all be one-off knockout ties. If the ties are level after 90 minutes, they go to extra-time and then penalties if the teams still can't be separated.

United have been draw in Group H alongside Stoke City, Birmingham City and Reading, with dates of fixtures, venues and kick-off times due to be announced in due course.

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