Chelsea Under-18s will face Manchester United, Newcastle United and Norwich City in the Premier League Cup group stage after today’s draw placed Andy Myers’s side in a tricky-looking Group F.
The young Blues are Cup holders after beating Tottenham 2-0 in the inaugural final in March, a victory that secured the first of four trophies lifted last term. We finished top of the group, beating Newcastle 2-1 at Cobham on the final match day, before advancing past Sunderland and Everton in the knockout round.
The format of the competition remains unchanged as the 24 Category One academies are split into six groups of four, with each group containing two Northern teams and two Southern teams. The six group winners plus the two best runners-up advance to the quarter-finals, where knockout matches are one-leg contests drawn either home or away. It provides an opportunity to face opponents outside of the regionalised league programme and Myers’s men will play two of the three group fixtures away from home as follows:
Saturday 29 September - Chelsea vs Norwich (H)
Saturday 10 November - Newcastle United v Chelsea (A)
Saturday 8 December - Manchester United v Chelsea (A)
Our meeting with United will pit the 2017/18 North and South league winners against each other in a repeat of May’s play-off final. Dujon Sterling, Billy Gilmour and Tariq Lamptey were the goalscorers on that occasion as Jody Morris’s side were crowned national champions.
The Blues will play their first group fixture at the end of next month. They kicked off the new campaign with a 3-1 victory over Southampton at the weekend and return to action against Leicester City this Saturday 18 August.
See below for the group stage draw in full.